THE EDITOR: When I am made aware of abuse in any form a “good anger” will arise in me as a person. It is totally wrong for someone to be abusive whether verbally or physically towards another human being.
The statistics for abuse in our small island of just 1.3 million amaze me. A report by the Children’s Authority reveal that in a nine-month period from 2015 to 2016 there were some 4,158 reported cases of child abuse. Also the Crime and Problem Analysis Branch (CAPA) of the TTPS said, from 2010 to 2015, 11,441 cases of domestic violence were reported. Seventy-five per cent of the cases were of violence against women. The death toll coming out of this was 131, 56 per cent of which were women.
This, in my opinion, has gotten worse judging from the cries you are hearing from many, even our very leaders. Many have offered suggestions to deal with the problem such as legislation, advice to people being abused to report it or not stay in the abusive relationship etc. Now I agree fully with these suggestions, but my plea to all our women – and I am basically speaking to them in this instance – is to be careful with the men you are entering relationships with. This may be a little strange coming from someone of the male gender but I do have a wife, sisters, nieces and the list goes on.
Prevention is always better than cure. Take time to know that person, do all the background checks, observe and listen well. It is said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” The truth of that person will manifest itself. Give it time. Be patient. Some may say that, “They change after a while.” I don’t, necessarily, disagree with that but how many women, because of other reasons, still enter a relationship although the signs of pending abuse are there?
Women, sisters, at the end of the day you are responsible for your safety. The power of choice is in your hands. Please use that power to your advantage. I beg you: protect yourself.
Arnold Gopeesingh, San Juan