Friday, January 23, 2009

Suffering in silence

A Complain–Response Mechanism to assist (and protect) children and women will be established in Thimphu with the Royal Bhutan Police – a joint RBP/NCWC project. With domestic violence and violence against women and children coming to the fore, the project is timely and laudable. Centennial Radio has a daily show “Family Matters” where most of the callers so far (except for one) were women in need of help but wanted to be anonymous and wouldn’t want to show up at the police station - nor at the RENEW. The complain mechanism therefore is a good news. But that’s where the good news ends.

A nation boasting to be Buddhist (and thus champion of non-violence) and where tolerance and compassion are core teachings of Buddhism, a project such as this was perhaps the last thing we would have wanted. This is not to discount the works done by the NCWC or the Police. What I am saying is, I wish we never had the requirement for it.

Child protection and protection of women have become common phrases that we don't even think what they really mean. "Protection" against what? "Protection" from whom? Who else but the men folks like you and me. Isn't it that sad that in a country like ours our women have to be protected - our children have to be protected. If there is something I cannot stand, something that really makes me angry, it is when I hear about someone battering his wife or hitting his children.

Some data for you to think over – the RBP’s Woman & Child Protection Unit received some 300 cases of domestic violence against women last year. This, I bet my life, will just be a tip of an iceberg of a much bigger problem. For every case that is reported, thousands are suffering in silence.

1 comment:

  1. As far as I know, most of the domestic violence comes from alcohol abuse. The more alcohol goes inside the human body, the more the swine in the person comes out manifesting itself in various forms, such as violence and abuse. I wish at least the educated would realize how harmful it is and be the ones to teach the uneducated. Alcohol makes both men and women wild and 'non homo sapiens'. When both are drunk, I guess the women lose to the physical might of the men. When only the man is earning and the wife is a housewife and not earning, the tendency is for the wife to feel obliged to the man and for the husband to feel he can do whatever he feels like to his wife. She becomes the poor obedient servant/slave and he the dominating boss. The children suffer in silence watching their mother get ill treated.
    In the case of both husband and wife earning, both husband and wife are equally violent with each other when in the drunken state. The children suffer in silence watching their parents fight.
    Any which way, the ones suffering the most in silence are the children. Who do they turn to for help when their mother is beaten? Where do they go for some moment of peace when their parents are busy fighting?
    Worse still, is when the children themselves get beaten up by their drunk parents. Who do the children turn to for solace?
    And, the worst kind of silent suffering is for little children (minorities) who are used by their parents to sell doma on the streets and vegetables door to door, depriving them of their childhood.