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Abuse and Violence Against Women – Are “Good” People Creating It?

This past Sunday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day, a global celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women as well as a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. Sadly, it is also a sobering reminder of how many women throughout the world are victims of violence and abuse which, in my view, has only escalated over time (or maybe we’re just hearing about it more).

Domestic violence

The holiday gave me pause to consider what the origins of such abusive behavior might be. Are there baby steps that lead to overt abuse; or does a person go from loving and respecting a woman to abusing her in one giant step? More importantly, what can be done to halt and even reverse the downward spiral?

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.


A Reason to Consider

In light of my area of focus and expertise, one might well ask what this has to do with finding one’s soulmate anyway?! The answer may surprise you:

I believe that otherwise intelligent, civilized and nice individuals may be contributing to the problem without realizing it. How? By persons in the relationship field over-emphasizing the differences between men and women, without giving proper importance to their fundamental similarities.

This may seem innocuous at first—and a million miles away from overt abuse—but stay with me to see if you discover a connection.

I’m not suggesting, by the way, that violence and abuse can be reduced to only one cause-point. I do believe, however, that we should not overlook attitudes that we can control that could, if improved, result in greater understanding between men and women, while also helping to reduce the incidence of domestic violence.

It is not a new thought that we fight or attack things and people we perceive to be different from ourselves. Historic examples abound from prejudices against people of color and those with different religious beliefs, to people of a political party, group, or country other than one’s own. The operative word here is “different.” And while these incidences, in hindsight, are pretty obvious object lessons, what about less-dramatic examples?

This post is continued in Abuse, Part 2.

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