Author Topic: speaking out - not mental health, but sure as hell causes it  (Read 3101 times)

Otter

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should asian women speak out about domestic violence to female adults and children in the UK?

in the past we have been told not to, as fuel racism, but it is true and as true should we be voicing something?

sorry rock between hard place question

I do not think the mental health of victims should not excuse crimes

like there is any excuse for crimes?

edit > added a warning triangle because of upsetting  content further down the thread - Sunshine
« Last Edit: 30 Dec 2012 10:32AM by SunshineMeadows »

Sunny Clouds

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I think it's a matter of how it's done.

For example compare:

"As an Asian woman I was subject to violence and abuse."

"My culture teaches that women should be respected but my husband ignored that and I was the subject of violence and abuse."

"I was subject to violence and abuse, and I want to speak out to help people to understand that this affects women of all cultures."

Each approach would have its place in a different context.

If you want to go public as opposed to speaking locally, make sure you've got your soundbites ready.  If you want a photo-opportunity, consider whether there are any visibly different women you can appear with. 

Depending on context consider a quote from a male community leader or key figure who can endorse what you say and make it clear that the weight of the male view is behind you.  This cuts across the stereotype of male Asian men as oppressing women. 

I'm sure others will have more thoughts on this.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Those are really sound points, Sunny, especially in regard to input from men in the Asian community  >thumbsup<

I do not think the mental health of victims should not excuse crimes

Otter, did you mean, you don't think that the mental ill-health of victims should excuse crimes? (bit of a 'double negative' there!)  I'd go further and say that if a victim is mentally (or physically) impaired, it makes the crime even worse as the perp is taking further advantage of their victim's vulnerability (yes, disabled people can be vulnerable, though I know some on BBC Ouch! were uncomfortable with the word - it depends on the situations we might find ourselves in) - and that indicates an even greater degree of callousness on the part of the abuser.

And no, there aren't any excuses for this sort of crime as far as I'm concerned.  I know that some survivors turn into abusers themselves, but a lot of them don't - so there has to be an element of personal choice in this behaviour. 

I'm all for victims/survivors speaking out as much as they can - silence is continuing power to the abusers!

auntieCtheM

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Unthinking people will always say all people of a certain racial group, age, whatever, are exactly the same.  But we all know that people are individuals and different.

If it stops just one person being injured, harassed or abused in any way then the answer is to stand up and speak out.

The more people that do something when they know, the easier it will be for the next set of people to report matters of concern.  Someone has to start the ball rolling.

devine63

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Hi Otter

Sunny and the others have made some very good points.  I believe that it is important to speak the truth - and if the truth is that some Asian men ignore their culture's teachings and abuse women - especially where those women are vulnerable due to disability or social isolation or poverty or any other factor - then I believe we should speak out.
regards, Deb

Sunshine Meadows

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The thing about domestic violence is that the actual hitting is a symptom of a bad relationship where one person or group of people have power over another. In the UK is not acceptable for a white person man or women to be subjected to domestic violence so why should Asian women and children be treated any differently- that would be racism. If community leaders and the Asian community in general don't want some people to think it is cultural trait then Asian men, fathers, brothers and sons dominate women and children they themselves need speak out and encourage a name and shame policy.

A person's mental health issues should never be used as a reason for saying something that is not okay is okay. There are two choices really one the family gets help in finding ways to stop situations escalating into violence or community/society helps those who are vulnerable get out of abusive situations.

The week before Christmas I saw a news item on the tv saying that funding to help people escape domestic violence had been cut and this was going to make the Christmas period particularly difficult for people who needed a safe place to be. The government rattles on about the economy and recession etc but if society becomes more broken I dont really see the point in mending the economy. It is like wearing a expensive suit without changing their underwear.

myrtlemaid

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Id say its important to speak out BUT make sure it is safe to do so get support from others in similar position and decide as a group exactly what you want to say and achieve so that you look confident of your message .

If you are going to adress the media etc then you need someone who can answer questions confidently and clearly and who can remain calm and polite when asked questions that may appear critical.
If you have a true and loyal friend you indeed have a goodly share of lifes riches

Otter

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Kizzy, thanks for rewording
and everyone else for your advice

domestic violence interestingly is general suffered by women and children in more affluent families- those with aspirations that can pan out, add the opportunities of the west and you have a timebomb

women in hindu society are less than men, regardless of caste. Lower caste, poorer women are less likely to threaten this status quo, but a show of independence, wealth and confidence and you are in danger from those threatened by these display

sati still happens, dowry deaths are rife (dowries are illegal), female infantcide (post ultrasound), slavery of unwanted girls, torment of widows- are a wealth thing, if you have it, you can gt away with it. The Police are worse than mexico.

that said the figures given for Delhi; population 15 million - 600 rapes a year, UK; population 63 million - 280 rapes a day...

poor lass has died and I really hope that do through the book at the culprits and start to change the culture. To call these practices heinous as they are eve teasing; a flippant poke fun phase which makes me want to vomit does reflect some light on the issue at hand

devine63

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Hi Otter

I am not sure you can really compare the rape figures like that - I doubt if the definition of rape being used in the two countries is the same (in UK it includes date rape and rape within marriage and the figure you quoted is probably still under-reported).

