So I just saw a report on Sky News that one of their own sports presenters is going to run 250 miles in seven days to raise awareness of domestic abuse and all I can is, bloody well done and the best of luck to her.
But hang on, is that all I can say? Err no.
The cause to which Charlie Webster under takes is admirable and heroic in my opinion, having been a victim of abuse herself, I myself also first hand, this is clearly an issue in society close to our hearts as it should be with everyone; however, it is the constant cause that never seems to be a means to an end.
What do I mean by that?
Do we really need more “awareness”? Do we really need to keep asking “why”? My answer to that is twofold, obviously awareness and why is always in need of constant replenishment in the minds of us all, but that is simply not going far enough.
Why? Because we have lots of awareness, lots of people asking why, very few or else no one is providing answers and this is the real issue here.
It is a very risky thing to say, “I understand why that person raped you!” it’s a very risky thing to say, “I know why that person beat you up at home!” it’s a very risky thing to say, “I understand why that paedophile molested that child!” It is in fact, social suicide and/or street cred annihilation.
If I was to say any of the aforementioned statements; immediately, I would be seen as having sympathy for the devil, simply because the word “understand” is anecdotally synonymous with understanding and sympathy as well as care and allowance for the perpetration of these criminal acts.
And here within lies the problem, what if “understand” was synonymous with science, psychiatry, comprehension of the complexity of individualism and above all else, education. For example, actor Patrick Stewart, whose father beat up his mother on regular occasions, later discovered that his father had undiagnosed shell shock or the modern equivalent of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and now he says he campaigns for both the awareness & stoppage of domestic violence as well as the all important understanding as to the cause of it, but Patrick Stewart is only one man.
It is not good enough to send a perpetrator of violence to anger management classes when they may have, for argument sakes, severe alcohol or drug addiction, undiagnosed psychosis or schizophrenia (when voices convince the patient to abuse) or DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder where the individual’s mind has created a violent personality, or as was the case with Patrick Stewart’s father, undiagnosed PTSD; is anger management or basic counselling really that affective in situations such as this?
Every attacker is as individual as their victims so thus, unless we resist this constant desire to use the paint of generalisation and tar all with the same brush of convenience, we simply will never be able to comprehend the answers to “why” once we have the “awareness”.
Unfortunately, it is a social ill in the mindset of society that the “awareness” and the “why” is acceptable but the understanding of it, is seen as unethical thus written into law as well as the cut backs, the lack of science and the embellishment into the psyche of the many that “understanding” in these cases is a facade to evil; it simply isn’t, and here within is a real problem.
Don’t get me wrong, under no circumstances does this go in any way a direction of excusing domestic violence or abuse of any kind; it is a violent act, due process must take place and it must stop, but it won’t unless we answer these questions.
So thus, I truly feel that we need to enter a very uncomfortable and new dimension of thinking to ever truly answer the question, “why” and to ever bring about real awareness and real change by tackling the psychological determinants of abuse, the mindset of perpetrators and the ultimate goal of all the aforementioned as a coming about of social healing in the way of, a cure, imagine that? Would be nice wouldn’t it?
Thank you for reading