First Lady, Sandra Granger in a recent interview with the Ministry of Presidency, noted that male-dominated roles portrayed in advertisements and television shows help to fuel domestic violence.
“This image which is perpetrated in our advertisements and some of our shows of this muscled macho man proving his strength and his power wherever he goes, we can have an equally powerful male who does not have to lift a finger and doesn’t have to shout and be abusive to prove he is a man.”
The First Lady is urging persons to start looking at the root causes of domestic violence and what ignites such violence, especially in men. The First Lady believes doing this will enable a better understanding of this issue.
“What is also causing all the neighbours to sit around or stand around and either be entertained by the woman being beaten or abused or just keep quiet because it is not their business,” the First Lady said.
She spoke out on the issue after two women were recently killed by their partners within four days on the East Coast of Demerara.
On August 21, 44-year-old Vinnette Headley-James, a mother of eight was stabbed to death by her husband at their Nabaclis Side Line Dam home.
A few days later, on August 25, a mother of three, 27-year-old Shamaine Frank was also stabbed death by her reputed husband at her Victoria Village home.
“Are the egos of our males so stunted that they cannot accept that a woman decides: I don’t think I want to go with you anymore?
“Or if she [answers] him back he can decide: this is not ‘respectful to him’,” the First Lady said.
The First Lady wants women to know that a life of abuse is not normal. She also noted domestic violence is not only physical violence.
“We would have seen a manifestation of the physical nature of domestic violence but there is also violence against the person which could be psychological abuse, I mean really belittling a person in any relationship is a symbol of the power of the perpetrator.”
Domestic violence is prevalent in communities across the country and does not know ethnicity or race. It was also highlighted that domestic violence is perpetrated by a small percentage of females, when compared to males.
The First Lady recommended that the human and family life education start at the nursery level.
“I think we have to look at this, how do we perceive each other and it goes back to the kind of training and socialization that our children get from the inception.”
Meanwhile, she noted that families and the law also play a role in encouraging domestic violence, as families often times say ‘go back to your husband’.
The First Lady also expressed her disappointment when a lot of these cases are not prosecuted to the full extent of the law because the victims feel sorry for their perpetrators.
“My view has always been if a case is reported regardless of what comes after, regardless of whatever compensation the perpetrator may pay to the victim, the case must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and people have to understand that this is a serious crime.”
According to the First Lady, women need to be more educated and empowered, so they will not be easily trapped in relationships and the men need male role models in the home.