Lizy Tichareva is an advocate and organizer on behalf of women subjected to domestic violence. She works in South Sudan where the country recently declared independence from Khartoum., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
How domestic is "domestic violence?"
Thursday, 15 December 2011 21:17
by Lizy Tichareva
Sisters, brothers, elders , children tell me just how domestic is domestic violence . What is domestic about domestic violence?
Sister, has a record of missing lectures at college and University because of a blue black eye and split lip due to beatings by a so called stead boyfriend or sugar daddy. What is domestic about that?
Sister’s absenteeism at her workplace has increased due to a black eye and is emotionally and physically damaged .
Sister chooses to stay in the house and forego her normal business because she cant walk or sit properly due to injuries from marital rape that she often has to suffer after the beatings in the name of “I love you , forgive me , I don’t know what got into me”. What is domestic about domestic violence please tell me brother , sister, uncle, mother , children.
Neighbours wake up to a sister and her children’s screams in the middle of the night and all they can do is pray that God will preserve her life and that of her children until she can be rescued . They listen in fear of the worst thing that can happen to you but they cant help because it a so called “domestic affair”, although they will come over to pay their condolences , contribute mealie-meal and help with the cooking at her funeral . SO What is domestic about that violence?
The company, government department or organisation you work for no longer considers your name for promotions because your performance has seriously deteriorated due to the fear and trauma that you live with day in and day out . Fear of death and fear of leaving your prison. What is domestic about that?
Children tell friends and teachers that they feel safer at school than at home. When children’s performance in school goes poorer and poorer with nothing more or less due to fear of loosing you and fear of facing another day of violence.
Her children sleep in class because of the terror in the house. What is domestic about that? When the teacher asked them they told it all but he could not help you because it is a domestic affair. What is domestic about that?
On that day that he murdered you we all converged at your house tears flowing like babies on our chicks, our throats dry from anger and grief you lay there in the casket top of the range , some even called it beautiful, expensive and latest. What is domestic about that? That’s a casket for goodness sake! We all whispered if only we had known with some saying they knew and they could see it coming. You lay there looking beautiful and maybe now finally at peace we will never know. Speaker after speaker from family and friends praised you for being a cool, calm and collected sister They said the gap you left would be difficult to fill unless if the Lord Almighty raised another sister like you in the family. They said you were a warm and selfless person. The spokesperson from your company told the mourners that you were a role model for younger women professionals and that your passing was a great loss. Yes we talked and they talked but sister you did not live to tell us your story. We all at some point wondered why we had not converged like this and intervened in the so called domestic violence.
An evil that is claiming the lives of innocent people like you sister. Oh by the way that pastor from your church was also there to lead the prayers. SO I say there is nothing domestic about domestic violence, it is a crime and it is our business all of us you and I, family , church, community and society at large and of course the perpetrators.
Yes you are your “Sister’s Keeper”.
Make domestic violence history in your church and community. Zero tolerance on violence against women.
Lizy Tichareva is a mother and author. She is working as a Organisational Capacity Building and Gender Practitioner with an international NGO in South Sudan. She can be reached on emails: firstname.lastname@example.org.