The issue of domestic violence continues to be with us 40 years after the first big case that shocked the nation: the brutal slaying of a mother by her lover at Forestiere.
Since then there have been cases of domestic violence too numerous to mention in which mainly women have been the victims. Several of them have been murdered and many more maimed. Still incidents continue, shocking the nation each time. But solutions continue to be elusive.
The recent killing of a four year old boy in Dennery in his home took domestic violence in St Lucia to a whole new level, focussing on the ill-treatment of children in the home and on the issue of corporal punishment.
What can we do to curb domestic violence? Are the mere passing of laws enough? Where are the organizations that ought to be advocating for women and children in our society? Why is domestic violence so prevalent in our society, anyway?
Like the old biblical saying goes, those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. Many of us say we pray for betterment for the country but what changes are we willing to accept in order for this to happen. If you make a statement and one disagrees, they seldom say they disagree, give the reasons why and offer a counter solution to the point or topic to which they disagree. The first defence, it is my right. No one ever strips you of your rights so there is no need to talk about that unless you lack knowledge of the subject matter. St Lucia was once beautiful because we lived, believed and practised the biblical teachings, plain and simple. Now that we are becoming non believers of these teachings we are paying the price for that sinful lifestyle.
You can say that domestic violence, like most crimes or bad habits that we are now experiencing have been with mankind throughout creation, but that does not mean that nothing can be done about it.
I remember a time in St Lucia when domestic violence was not all that prevalent. True one heard of a few cases here and there but we did not have the epidemic that we now have.
I believe we in St Lucia have to return to the basics in the ways we teach and raise our children. Etiquette and good manners used to be taught in schools. We need to give them a good spiritual grounding, as well As a Roman Catholic boy, we had The Blessed Sacrament Guild, the Legion of Mary and other organizations, like scouts and cubs. We had religious knowledge in schools. At least from there children learnt the difference between right and wrong. They learnt discipline etc.
Right now, we are creating little monsters who grow up to be violent, rude, uncaring, aggressive, all products of an age where there is little being imparted by way of good values. That’s what we are reaping.