Violence problems transcend gender

TimesColonist.com – opinion
April 29, 2012.   By Doreen Stobbe

Transition houses are full of women whose health and well-being are threatened due to violence, addictions, poverty, compromised life skills and a host of other issues. The focus, though, of them and us, men vs. women, is a disturbing trend.

Can we not agree that “hurt people hurt people”? The ones who do damage are the ones who are damaged themselves. If energies and money focused on this, rather on alienating and criminalizing an entire gender, we may come closer to dealing with the real issue – hurt people hurt people.

I work in the field and have learned that the men who have offended have their horrific stories to tell, too. We either explode with our mismanaged feelings or we implode. All of society suffers, regardless of gender.

I want B.C. to be a safe place, not just for women, but for men, too. When a man is abusive to a woman, he is also harming himself because he carries what he has done within him. I want schools to teach ethical behaviour and the value of humanity in kindergarten. I want parents to teach the innate value and worth of human life in their homes. I want men to stop being violent toward women and I want women to find their power to live their lives without it, but I believe that will only happen when men and women alike feel safe and valued.

Doreen Stobbe, Campbell River

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