While we need to (must) be promoting the message that under no circumstances is it ok to hit a woman, we also need to be asking WHY, why are these people not dealing with their issues and turning to violence in the first instance? What makes them think it is OK to violently strike out and hit another human with the intention of harm.
Stress, anxiety, fear, shame, pride and anger are swirling like a vicious storm beneath the surface of our communities and resulting in violence and unfortunately death. As a community we seem to be focused on what’s happening above the surface, always being focused on the result not the cause.
Is it because the issues are too big or hard to deal with? Which perplexes me as we have a nation of thought leaders; we are a thriving strong and free country with an abundance of natural resources. Yet we create difficulties for our best resources, our people.
How have we come to this point? Are we so far from our humanity that we have just conveniently decided to ignore the obvious? Is it because we are afraid to ask individuals to be responsible for their own actions and well being?
These are the tough issues our community faces and no one wants to discuss them. We see discussion on how to ‘stop the problem’ but not WHY is the problem occurring.
We see it in the news every day, the crime in our communities being fueled from alcohol, drugs and other addictions. We see repeat offenders again and again in our courts; we see the victims fighting to be safe and being let down time and again by inefficient processes and systems. We see our politicians giving lip service to “this must stop” but we don’t see any discussion into WHY these people are choosing this path.
We see our elected representatives publicly bickering with one another and posturing for position and power, we see them criticising each other instead of working together for the betterment of our communities.
We see them setting an example. They are teaching the next generation that it’s OK to treat others this way.
We don’t see our elected representatives asking the hard questions of our community in order to develop and provide the tools, resources and education desperately needed. We don’t see or examine what leads these people to believe its OK to turn to violence.
I put the questions to you, should we be leaving these issues to our elected representative or is there something we can do?
Our ability as a community to move towards living without domestic violence amongst us comes from the willingness for each of us to understand the fundamentals of how people approach life.
First we must understand that what other people do is by their choice and interpretation of the world and that they are living their lives according to that interpretation (known more commonly as their set of values, beliefs, rules and standards).
While we can understand the principle we may never fully understand what drives or motivates individuals to act the way they do and we cannot measure what they do against our own set of standards, values and beliefs.
Generally speaking when we reflect on a perpetrators action it is important to understand that they will often fall into two significant belief categories:
1. Those that believe they are entitled (to do, be and have whatever they want).
Those that fall into this category can often be defined as arrogant they believe they are above the law or that the ‘normal’ rules of society do not apply to them. Their focus is on self-gratification and lack of consideration for anyone that may be affected by their decisions and actions.
2. Those that believe “It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission”
Those that fall into this category can often be defined as ignorant they are oblivious to the consequences of how their actions will affect another person. Their focus is on doing what they want for their own needs without consideration of others. They will often feel as though they are ‘better than’ in some respect to others whether it be in their thinking, life circumstances or choices. They will often have a fleeting thought of the effects but not care higher for others than they care for themselves first.
In both categories it is an individual that is making that choice and they are generally making that choice based on their interpretation of life according to their standards.
What we are failing to do as a community is to ask that the perpetrators be held accountable and be offered the assistance before an act of violence is committed.
Here is how I see it. We all have a responsibility in this issue, each and every one of us. Especially those of us watching or reading the news and saying “isn’t that terrible” and doing nothing.
How do we tap into the swirling storm beneath the surface of our communities to assist, advise, direct and support people in their anger, stress, anxiety and pain to deal with their problems before they act in violence?
In my opinion this is the question we need to asking, we need to be examining the cause, not solely fighting the beast when it’s unleashed and leaving behind a trail of destruction to our humanity in its aftermath.
I’d love to know your thoughts.