Editorial comment – Building safe zones

Professor Ofa Swann. Picture: JAKE CABANIUK/FILE

If we go by statistics now, then we are already looking at homes that are no longer safe zones. Our women and children should be safe at home.

Instead some of them are insecure. They have been abused and drained of life so to speak.

They have been chained to a stake that makes them feel small and to a certain extent indifferent to emotional responses that are supposed to be part of a family unit.

The sad reality is that society has bred a certain type of emotional response that actually goes against the grain and fights every right thinking person.

For some of us, our ability to think rationally has been placed on a pedestal that certainly wasn’t meant for the family.

It is because we are experiencing changes that are certainly unbecoming of human society. We truly shouldn’t be living through some of the things we now see and read about in the news. They are happening anyway.

Women and children are being sexually abused by close family members.

In some cases, they are very closely related. Some of our homes are turning into dangerous zones.

The extent to which this is happening is frightening.

Renowned academic and psychologist Ofa Swann believes we need a national dialogue on rape because of the increasing number of young victims and surge in cases involving very close relatives.

She was concerned about the lack of information and discussion on the issue.

A national conversation around this topic must take place, she said, and results be openly disseminated to find solutions to this problem.

“Everyone must make an effort to be part of this conversation because it is happening to our young and vulnerable in society.

The acts are being committed by those who seriously need help,” she said.

Ms Swann has advised parents to prioritise the protective needs of their children over other activities they indulged in.

Obviously there are critical issues for us to address if we want to make a difference for the sake of our women and children.

It starts from within us first.

It is critical that we rise above temptation and shrug aside whatever is wrong.

We must be committed to protecting our women and children, inculcating a sense of appreciation, confidence and security on the home front.

Surely we all would want to allay fears that whatever is happening is a sign of a fragmented society. The harsh reality is frightening indeed.

We certainly have a huge challenge before us.

Our women and children depend on a change in mind-set.

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