Stop the Abuse!
Understanding abuse is not merely dividing the world population in the dichotomy of the abusers and the abused. It is more complex than that. When a person abuses another or become abused, that person becomes vulnerable to be involved in another abusive encounter in the future, either as the dominant or the abused party. The person's vulnerability to abuse depends on the experiences he or she get from the world. The more selfishness a person encounters, the risk of engaging to abuses increases. When we say selfishness, this pertains to having an excessive need to over-power another to feel more self-worth. Hence, if we do not make ourselves aware of our tendencies, we may have contributed to abuses unconciously that may involve ourselves and others.
Being selfish is man's nature. We can not avoid it. Excessiveness of selfishness is partly not within man's control. Because protecting our ego is mostly unconscious, hurting another for our own sake maybe inevitable. So how do we stop abuse? If we can not entirely stop man's egoistic nature, we can however stop from becoming the person to be abused. Most abuses take time, thereby implying a consensual relationship between the abuser and the abused. The abuse did not take place without the consent from the person being abused. It may sound stupid, but people sometimes become codependent with the abuser, because of a perceived benefit has been anticipated in the end. The abuse becomes a process or means to achieve something better in the point of view of the person being abused.
Say for example, domestic violence. We have always heard the abused partner reasoning that he or she may tolerate the abuse because of their children, properties and perhaps, family's reputation. It seems then a compromise was made to achieve greater happiness for the most number of people. Another example is children becoming repeatedly abused by persons with authority. Ofcourse, children are very vulnerable. They think they can not live without the help of the abuser, thereby allowing themselves to endure the pain and hardship of being abused. Abuses can also be happening discreetly at work. When superiors continuously create situations that makes it impossible for their subordinates to get the ego-needed appreciation. That is abuse. The employer-employee nature makes it very difficult to deal with this type of abuse, as norms dictate the employee will have no or little say on things that matter, waiving their free will at work, and increasing the employee's probability of getting abused.
What we should learn to know is to say NO to abuse. Negation is not simply uttered and expressed, but most importantly lived. However, there are several social norms that hinders us in doing so. We can not just decide to end up marriage, just because of domestic violence. Sometimes, religion and culture prohibits it. What we can do is to stand firm and say NO. If the abuse gets worse and more violent, learn to respect ourselves by not allowing another to continue to abuse us. Report as early as possible. Cut the chain of codependency and make a distance between ourselves and the abuser.
How about dealing with religion and culture? Go to a respected and objective person within the society and present the situation to them. Let them see and present their ideas with the problem. Be honest about details for them to feel the horrific story of being abused. Do not allow them to ignore your feelings as the one being abused. Do this because it is them (religion and culture) who hinders you from making a good decision. Allow and wait for them to show empathy to you. These respected people reached their social status, because they are expected to have empathy towards others. If not, people would not have followed them in the first place. It is your turn to ask them the question and let them see the whole picture and learn from them. However, this does not mean obedience becomes automatic after them giving their advices. Remember, you are solely responsible of your decisions and accountable of your actions. Make the decision of taking actions, which is most acceptable to social norms to make it easy to cope with possible repercussions decisions will bring to you.
On the other hand, what can children and employees do. It is quite less difficult in work for all you need to do is make an objective documentation. Employers are respected because they have showed in paper that they have special skills that others don't have. Making a counterclaim against the employer's reputation will be more damaging without concrete evidences of abuses. The more detailed the documentation becomes in the most discreet manner of doing it, the more beneficial it becomes. Allowing yourself to make a scene in the office may do more harm, if done prematurely and hastily. Learn to wait for the right time to make others aware of the abuse, but protect yourself during this period. Do not allow the abuse to continue.
Documentation is important, especially when one becomes a witness of abuse. This is true in abuse involving the most vulnerable in the society, the young and the old. This also includes the mentally-challenged individuals. These people can not express their negation to abuse. Even though, they can but they simply are not able to protect themselves like others, who are abused. However, abuses never happen without traces. There will always be a person, who could see and witness when abuse is happening. Unfortunately, our tendency when we are able to witness acts of abuse is to keep quiet. This should stop. Always remember there are several ways to keep oneself anonymous but still reporting an act of abuse. Show empathy to others. No one deserves to be abused. Learn to say NO to abuse, that tolerating it and being silent about it should not be made an option for everyone.
To be fair, let us not just focus on the person being abused, the abuser deserves to change. He or she can do this if the society makes a firm a decision of not allowing the abuser to continue abusive aggressions. The abuser continues with the abuse because the act provides him or her a means to increase self-worth by dominating with another vulnerable. If all of us do not tolerate such action, the abuser will learn to find other ways to feed his or her ego without hurting another.
Lastly, abuses should be seen as a problem, and not just part of social norms. We should recognize that it is not good and beneficial to all, including the abuser, the abused and the society. We should not tolerate it. Directly and indirectly, consciously and unconsciously, we must say, STOP THE ABUSE!
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