Regret and Gratefulness flow out of my soul as I encounter the reality of what woman means in Dominican Republic. Regret because in the short period of time in this land, there has not been a week where the words "woman killed by ex-partner" don't make the headlines. Gratefulness in response to a father that instilled the worth and value I have as a woman. 2016 has been the death bed for more than eighty women. Curves and voluptuous figures are harassed by "maldita" and "desgraciada" as forms of endearment. Jealousy from your partner must be accepted as an expression of love. Machismo the deadliest trophy our men possess; won by the amount of open legs they enter.
We are just that in the land of merengue and soul. Trophies.
Trophies that can be broken if anyone else wants to claim it. Trophies that can be collected with other ones. Trophies that can be be locked away.
We're being killed. Deciding to leave an abusive relationship is a death sentence. Not agreeing to jealousy and adultery means you will be killed. Women are not reporting abuse because corruption of government and men are flooding our streets. Few people are standing up for the rights of the voiceless and those who are have started a revolution against a mentality of men are supposed to work [with a few women on the side] and women stay at home birthing.
Let's not ignore the machismo that is killing the women of Latin America. I come from grandparents who left my grandmothers for women who they lived across the street with, while they had eleven children at home. Uncles who spoke of women as lands to be exploited. Cousins who walked me through their history of women as museums with the latest discovered art pieces.
We are in need to educate our men. Empower our women. Fight against the death of women and men dying in the hands of abuse.
I took the streets to understand the struggle my people are facing and through the lens, find some beauty in the core of an island covered in blood.
Giving the silenced women a powerful voice
This portion of our blog post is purely dedicated to proposing a solution to domestic violence against women in Dominican Republic. This part happens to be an assignment for my writing and rhetoric class, but our final project truly inspired me , and connected me to this issue more than what I would have imagined. Having Pamela be in Dominican Republic at this time made it even more relevant, and helpful in providing me direct insight.
The following, broadly touches on key points which show the factors that influence domestic violence, which tie into then solving this problem. Knowledge is key:
Women in the Dominican Republic have been mistreated and assumed the inferior gender, in terms of human value. Due to machismo, or male chauvinism. Male pride has overridden woman’s safety, dignity, and basic human rights.
Domestic violence in Latino america is a growing problem that has existed for several years. Women in these countries have very little resources to not only report these cases, but to even put these men to trial.
Factors that have influenced or strengthen this outcome is political/governmental regime: many of these countries have not strengthened their correction when it comes to these cases,
Socio-cultural problems: traditionalism has been morphed into the scenario of the violent dominating husband, and the fearful submissive wife. Household value has been distorted, making women’s value belittled.
And economic factors: women in the Dominican Republic make far less than men (averaging around 44% less than men), and even in acquiring or holding job, the possibilities are far harder (the unemployment rate for women holds 23%, as for men only ten). The majority of women in this country hold job titles of minimal standard. The choice to leave a man is sometimes not in reach, because who would take care of their children, how could they take care of themselves?
Domestic violence is an issue where the connotation of the word is obviously negative. Most people understand that beating a women is incorrect and should result in some kind of punishment. So the problem with fixing this problem isn't identifying it as an issue, it's giving the women a reliable result.
There's an existence of sources of Helpful Hotlines, laws against the battering of women, and even the people sometimes take the matter in their own hands. But several women feel like these sources to not give enough security, that they can only go so far. These women would much rather continue to live through this suffering than go towards a route that’s probability of solving the problem is slim, and the consequences astronomical.
So what is there to do exactly: I believe the first step into creating a lasting solution is talking about the issue, and declaring it an issue worth solving. Identifying it as a human rights problem, which it is due to the fact it deals with the right to live especially in one’s own house. The next initiative would be to start with children or people who are still young and growing, educating the future generation is essential in making this problem lessen. In order to do these things, I believe making this a blog post would help in sharing this issue as an issue, giving people information to help identify a problem is essential to solving it, because if people are ill informed how would we solve this problem.
So let us take this step, share this post and spread this knowledge.
The references include the following:
-Sol (Genesis Asencio