Keep your Voices Ringing against Domestic Violence!

“We knew all along that He was hitting her’, she said.

“And you did nothing?’, I answered all perplexed.

All what I got from her was a smirk and a nod from her head.

That is what puzzles and perplexes: the ability to turn away from the atrocities of marital abuse, the constant convincing that what is happening must be emanating from the weak nature of the woman, or her incessant nagging, or even her indirect asking to be beaten up.  What adds to that is sometimes the knowledge of the whole family about what is going on between the spouses and the clear stand of what goes on in a house is strictly private.  No one has the right to step in, not even if it is a matter of life and death. In Lebanon, there is no law to protect the woman in the case of marital abuse.  None.  And that is all because of the sanctity of the institution of marriage. The man is the head of the family, therefore he has the right and duty to keep his wife in line, even if that meant beating her.

This past Sunday saw a protest against such ideas and preconceptions.  This past Sunday, women from different levels in the Lebanese society marched to end domestic violence and to appeal for the government to put in action a law protecting wives.  This is a very serious matter.  It goes beyond explanation the right to ensure that every person lives with no fear of the other, no matter who that other is.  Marriage brings people together with love and respect to their different identities and beings.  No one party has the right to force opinions or behaviors on the other.

This past Sunday, women marched, and this is going to be a long journey towards respect and freedom, so keep your voices ringing.


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