I am sorry to hear that the woman died: I assume you are referring to the woman who was flown to Singapore for treatment after she was gang raped?
regards, Deb

auntieCtheM

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I was horrified by that story.  And she was not alone, a male friend was with her.  I do wonder how he is, poor chap.

Those with power are loath to give it up.  They will always struggle to keep hold of it.  Rape is about power, not sex, that is why rape is used during wars in many countries still.

I do not understand how some people can be so cruel to other human beings, I really do not.

Sunny Clouds

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What I find worse than this case is that there have been countless cases of women being raped, including penetration by a variety of objects including bottles, knives and rifle barrels in various in Africa over quite some period of time and there isn't this level of outrage in this country. 

It's not just a war-zone thing in Africa, either.  In 2009, South Africa's Medical Research Council carried out research and concluded that in SA, one man in four has committed rape.

After the war in the former republic of Yugoslavia, there was outrage over the number of rapes but little concern about how violent they were, rather an emphasis on the ethnic cleansing nature of them.  (Make the enemy have your babies, turn the next generation of their community into mixed-ethnicity and so on.)

So well done to all the Indian protesters that have made their protest so big that the international media has taken it up and made it headline news.

I feel guilty that I haven't been on a slutwalk.  (Protest marches where women dress sluttily to draw attention to the way when women are assaulted/raped, how they dress gets used as an excuse.)  I remember this from law school.  We were taught an analogy.

So you were walking home from the office alone?
Yes.
You didn't think to take a taxi?
No.
And you were wearing a suit and tie and smart shoes?
Yes, but what's...
Just answer the the questions.  Is it true that you were carrying a wallet containing credit cards and a quantity of cash?
Yes
So you were dressed in clothes indicating that you have money and were carrying money and walking alone after dark?
Yes, but...
I put it to you that you have no one but yourself to blame for having your wallet stolen.  Indeed, I further put it to you that you enjoy having your wallet stolen and for that purpose were willing to go out alone where there could be thieves and were willing to dress in a manner that would encourage thieves to steal your wallet.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Otter

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Debs, you may be right, I can't make the comparsion sorry for putting a paw in it

the case in India is now murder unfortunately but should have been charged as attempted murder with looking for serial traits as soon as it came to light - basically as this group of men in the private bus were out looking for their next victims

truely horrible

and there have been occasions where women in Bradford, including me, have been approached/ grabbed and had to fight off being pushed into cars full of gearing young men - certainly something cultural going on

Sunny I'm also astonished that the african cases do not make the news, vile the subject is there has to be some political motivation here to reporting some not others.

Women in India, particularly in the cities are very active in demonstrations for female and family issues, there are huge demos daily, why isn't the west covering more of them?

the other issue for India is its not just women that get a raw deal - there's no welfare state. A lot of men suffer extreme human rights abuses too. I think India's issue is its too big to be one country.

I am hoping the British are not planning to re-invade >yikes<


Sunny Clouds

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The main invasion the one by the British East India Company, wasn't it?  I.e. it started with a financial/business invasion (obviously with the politicians and powerful up to their necks in it).  We'd never have taken over politically if those commercial interests hadn't been there.  That's much of what happened (and still happens) around the world with the British Empire and now happens with the American Empire and in Africa is well under way with a growing Chinese Empire.  (Ok, they haven't got emperors, but they've got pretty imperialistic leaders just as we have and had.)

When did we ever stick our oar into another country unless we thought we'd gain financially by it, getting cheap resources or cheap labour or both? 

But then the class of people that have done that over the centuries did the same to common people here over centuries of creeping Enclosure Acts, making them more and more dependent on the work provided by businesses.

India's only hope is a counter-attack commercially, making friends with the big international corporations.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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I have added a warning triangle.

I was watching the news last night and there was a item on the rape in Indian, there are a lot of people protesting particularly women but also younger men. They want things to change but the question is how can it be achieved.

devine63

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Hi

apologies, Otter I did not mean to be critical over the statistics, whatever the numbers rape is far too common an event.

I agree with auntie that rape is not about sex, it's about anger / power - if anyone is interested in evidence of that get hold of a copy of the original "Hite Report on Male Sexuality" by Dr. Shere Hite (from 1970s - many public libraries have access to a copy).  It contains a whole chapter of questionnaire responses from men who have raped - and they were very clear about that (men who had not raped tended to think of it as about sex).

regards, Deb