Friday, March 2, 2012

Violence against women and children

Today I read an interesting article in the local newspapers that talked about the fact that ''domestic violence is seen as the norm and women themselves do not think it is criminal but a regular part of married life. Women are often loathe to report their abusers at times opting for divorce rather than see their spouses punished.  This kind of mindset according to the reporter has to do with deep seated cultural  obstacles. Like many Asian countries, women here suffer in silence. People do not want to air their dirty laundry but would rather bury their pains or find alternative ways to forget about their pain. So it is not surprising to read that abused women loathe to report their abusers or that they get a divorce. It is a way of coping and containing the shame associated with such violence. It is a way of numbing the pain but never really escaping or being freed from the pain. The problem with this mindset is that it perpetuates the cycle of violence as kids in the home observe these abuses and grow up with a distorted view of what family life is all about.

What was even more alarming to read is that 19% of the 476 reported rape cases last year involved children under 10 years old. Why such violence against children? There was no reasons given but all of this goes to show that violence goes deep in this nation. Thirty years later, Cambodia is still reeling from the effects of the Khmer Rouge era and the spirit of betrayal and violence that was so much a part of that genocide continues to reign in Cambodian society against the weak and the vulnerable.

What is needed is a transformation of hearts and that transformation can only come when a nation is awaken to the truth that God has made each individual in His image and as such each individual has value, each individual deserves to be treated with dignity, each individual is precious and deserves to be treated with respect and honor. 1 Corinthians 12:22 says: those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. God's ways are so much different than man's ways. We look down on the broken and bruised while God lifts up the broken and bruised. We pass by the marginalized and He stops and picks them up. We look down upon those who are weak and He confers special honor on them.  

Lord Jesus, how we long for you to reveal yourself as The Way in this land. Your Way is the road to healing, the road to hope, the road where joy and love replace sorrow and hate. How we long for you to reveal yourself as The Truth---for when we know The Truth it will set us free--- we will no longer accept violence as an acceptable practice but see it for what it is, a destructive force that continues to tear the family structure apart. Lord, how we long for you to reveal yourself as The Life so that the poor, the broken, the forgotten can discover that in You,  they are a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come. The former way of living gives way to a new life filled with peace, hope, joy sealed by Your love. Come Lord Jesus, be a healing balm and pour out your touch on those who continue to suffer in this land!

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