But how come that in most troubled partnerships, it is the woman who gets the black-and-blues?
The recent controversy involving political figure Chavit Singson and common law wife Che Tiongson is a perfect example of a domestic dispute that has resulted in violence. Save for the personalities involved, it would have been any other violent spat between a couple... with the woman at the losing end.
It is an awful truth that prior to the establishment of RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, police officers would commonly regard wife battering as “away mag-asawa lang” [a lovers' quarrel only].
Away mag-asawa is a fact of life. In as far as couples are concerned, it is normal and to a certain point, even healthy. But violence is not.
Clearly, quarrels are manifestations of power struggles, which occur even in the most fundamental of relationships – like that of a mother and daughter. While, obviously, it is the mother whose role as a parent automatically gives her the power, it is different when the struggle involves two adults with no apparent lines of authority; both with own opinions to insist and own tendencies to express.
Both men and women bear the tendency to hurt another, which is sadly, easily expressed within the close range of the people they live with. This is the worst kind of violence - that, which occurs within the gated four walls we call home.
Yes, it is true that men are also victims of violence. However, most advocacies are focused on women simply because there are more instances of physical aggression inflicted against women. And as Hope Basiao-Abella, chair of the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse, says, “abuses against women persist because they continue to be perceived as the ‘weaker sex’.
The struggle for power implies a quest for triumph and defeat. Less diplomatic persons tend to settle such mere lover's quarrel by means of force. In this case, men have the biological advantage which they use against their partners whose helplessness is worsened by their economic dependence. (Do we hear Che Tiongson here?)
The Magna Carta of Women should put an end to VAW. On top of their male partners, it should liberate marginalized women from the oppressing norms and circumstances that the society has long put them in.
“…where power predominates, there love is lacking.”
- Carl Jung
- Carl Jung
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