17 July 2017 | Opinion
This week we carried a chilling picture on the front page of a woman who was severely beaten by her lover and later succumbed to her injuries. On social media we were castigated by some readers for being insensitive and unprofessional. It is the democratic right of our readers and we respect everyone’s view. But we laud the family for giving us the picture and its good intention to expose the seriousness of gender based violence in this country. A picture says a thousand words. If this terrible picture tugged at the hearts of our readers, what about the children who witness such brutality in real life? Let us not be too quick to judge and castigate, but learn to appreciate the good intentions of the media. The good intention of the family was to expose the gravity of gender based violence in this country. The picture will no doubt serve to save the lives of many women and men who may be suffering silently in abusive relationships. GBV is a challenge that requires serious intervention and not the milquetoast attitude from the gender ministry and other stakeholders. In any storm we face individually or, as a nation, we must learn to look for the silver lining in the cloud. Statistics indicate that many of the GBV victims meet their fate because, for social and cultural reasons, they chose to stick in the abusive relationships. What couples in abusive relationships must realise is that, violence of this magnitude seizes to be a domestic or personal issue but a national heartache. It calls for the need to intensify awareness campaigns to urge victims to end abusive relationships. Calls have been made in campaigns for the public to speak out and to report to the police the people they know are enslaved in abusive relationships. The people caged in abusive unions need encouragement to break these chains of their “love” bondage. Many laws and policies that didn’t recognise the repertoire of gender based violence have been amended or introduced. We are just fulfilling our roles as watchdogs and we will bark where there is transgression for the transformation to take place.