Forms of Abuse

May 2019

We continue with the Choice Club activities at the various schools. We have noticed a sharp increase in the abuse on women in Kenya, and so the topic we covered today on healthy relationships was very timely. The girls are definitely dating; this is the age when they get curious about the opposite sex and relationships will happen. The best we can do is teach them about the dangers of having abusive relationships. The need to be loved, to feel accepted, pretty, and worthy pushes these girls to engage in relationships. They want something to talk about when schools open. They want to be seen to be moving with the times. The danger here is that the girls crave attention so much that they are susceptible of being abused in a relationship without realizing it.  We have communities in Kenya that believe that a woman needs to be slapped occasionally to feel loved.  Some men will argue that slapping her will remind her who is in charge. Absurd as it may sound, some women have actually bought into this lie, and because they are hit every so often, it has become normal for them.

Teens who are in unhealthy relationships have a very tough time growing up. They will be affected both mentally and physically. Their social life and education will also suffer. They are more likely to get involved in heavy drinking, depression, drop out of school, and some will even develop suicidal tendencies. A healthy relationship comes from respect, mutual understanding, trust, and honesty. A relationship should consist of healthy boundaries established and respected by both partners equally. A good partner will accept you as you are, support your personal choices, and praise you for your achievements. A healthy relationship also allows both partners to maintain outside interests and friendships and does not hinder the personal freedom of either partner.

Abuse can take many forms; it can be physical where a person uses physical force to harm another but need not result in ‘visible injuries.’ Hitting, kicking, pushing, biting are forms of physical abuse.

Sexual abuse involves forced sexual activity, manipulation to have one engage in the act and threat to one’s life.

Emotional abuse can take the form of insults, humiliation, degradation, intimidation, belittling, coercion amongst others.

Digital abuse is any form of emotional abuse using technology. Social media, texting, and stalking include some of the methods used to harass.

The girls in today’s class learned that one can have a healthy relationship where they have control of what happens to them. It is actually possible to have fun with one’s clothes on!  No one should use sex as an object of harassment. Dating can be fun when boundaries are established, and mutual respect is practiced.

The counseling sessions are on-going, and we will finish this week with Shiners School. The counselor will send us a report on her findings, and we will share the information once we have it.

 

 

 

Our Valvisions Scholars are still carrying out their teaching practice; they are well and pass on their regards.

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