November 27, 2008
Rich, poor; young, old; pretty, plain, beautiful, ugly; mean-minded, generous; sweet-tempered, bad-tempered; mousey, bolshy; academic, illiterate; child-free, pregnant; mother, sister, daughter, cousin; insecure, confident; obliging, stubborn; acute, slow; professional, unprofessional; feminist, anti-feminist; thin, fat; short, tall; traveller, settler; journalist, teacher, housewife, gardener; web-designer, house-designer, film-star, extra, shelf-stacker, shop assistant, writer, musician, judge, juror… tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, butcher, baker, candlestickmaker…
(Photo found on Flickr)
Since working in the field, people have asked me “what type of woman ‘puts up with’ domestic violence?”. The above list is my answer. There is no ‘type’. Domestic violence knows no boundaries. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just middle-aged or married women who suffer abuse in the home – in fact, young women are more at risk.
1 in 4 or more of us experiences sexual violence at some time in our lives, and 1 in 5 of us experiences abuse in the home, a place we normally associate with sanctuary, peace – our inner selves.
Shouldn’t we be asking what makes an abuser?
We are now into day three of the 16 Days Campaign, an International campaign started in 1991 to link violence against women with human rights – to show that such violence is a violation of a woman’s human rights. There is much more info here.