OUR VIEW: Speak, before the dam breaks

A spike in domestic violence in B.C. this year is a stark reminder that more must be done to educate

A spike in domestic violence in B.C. this year is a stark reminder that more must be done to address the reasons why men focus their emotional disturbance on women they know.

More often than not, it’s women who suffer at the hands of their male partners in cases of domestic violence. There are certainly studies and case files of why men become violent and their inappropriate actions towards women and others. This isn’t an attempt to analyze what is going through someone’s mind when a relationship ends or life’s stresses become almost unbearable.

It’s a call to politicians, activists, health care professionals and law enforcement agencies to not just leap to the defence of victims after the fact, but to provide resources to anyone when they need help dealing with massive and unwelcome change — ideally before the dam breaks.

It’s also a call to parents, family and friends to confront emotions and uncomfortable situations with their loved ones head-on and change attitudes about how men deal with it. This is not responding to violence with violence — it’s simply a request to be willing to talk about life with a friend or partner instead of avoiding it, keeping it balled up inside and allowing it to fester. It’s about eliminating the concept of shame when to indulge in it is not appropriate for an individual or their social circles.

It’s also about an individual being responsible for their reactions to any given situation, stressful or not.

Only the individual can control how they react and if we want them to avoid violence, they need the tools in their lives to take a better path than the one that leads them to violence against another person.

Everyone needs to speak up — if they feel threatened or if they are in crisis — men and women.

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