Many a time we have rallied our energies towards the fight against domestic violence in many ways ranging from music, advocacy, drama, poems among others. Despite their impact, the target is in most cases physical violence in form of wife and husband beating. However, there is more to domestic violence than just physical beating or battering.
A random study shows that many young ladies face ‘invisible’ violence. Whereas violence is mostly related to drunkenness or alcoholism among others, one point that is rarely highlighted is forced marriages!
Though considered traditional or out of date, forced marriages are still practiced by many communities and families. Young girls are increasingly being forced into marriages not only at a younger age, but also to partners they do not consent to. Prior to the marriage, the woman or girl usually does not know some essential details about her partner like his discipline, character and in most cases does not have any emotional attachment to him.
African tradition dictates that a child, as long as he or she has not yet got married, does not have the right information to make a sound decision so basically, their decisions are taken by the ‘more’ experienced ones in life and these are in most cases parents. In issues concerning marriages, parents insist that their decisions must prevail and failure to do so leads to curses which every daughter is not willing to carry so they easily give in to the choices of their parents.
In most cases, these girls work the assumption that ‘something’ will develop when you live with the person, a myth that has led to forceful sex encounters or marital rape, psychological torture, disillusionment that at times results into death and many more which affect the joy and happiness of an individual. This in a way is one form of domestic violence that is often over looked.
These girls face the challenges of adjusting to the character, style and behavior of their partners as a way of appeasing the husband. Men should be able to resist such moves but in case it comes your way, they must be ready and flexible enough to appreciate those individuals instead of dictating their lives.
Furthermore, men should also learn to be humane and understand that people are different they should therefore appreciate the difference in our interests. All humans deserve to live in dignity and happily and no one has a right to frustrate the happiness of the other, we must therefore act humane to diffuse and fight the negativity eating at us instead of resorting to fighting and beating as a way of communicating.
Parents should also appreciate their responsibility as far as bringing up a child but not be their decision makers.