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  4. June 2005 - Volume 40
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FOCUS June 2005 Volume 40

Violence at Home


The home is indeed a micro version of society. Power is exercised by some members of the household that lead in many cases to the use of violence against those considered as weaker members. In the present situation the weaker members of the household can be anybody - children, wives, husbands, elderly, or domestic help.

The strong doing violence to the weak is the pattern of violence in society, be it traditional or modern. This is also the pattern of violence in the household whether it is that of the rich or the poor, of the educated or not.

Violence at home also reflects the new phenomenon of educated and unassuming youth turning unexpectedly to violence as in the case of young suicide bombers. In the context of the home, there are now cases of children using violence against their older siblings and Violence at Home parents.

Why would hitherto quiet people turn violent? What makes violence an option with much appeal?

There must be greater attention on how violence at home can be stopped. Regardless of societal pressure against it, behind closed doors violence is always possible. In addition to laws and institutions, would greater public/community-level dialogue on this issue be a step in the right direction?