There once said, “A strong woman is the lifeline of her family. She carries within her the power to endure pain and the courage to sacrifice. She has the power to create and nurture life. She is indeed an epitome of love and sacrifice.” But the question is, is that quote true? If it is, then why have we reached the 21st century and still most men treat women wrongly? Why does the woman have to tolerate her husband calling her names or making fun of her in front of family and friends? Why does the woman have to sit at home cooking for her husband and obeying his commands as if he possesses her, rather than going to work and be a useful and productive entity in society? Why does the woman have to be hurt, whether emotionally or physically, and then lie to people and act in love with her partner in front of them just because she’s scared from all the threatening she gets from him? Why does their little child have to fall as a victim of this unhealthy environment? These are not random questions; this is the reality. The world is developing, some people have stepped on the moon and are on their journey to step on other planets, while still here on planet Earth are some countries that are underdeveloped ethically and mentally. One of these countries is Lebanon. Although some people claim that in some cases, domestic violence is a must, however, it’s believed that domestic violence should be prohibited through laws for the woman’s presence in a family is a necessary, children have the right to grow in a loving, protective family, and finally the economy of the country would be affected.
A woman’s presence in her family is important for the woman is the one who takes care of her husband and children, she’s the one who provide support for each of them, and she’s the one who encourages them to move forward and become better and successful in their lives. Domestic violence forbids the woman from fulfilling her job as a mother and a wife. Imagine a man who comes tired from work, and finds out that his wife hasn’t done lunch for the day because she’s sick, and that man decides to start shouting at her and calling her names in front of her children, thus resulting in hurting her and making her feel bad about herself. This way of treating his wife would make her feel disrespected, unappreciated, and that her presence is only for obeying his commands, and thus he would have hurt her emotions, and this is a shape of domestic violence. However, imagine if that man rather than shouting and hurting his wife, came next to his wife and took care of her for the day and didn’t make her feel bad about her not being able to cook lunch. What a beautiful example that man would be setting for his children! His children would respect their mother more and become happier that their dad loves their mom. Not only would the children be happy, but also their mother, since she would feel wanted, appreciated and secured. Moreover, a proud woman shows off herself with her husband and children in front of all people. But what if her husband treated her wrong by pulling off hurtful jokes about her in front of her friends, for example, calling her “fat” and that she’s becoming more like a “cow” would make others laugh, and she might also laugh so that she can go with the flow, but deep down inside, she would feel ashamed not only of herself, but also of her husband, and she would start refusing to be seen out with him in public, and this would result in more problems between her and her partner, thus an unhealthy environment and relationship. According to the Daily Star and quoted specifically from Claudine Aoun Roukouz, chair of the National Commission for Lebanese Women and daughter of President Michel Aoun, “The woman, with all that she represents of humanitarian and social values, deserves to be provided with full protection from all forms of violence.”
A wise man once said, “Let’s raise children who won’t have to recover from their childhoods.” Domestic violence forbids children to have a decent, proper childhood. A child would grow up to be a man of low self-esteem suffering from emotional trauma and anxiety. Moreover, he would have difficulty in learning unlike other children which would consequently deprive him from the chance of entering important universities so that he could reach an important position in a company he’ll work in once he’s employed. According to “Children’s Witnessing of Domestic Violence,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence issued in 1999, not only will he grow up to be lacking confidence, but also he’ll suffer of lots of health obstacles, such as sleeping problems and eating deficiencies. In addition, he’ll grow up to be violent and in most cases, he’ll treat his partner the exact way his father once treated his mother. So, if awareness was spread between partners in which they treat one another in a right way so that their child won’t be a witness for such violence, the child will grow up to be a successful man in the future who can be strong enough to face any difficulty blocking his way from reaching his goal. And that is probably the reason behind the success of many people originating from loving and caring families, and the failure of many others coming from families who suffer from drug abuse, violent and disrespectful relationships between parents, and lack of care and love offered to children. According to the Children and the Culture of Human Rights, “The CRC defends the fact that all children should be able to grow up in a happy and loving family environment…” A child should live in peace through which his parents should be his/her number one supporter and encourager. A child must not be scared from returning home to see his mother drowning in tears for the fact that his father has mistreated her, whether it was a hurtful word addressed to her or an unacceptable physical action done towards her, a kick or a hit. In fact, a child should have the right to come back home from school happy to see his parents and enjoy the beauty of the shared love between his parents.
Domestic violence has been considered one of the major causes of decrease in economic growth of a country. The economy of a country depends on two essential factors that are the education of the employees in a certain company and their personality. A child growing in a family suffering from domestic violence is going to grow up to be mentally and emotionally abused. Such a child would turn out to be a violent man with no emotional control, thus would constantly express anger, and thus might scream and shout at customers in his company, or he might be unorganized, in which he doesn’t come to work on time which in return, will piss off his boss, and thus would put himself in a position to lose his job. Moreover, a child growing in a violent family might be deprived of the right of getting a proper education. Imagine a child whose dad is a drug addict, all the money his family have will be spent on buying drugs and nothing would be left in order to teach that poor kid, which will push him to enter a public school, and thus not getting a proper education. Thus, the reason behind under developed countries suffering from a decrease in economic growth is domestic violence. Therefore, in order to save countries from such a case, awareness should be spread to focus on the importance of healthy relationships in families. Moreover, every woman has the right to be a successful entity in society, exactly just like men. So, one shape of domestic violence, is a man forbidding his wife from going to work is also a cause in blocking economy from advancing, thus restricting country from developing.
Although some claim that domestic violence is fine and in some cases it’s a necessary, however, it’s not, or else, there wouldn’t have been any laws that are being forced by governments to restrict that type of violence. Many people turn out to follow the violent way of treating their partners, through hurting them. However, whoever is being abused shouldn’t just shut up for the fear of them being threatened by the abuser. Whoever is abused should call organizations that are concerned in such cases and situations, such as KAFA here in Lebanon. Many organizations are being established in order to stop such violence, protect women and their children from being abused, and giving them their rights from being loved to taken care of to having the right to go to schools and being employed. Moreover, many laws are being issued to reinforce women’s and children’s rights in education and having a proper life. A blog issued on the 8th of March, 2017, shows how much women have reached in Lebanon,
- “In 1952, they gained the right to vote and to run for office.
- In 1959, they gained equality in inheritance for non-Muslim sects.
- In 1960, they gained the right to choose their nationality.
- In 1975, they gained the right for freedom of movement.
- In 1983, they gained the right not to be prosecuted for using contraception.
- In 1987, they gained the right to unify end of service age between men and woman in social security.
- In 1993, they gained the right to obtain degrees in real estate.
- In 1994, they gained the right to stay in the diplomatic course if they marry a foreigner.
- In 1996, they scored a victory with Lebanon signing the international decree to abolish gender inequality.
- In 2011, they were victorious in abolishing article 562, related to Honor crimes.
- In 2014, they were victorious in having parliament pass a law protecting from domestic abuse.
- In 2014, they were victorious in modifying the laws pertaining to maternity leave.
- In 2016, they were victorious in abolishing article 522, which allowed their rapist to be absolved of his crime if he offered marriage.”
In conclusion, awareness about domestic violence is a must to be spread since even though organizations and laws are being initiated and enforced, however, more actions by governments should be taken in to consideration in order to restrict such improper way of treatment. Domestic violence should be ended as soon as possible due to its many consequences and aftermaths on society’s economy and not only the country’s development, but also its citizens. And as once said, “Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them”.