PLUGGING THE LEAKS OF GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
Change does not have to be drastic, it can be slow but steady. This is a mantra that many activists must recite repeatedly to properly plug the leaks caused by Gender Based Violence.
There is a push by mainstream media for changes to come all at once and perpetrators to be punished immediately. While this is a great thing to do, the larger picture must be considered. This larger picture states that Justice is a three way street, for the accused, for the victim and for the society at large.
For the accused because, he/she must face the proper course of the law and serve time for their actions. This would end their actions and serve as a detriment to others. To the victim because their rights have been trampled against and dignity as a person has been tainted. To the community because they need to be cured of that dastard act or else it might fester as a cancer.
Having the above understanding would equip activists, NGO’s and the nation at large on how to plug the leaks on Gender Based Violence. This is important because when netting out justice, many only cater to the accused i.e. sending them to jail and ignore the victims health and the community in general.
While the world thinks that justice is done because the accused is behind bars, the victim has bills to pay and needs to meet. This is important to note because although the accused has been properly convicted, there is now no one playing the role of provider for the victim.
This is a sad truth that the community must come to terms with. Until then, justice has not been properly provided to all and sundry. The community must understand that the only reason the perpetrator had such power was mostly because they met a financial need of the victim. Therefore, to plug the hole of Gender Based Violence, the community must first move to provide an economic system that works.
This is in fact a mode of passing the blame and burden of guilt from the victim to the community. When the community understands that it has a role to play in curbing the rise and continuous growth of Gender Based Violence, then the first thing to happen is that the blame on the victim stops.
When this is achieved, the next leak to plug is the short term leak. This begs to answer the question of “what is the immediate need of the victim?” It is usually focused on what must have put the victim on harms way. Until this is sorted, the victims family may be hard pressed to accept a settlement in favour of prosecution.
The third step to plugging the leak caused by Gender Based Violence is follow up for the victim. There needs to be system set in place to follow victims of Gender based Violence for a period of 6 months to a year to ascertain the level of damage done to their mental health and their physical bodies. This is to prevent the long term consequences of depression or death.
In general, more can be done for the betterment of the community at large if all heads come together to jointly plug the leak of Gender Based Violence.