Domestic Violence Integrated Response Project.
Few and most possibly none of you have heard of the above organisation. Don’t worry, I haven’t heard of them either until about 2 months ago. I’ve always been interested in working/helping around in areas of domestic violence. Can’t explain why… There’s just this feeling that we women should help other women, empower, bring them out of their deep pit of personal hell and trouble. And don’t get me started on children who are being abused.
So I’ve been looking around for awhile of places where I can volunteer. Women’s Aid in particular. But it seems like they’re always full or I need to go for training for 6 gazillion months, or I forgot about this volunteering idea and became engrossed (unwillingly) in work. And then somehow end of last year, something in me sparked that ‘let’s look around for which organisations I can volunteer in in some way or other’. And to cut long story short, DVIRP was recruiting volunteers in December, interviewed in January and I have now sat through the 2nd training session of being a DVIRP helpline volunteer.
And how is it, you ask?
Firstly, let me take back my stereotypical views. Domestic violence don’t just mean husbands beating wives or wives beating husbands, it could be non-marriage relationships, it could involve gay/lesbian couples. It could be non-intimate relationships too…. children abusing parents, brother raping sister. The extent of what humanity can do is astounding, and NOT in a good way.
What spurns me on, I think, is that you may be in Brunei or Africa or England, domestic violence is TABOO. Apparently, what goes on behind closed doors is that….behind closed doors. Now let me pose this question…. if a woman (or man, for that matter) is kicked, pulled by the hair, slapped, called names in the street, would you not step in and help? Call 911? Shriek for help at least? Why is it any different for a person who has to live it every day….every day?
There is this perception too that the victims/survivors are weak, that in some way their fault. “Why couldn’t they just leave?” and the fact that they didn’t -apparently -says a lot about them (in a negative way). But the training has made me thinking… that it’s not that easy.
No one goes into a relationship wanting to be abused.
Everyone wants to be loved.
And when the person you love and trust turns around and destroys that love and trust, it’s not that easy to break away. It could be your own family doing it, making it harder. Plus there could be other things like being financially dependent, children involved, family pressure, community/society pressure. A thousand and one things that you and I may not be able to think of and relate to, because we’ve not been there.
Anyway, I could go on and on about this really. But I’ll stop now.
My husband said once that he feels so touched (an understatement in itself) whenever he remember/think of the ayat from Surah Al Baqarah (187): ‘They are as a garment for you, as you are for them’. And that could be the sweetest thing he said. For that encompasses what a husband and wife is supposed to be doing and feeling. Protecting and loving and protecting.
“And among His Signs is this that He created for you spouses of your own kind, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy for one another: verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (Quran 30:21)
Ya Allah, please continue to put the love and mercy into our marriage, for You are Our Eternal Protector. Amin.