THE EDITOR: People in TT abuse their partners because they believe they have the right to control the other person.
The abusive person thinks they know best. They believe they should be in charge of the relationship. They think unequal relationships are ideal.
Abuse is a learned behaviour. One does not awake a morning and abuse. Abusers witness it growing up. They learn it from friends or popular culture.
No matter where it is learned it is not OK and never justified.
Many people experience or witness abuse from young but decide not to use those negative and hurtful ways of behaving as adults.
I have heard some say, “If he doesn’t beat you, he doesn’t love you.” They see it as correcting behaviour.
I do not subscribe to that philosophy. My wife has a black belt in karate. If we cannot make it together I will make a hasty retreat.
It is imperative to comprehend that abuse is a choice, and it is not the one that anyone in TT should make.
Anyone can be abusive and anyone can be the victim of abuse. It occurs regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race or economic background. Both females and males are subjected to abuse.
Why do people stay in abusive relationships? Some believe abuse is normal. Many are embarrassed. Others are fearful. Some stay for religious and cultural reasons. Some because of pregnancy and parenting. Most have nowhere to go and lack money.
How can we help? Be supportive and listen to them. Do not judge. Leaving an unhealthy, abusive relationship is never easy.
Abuse affects all.