Some cultures enable violence against women as though it is an acceptable part of their cultural beliefs and moral fabrication.
They’ve grown up with it and don’t recognise it as anything different from their normal everyday lives. They don’t challenge it, not necessarily because they don’t see the unjust nature of it all, but moreover they don’t want to be the ones breaking with tradition.
No one really wants to be the black sheep, going against antiquated cultural beliefs. But it’s still surprising that the women from these cultures are so supportive of maintaining these barbaric beliefs.
Loyal To Outdated Cultural Beliefs
The older generation of these women are often the most set in their ways. No matter if they have left their country of birth and moved to a place that recognises domestic violence as an unacceptable and horrendous act- they choose to remain loyal to their cultural beliefs.
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Essentially, personal beliefs shouldn’t really impact other people in a negative way. However, in the instance of dealing with something as life threatening as domestic violence it can have a deadly flow on effect.
From personal experience, I can say with confidence that there is no possibility of persuading some of the older generation to see how deeply flawed their long-held traditions are.
It’s Always The Women’s Fault
Trying to make them feel empathy for a victim of abuse is futile. The blame is always placed solely on the woman – goodness only knows what would happen if the victim were a male. It is after all, in their eyes, only the female’s fate to endure the violence.
What happens when one of these older ladies, with their feet deeply rooted in their cutural beliefs, unfortunately passes away?
How do you convey your genuine condolences for the loss of a relative when you didn’t leave things on good terms?
A few years ago now, my husband and I stood up for a victim of domestic violence. A relative who was expected to endure what she went through as part of culture! What a load of nonsense!
Subsequently, as soon as authorities were involved, my family was exiled… blacklisted… considered troublemaking outcasts, never to be made contact with again or included in a single family gathering – not even Christmas!
What Is The Right Thing To Do?
Our concern is that if we were to get in touch with the relatives to pass on our deepest sympathies, it simply would not be accepted as we intended it. In fact, it could potentially cause more harm than good taking into account the way things were left three years ago.
The loss of a life is always sad. It’s only human to feel that way, to wonder what could have been, how differently things could have played out, and of course there is usually a strong urge to pay one’s respects.
When the desire to pass on sincere condolences collides with the uncertainty of potentially offending the family with your gesture I choose to err on the side of caution so as to not bring any further hurt to people already in grieving.
Realistically it is possible to pay one’s respects without anyone knowing, leaving flowers at a later date or even just praying for the deceased is better than nothing when you really are unsure of what would be acceptable by the family.
I Choose To Be Silent This Time
From the lady who sadly passed away, I have learned that there is a time to stay silent, and there is a time to speak up. And although our views differ greatly on when to speak up and when to stay silent. I am choosing to pay my respects for her in silence without contacting the family. Hopefully it’s the right thing to do.
But I Know When To Speak Out!
Just as with anything in life, there is a time and a place to remain quiet. Domestic violence is not one of those times. It feels like almost every week the news headlines includes a heart wrenching story of a woman losing her life by her partner’s hand. It has got to stop somewhere. Recognising that it is a devastatingly flawed part of very old cultural beliefs could be a small step in the right direction to keeping everyone safe.
Heaven only knows why we were given the magnificent opportunity of life when we were placed on this wondrous Earth. I do know one thing for certain though, it was never for anyone of us to endure intentional and malicious violence. You are an equal who deserves as much love, kindness and respect as anyone else. Some traditions are worth sacrificing for safety, not just for women, but for mankind.
Have you ever been a victim of antiquated cultural beliefs? Tell us in the comments below.