Abuse- the cycle repeats itself

Abuse – the cycle repeats itselfPinky Ramokoka

By staying silent the cycle repeats itself. Do you know somebody who is being abused? Think carefully before you answer this question.

Abuse does not always take the form of the overt, physical kind, and you don’t have to be the actual abuser to feel guilty.

Abuse can sometimes be far more subtle, not quite as sinister. A manager may belittle an employee in a meeting, a husband may attack his wife, a parent or relative may hit a child and so on.

If you are a witness to any of these forms of abuse, you need to speak up.

By not doing so, you contribute to a cycle that is allowed to continue unabated. Because of perceived social etiquette, many people may ignore abuse and prefer not to get involved.

This allows the ripple effect of abuse to continue. People who “stay out of it” may as well stand hand in hand with the abuser.

I am not suggesting that you roll up your sleeves and confront a violent abuser, or personally take on an abusive manager. Most often victims of abuse need support and that’s where everybody can help.

Let them know that they are not alone and that they have your support. Victims of abuse often think that it is their fault that they are abused and this perpetuates feelings of exclusion and lowliness.

When abuse is not stopped it spreads, consider a child who sees his uncle berating and abusing his aunt. His parents make no reference to it.

While that child may not have abusive parents or learn abusive behaviour from them, he will grow with the acceptance that abuse of women and ignoring that abuse is not ok; 'mom and dad can do no wrong', 'they never raised any objection – so hey, it’s ok'.

We may not be able to do anything about the way things have been done in the past, but we can certainly initiate change by taking one small step to change the way things are done in the future.

Don’t allow people to be frozen out of the working environment; don’t allow derogatory remarks to be passed about or to a fellow employee.

There may be many reasons why a person is abusive, but there is never justification for abusive behaviour. Do not play a part in seeing the cycle repeat itself by staying silent!


Numsa News