#16DaysOfActivism 2018

December 10, 2018by Wanjiku J. Kiarie1

Violence in the Family

MENTAL and EMOTIONAL gender based VIOLENCE is one of the most normalized forms of violence within the family unit. It manifests in many ways:
*Parent against Parent
*Parent against Children
*Children against Parent
*Children against Children

PATRIARCHY is the bedrock upon which MENTAL and EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE flourishes. MISOGYNY which is one of the first fruits of patriarchy is the most formidable weapon used to execute MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE.

That the family unit, which is ideally supposed to be the place of safety and comfort for girls and women becomes the very center of these forms of violence is one of the reasons why most of the victims choose SILENCE. If they are being violated at home, where else would they go.

SOCIETY and RELIGION do not offer any solace either. They are the greatest upholders and supporters of PATRIARCHY and all its offshoots.


This is one of the ways that MENTAL and EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE is perpetrated, once again within its greatest stronghold – the Family Unit.

GASLIGHTING is when an abuser causes their victim to DOUBT their reality.

WORDS are the primary means of GASLIGHTING

So a perpetrator will say WORDS like:
“You are not good enough”
“You are mentally lazy”
“There is something wrong with you”
“Why can’t you be like XYZ”
“You are crazy”
“Grow up!”

If you read those statements above carefully and include all their known relatives, you will realise they all have one thing in common: AMBIGUITY.

There is no concrete issue being pointed out.

The result is that a VICTIM of MENTAL and EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE begins to DOUBT themselves, their capacity and their abilities.
And when they internalize the constant and continuous WORDS, the results is a slow decline in MENTAL and EMOTIONAL health.

One of the tragic aspects about GASLIGHTING is that perpetrators are not satisfied to do their work in isolation , NOOOOOOO! They create circles of GASLIGHTING around their victims.

They have the victim right in the middle. Who after internalizing all the LIES of the perpetrator and forever trying to reach the ever moving goal posts begins to DISINTEGRATE. They begin to prove all the ACCUSATIONS of the perpetrator right.

The Perpetrator then has another ring of people surrounding the VICTIM in the middle. These are first family and friends. It is so unfortunate that many times family and friends are turned against their very own. The next ring is of the perpetrators family and friends. These ones are easy to convince because they will easily believe what their own is telling them. Outer rings consists of different publics including religious, general society and some perpetrators even include the government authorities.

Picture this VICTIM in the middle on fire, the perpetrator adding more wood to the fire with their WORDS. See the rings of PUBLICS surrounding the VICTIM in layers. As the VICTIM goes up in flames what does the perpetrator say:


Walking Dead

MENTAL and EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE produces a kind of BROKENNESS in its victims that I find hard to put in words.

You must have come across it or been the exhibitor of such brokenness.

✅When light goes off in a persons eyes
✅When they slump down/forward and never walk straight again
✅When they jump at every raised voice
✅When a person life slowly ebbs out of a person
✅When confidence and esteem is a foreign concept in a person
✅When they begin to have conversations that are incoherent
✅When they get sudden tremors and trembles in the presence of their abusers
✅When a person lets go of their dreams, ambitions and plans
✅When a persona lets go, and not in a good sense of the word!

There is DEATH, the physical death, then there is the WALKING DEAD. 
They are alive, or seem to be alive; mostly because they are breathing but apart from breathing in and out they are DEAD

That is what MENTAL and EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE does to its VICTIMS.

When you look at your MOTHER, your SISTER, your GIRLFRIEND, your DAUGHTER and cannot for the life of you recognize them anymore.
When you look at them and wonder, what happened to you? Why do you look . . . and the words cannot be formed in your mouth


It takes a toll on any ‘Strong Woman’

No Person should have to have their STRENGTH tested or proved by being subjected to MENTAL and EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE

Withstanding MENTAL and EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE should not be how society measures the STRENGTH of a WOMAN!

We have the WALKING DEAD among us.
They live with us. 
They laugh with us.
They are our MOTHERS.
They are our SISTERS.
They are our GIRLFRIENDS.
They are our DAUGHTERS.

Look beyond the SMILES. Look Beyond the SILENCE. Look beyond the BUSYNESS. Look beyond the SOLITUDE.

You will be shocked at the SCARS you see. The SCARS that are not PHYSICAL but MENTAL and EMOTIONAL

. . . .

The abusers of these WOMEN are not from Mars!

They are our FATHERS.
They are our BROTHERS.
They are our BOYFRIENDS.
They are our SONS.


If you are one of them, TURN YOUR WAYS. SEEK FOR HELP.


The take all the necessary steps to actualize your CHOICE!

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