When you live with depression and anxiety you have a tendency to think deeply about life.
It saddened me when I heard that the infamous Adrian Bailey had been convicted of other sex crimes not related to his violation and killing of Jill Meagher. And, it saddened me to know that a 17-year-old school girl could not walk safely in her own neighbourhood. But what saddens me more is to think that thousands of women around the country are living in fear of the one person who has vowed to honour and protect her.
Oh, that’s right, we don’t make those vows in our society any more. We find the idea of one person appearing to be stronger than another repulsive to our politically correct ears. We find the idea of making promises to love and cherish too much of a burden. And, we think that as long as we’re open minded and modern about life that all the expense and hoo-ha that needs to go on simply to register your union with the correct authority seems a little, well, um, expensive and over the top.
It’s a good thing that we’ve taken the opportunity to ‘liberate’ women and release them from a life of servitude. To allow them to become independent and recognised for their unique and substantial contribution to the world. We’ve been provided the right to equal pay for equal work! We’ve been provided the opportunity to enter the echelons of our once patriarchal society! We’ve been provided the opportunity to be recognised for our back-seat intelligence and moved to sit up front with the driver! And, we’ve been given the right to make choices for ourselves without deferring to our male ‘owner’!
It’s a good life we women should be having in the wake of the original suffragettes.
Sadly in our euphoria about being able to secure a bank mortgage in our own name we have forgotten that nestled inside the original fight was the right of women to not be physically ‘disciplined’ by their ‘husband’. To be treated with respect and care in relation to our physical and emotional needs.
Yes I’m sad about the fact that two women have lost their lives at the hands of a total strangers. But I’m more sad about the fact that such rare crimes seem to be the most newsworthy. These two women worthily appear as innocent victims, however the lack of newsworthiness about woman who are killed by their own ‘husband’, appears to suggest they are somewhat complicit in their own death. Even we women are known to question the willingness of a woman beaten by her husband, to remain in the relationship. And we are wrong to do so.
Women, on the whole, do not choose to be beaten and killed by the man they love. Nor do they deserve it. Often these relationships are so emotionally complicated that it’s impossible to determine how best to proceed. When we fail to grasp the complexity of human relationships we are subjected to live in the ignorance that simply by applying rational thought we will provide a breakthrough. Telling a man that it’s inappropriate to beat his wife and listing a range of negative physical, financial, social and emotional consequences will likely not turn him into a docile life partner.
Likewise, serving his favourite meal, on time, at the correct temperature, with the correct condiments and in the outfit he says makes you look fabulous will not save you from another hit.
Violence is generally not generated by a series of logical and rational thoughts and when we see or hear of women inside violent relationships, our first question should not be about why she chooses to stay. Our first question should be about how we are to respond to such an epidemic in our community.
Today from Hebrews 13:3: Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
If you need to talk to someone NOW call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Deb Shugg is an awarded businesswoman, wife & mother, author and a sufferer of depression and anxiety.
If you need help to deal with your symptoms see your doctor.
(Abuse of another person is NEVER okay. If you are being abused or, if you are an abuser please seek help.)