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THE HIDDEN SIDE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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It is an undeniable fact that both women and men can be victims of violence, but obviously to differing degrees.

Women are more prone to be victims of domestic violence than men. The claim of gender parity when it comes to domestic violence is derailing and dangerous at worst. But it is nothing new; it has always popped out of men’s rights activists since at least the 1970s. No matter how much, and despite the self-presenting evidence, its advocates continue to regurgitate their position. I know for a fact that in cases of domestic abuse, the police will need physical indicators of the violence as well as witnesses to back-up your claim; forgetting that abuse need not have physical scars as evidence. Actually, that type of abuse is the most dangerous because people are less likely to believe you, but one would expect the police to know better, and take proper action.

I always shudder with hope at the thought of how much violence could be reduced if Swazi police were more proactive than reactive. But, with every gruesome crime that could have been prevented, this thought remains wishful thinking.
I have no desire to deny any man’s reality, but denying women’s much greater suffering as victims of domestic violence is a political act. It is an indirect way of declaring war against women. The differences between men’s and women’s use of violence and experiences of victimisation need not be minimised or denied for all victims to be deserving of safety and support. Motives for aggression have always been perceived as reactive - responding to a perceived threat such as defending oneself when being attacked, and proactive - initiated with the goal of dominating, controlling, threatening or bullying someone else.

In most cases where women use violence against men it is usually the former motive, the latter representing that of men. The questions that we should be asking are; why do men terrorise their partners? Why does the community allow battering to continue? People believe that if the battered woman really wanted to leave she could get up and go. Many people overlook the environmental, cultural and legal barriers that keep women from leaving.

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: Swazi tradition
Is Swazi tradition discriminative of women in political positions in the country?