Preventing Marital Abuse
Do you, knowingly or unknowingly, nurture an attitude that increases the chance of marital abuse? By changing your attitude a little bit, you can create a different future for your daughter, sister or yourself.
- Inspire your daughter to create an identity of her own from her childhood. Make sure she completes her studies and stands on her own two feet.
- Make sure your daughter knows that you will always be there for her.Often, we have the attitude that after a daughter is married, she ‘belongs’ with her husbands family and not with her parents. This makes her vulnerable to abuse from her husband or his family.
- Do not scorn or ridicule your daughter if it is difficult to find someone interested to marry her. Do not portray marriage as the only goal in her life. Encourage her to develop her qualities, not only her looks. Appreciation of physical beauty is temporary, but appreciation of qualities is permanent.
- Do not rush into a marriage.Do not get carried away with the wealth, family background or social behaviour of the potential groom. Make sure you have all the information you need. It is best to marry someone within your social and cultural surroundings who you know about.
- Do not offer dowry. Remember, you cannot buy your daughter’s happiness with money.Rather, money or material gifts create a cycle of discontent; those who want dowry are usually never satisfied, they will want more and more.
- Stand by your daughter if she decides to end her marriage because of major causes like abuse or betrayal.Do not encourage your daughter to hang on to her marriage ‘at all costs’. Do not fear social reaction too much or teach your daughter to do so. If it is clear that her husband or his family tortures her or is not faithful to her, it is best to end the marriage as soon as possible, before any offspring is born.
- Do not believe that having a child will change your husband. This never happens. On the contrary, having a child in such a situation will make it difficult for you to take a decision to end the marriage. And regardless of whether you decide to stay with your husband or not, the child born in such unhappy situation is unlikely to grow up as a healthy and balanced individual.