Domestic violence is an incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse( psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. This includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnics communities such as socalled honour killings.
Now the first question we would like to ask is; does domestic violence take place within our community? The answer is yes it does and in greater scale. Women are afraid of talking about it openly. Even to discuss it with their friends, do not. They are scared of talking about it because it is a “Tabu”. In our culture, women are cannot complaint when they are being abused or suffering violence within their marriage/relationship. If they do, they would face revolt from their parents, in laws. It is like betraying your husband or partner. Women are obliged to obey everything no matter what.
here in the UK, women are following the same customs and culture from back home. This article will not be a cup of tea for everyone in the community but the true must be said. Women are suffering physically and emotionally. The stories that we heard from women who sought our assistance is unbelievable. No one would have thought that these things are happening within the community and in England. Women are being beaten up in front of their children leaving children traumatised. in one incident a child was left speechless and could not talk for about one year. In another, a child spent a day at school crying and when the Teacher asked her, she said that because Mummy and Daddy were arguing and fighting last night. The same day when the Mother came to pick up the child and asked by the Teacher, she categorrically denied it. On their way Home, the Mother told the child off.
The other popular way of abuse is finances. many women within the community do not know their rights and entitlements such as; child benefit and child tax credit. These benefits are paid directly to the husband/partners accounts Women have no access to these money. If they need to buy something, they have to ask for money. What is more, whenever, a woman needs money for shopping, she has to ask for it. Sometimes thay are not given instead the husband himself goes and do the shopping. Immigration status is also used as way of abusing women. This is especially true for those who have no immigration status or their immigration status is dependent on that of husband. Any slight argument, the partner raises the isuue of immigration. Thy are then blackmailed.
Over the past years or so, women started to come forward to our offices and asking for help. This is a good sign and we would like more women to come and speak freely. If they do not, they will continue to suffer in silence. last year two women lost their lives as a result of domestic violence that they were suffering over the years. They had no one to talk about and simple committed suicide.
Welwitschia Welfare Centre