“Statistics have revealed that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS”.
Another reason as to why I am rising, and this is what I stated in the One Billion Rising (OBR) South Asia video (that will be available on Youtube soon), is that violence against women affects men and children as well. It perpetuates violence against women and several degrees of emotional confusion felt by men, generation after generation.
Here’s an example; two years back when I wrote an article on the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, I interviewed women victims of domestic violence. Many of these women had been beaten severely, some required surgery to piece back together their broken or crushed bones. They would be beaten repeatedly but they refused to divorce their husbands. When asked why, they would reply that their husbands loved them despite the various forms of brutality they inflicted on them. And you know what, their husbands really do love them. Women In Need (WIN) first provides counselling for the husband before they mention divorce. And WIN says that more often, counselling the husbands has helped.
As we all know men are not violent beasts, they are sensitive too, and quite capable of loving their partner. However, society does not allow men to show their sensitivity– after all they are the hunters; the breadwinners, right? A weak man is of no use, according to society. And so generations of boys have watched their mothers being beaten by their fathers, and some of them have grown conditioned into believing that it is manly to demonstrate their physical power to control their families. And then their wives and children fear them, they grow distant. The husband/father receives little or no affection from his family any more.
Is that fair? I don’t think so.
I think men, just as much as women, should be able to enjoy family life and affection. It’s the element of patriarchy in society that does not allow for men and boys to be sensitive, to enjoy their family life and to express their sexuality (male homosexuals face all forms of harassment).
And that’s why I will rise on 14th February 2013, for women, men and children, to end violence against women. And I hope you will rise too.