Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Abuse Part II

To begin let's define abuse as: “intentionally causing harm to another being either through physical or mental means. It typically happens when one person gains power over another.”

First off it’s important to clarify the fact that absolutely anyone can be abused regardless of who they are. However certain people are more vulnerable to abuse, especially women but children even more so. Men are not also not exempt from being abused. But realistically yes, women abusing men is somewhat of a minute problem in terms of numbers. I mentioned it earlier merely to prove a point, which I failed to do.

Abuse in all of its forms is wrong or harmful. However people tend to focus on the physical abuse because it’s immediate and noticeable. But really the more tactful abuser is less likely to saw someone’s hand off or set someone ablaze because they’ll get caught. Instead they would rely on more subtle methods. Even when it comes to physical abuse, a smart person will try to avoid leaving physical marks behind and will avoid easily visible places such as the face. Those who don’t are the ones who aren’t premeditating it and are caught easily. It’s the ones where you can find no evidence that are a real problem.

Abuse is about power and exerting it over someone. There is such a strong emphasis on physical violence that people seem to forget about the other type of abuses. Neglect is a form of abuse whilst isolating a person is yet another. Both are equally bad. Just because there’s no physical damage doesn’t means it’s not the same or even worse. It’s quite simply not a case of Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

Children are even more vulnerable than women because not only do they lack physical strength but they also lack the emotional development to figure out what is being done to them. The recent Brazillian case is a good example where a man’s lover convinced the man to perform a ritual on the son to get back at his wife. So the father would get the boy drunk on water mixed with wine and when he passed out proceeded to stick needles in to his body. When the boy woke up he never knew what happened but he felt ill. They repeated this on him several times before they were caught.

Let’s also not forget the mothers who harm their babies. In one case a woman suffocated her baby with a pillow, called the paramedics and then performed CPR to become famous. She did this more than once.

Then there were those folks who did things to children in nurseries in the US. Apparently they somehow met up on Facebook and decided to share pictures of the things they had done to the children before they were caught. I believe that group consisted of two men and a woman.

Women can also abuse other women. All women prisons are a great example of this. In such an environment a single woman (or a group) can assume the dominate role before forcing the rest of the women to do all kinds of things for her or else risk punishment. I'll just let you use your imagination... but suffice to say it can get quite nasty. Anything that purportedly only a man can do whether it be physical violence or sexual abuse can also be done by a woman in this scenario.

What is common to all these scenarios is that they involve one party having an indomitable influence over the other and using that to inflict harm in various forms. The victims also generally say absolutely nothing because of guilt, shame or a feeling of powerlessness that that they can do nothing to change things.

The real goal that needs to be achieved in cases (outside of prison and the military) of abuse is to get the victim to come forward sooner rather later or never as it is in some cases. Easier said than done.

Violence against women by husbands is more likely (but not restricted to) to occur in the lower classes of society where education and exposure is less. The women who do end up becoming punching bags have no idea what their rights are and maybe even believe that their husband does have legitimate control over them. The problem there is that women are not empowered.

Even the pervs on the bus know this because they target the shy traditional women when doing anything because they know they will say nothing whereas if they see a completely westernized woman in a short skirt there not going to do anything because they know she’s going to kick up a storm.

But even with education, that age old husband-wife relationship is quite strong. Marriage is after all considered sacred in every culture.

In a nutshell what I’m saying is, abusers are abusers. They come in all races, genders etc and they have many ways of doing it. When they get the opportunity to abuse, they take it. In the household, men tend to have a lot more power than women, and that’s why you get so much abuse there.

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