Speak Out on Violence: DORIS KASOTE
NEIGHBOURS tried to restrain her from kicking and slapping him but with tears in her eyes, she uttered amid sobs that no one had an idea the pain that the man had caused her.
Beside her was a little girl who held on to her chitenge as she pushed her towards the man. She screamed that her patience of waiting on an irresponsible man had run out.
An elderly woman pulled her away, consoling her as she advised her that that was not the best way to deal with problems. As I walked past, I had the urge to stop and agree with the elderly woman but reminded myself to mind my own business.
As I took my evening stroll, flashes of the broken woman kept coming to my mind. I wondered why the couple had to make it everyone’s business to exchange bitter words, not that it is any better in the confines of a home. The child must have felt she was being rejected by both parents. However, it was not in my place to make conclusions, what I saw was probably a tip of the iceberg.
My thoughts were that the two were probably not a married couple and the man was being irresponsible. At the same time, maybe the couple was married and the husband has been an irresponsible one.
As thoughts ran through my head, my heart went out to the little girl who was caught up in the parents’ disputes. Her mother pushed her towards the father while the father was pushing her towards the mother. Neither of the two wanted to solely take up the responsibility of looking after the little girl.
Whether born out of wedlock or not, children are innocent and should not be subjected to such horrid treatment because of the disagreements by the parents.
It was only recently when Father Isaac Tembo of Kabwe’s Cathedral of Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ advised couples against engaging in gender-based violence because the vice has devastating effects on children.
He advised parents to desist from fighting or exchanging bitter words in the presence of their children or dependents adding that children need to be protected from vices that have the potential to negatively affect their lives.
Like Fr Tembo said children will begin to think the only way to resolve a dispute is through violence. He also advised parents against verbally abusing their children whenever they do wrong.
He urged people to be involved in nurturing children and young people into responsible citizens.
True to his word, children easily pick what they see from adults and when adults show irresponsible behaviour, children will think it is normal.
Until next week, let’s keep in touch.