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Stop Physical Violence Against women

Recently I witnessed a father slap his daughter across the face. She was practising with another girl in the judo jo at school, when he called her off, spoke to her and then hit her hard in front of everyone. I was deeply hurt but no one said anything. Apart from the language barrier, it would have been difficult for me to intervene because she is a junior high school student. Her sister is a student at our high school and he takes the younger one there to practice with the older girls, while he sits and watch.

A few days later when I remebered the incident I realized how deeply hurt I was because all the old memories started surfacing and I started bawling in front of the computer at school. I remembered how my father used to beat my sisters and I in public. He would use belts, slippers, sticks, fan belts and a cow cod. I remembered one day a shandy bottle hit me on the nose from across the counter in the bar. I never knew what hit me until I saw the bottle spinning on the shelf. I remembered his friend who witnessed it saying, "No you shouldn't do that". Another time I decided to count the number of licks I was going to get and I stopped when they reached fifty. Not only was it humiliating, but it made me feel worthless and I still have a scar that he left me with on my leg.

Fortunately, at that time I was reading some empowerment material when the writer said that no matter how much material you read, changes will not occur until you take action, right where you are. Suddenly it dawned on me that it was not too late. I see these people almost everyday so I can talk to her father about it. I had to plan what I was going to say to him and after building up the courage, I did it. I
said "Mukai san, jikan ga arimasuka? choto hanashi ii deuka? Mukashi wa, Jamica de , kodomo no toki ni, chichi wa, watashini, takusan no tataku dashimashita. Juyon nen mae, chichiwa shinda. Ima made itai desu, hontoni itai desu. Kangaete kudasai"

It means, "Mr. Mukai, do you have a moment? May I talk to youa little. A long time ago when I was a little girl in Jamaica, my father used to beat me alot. My father died 14 years ago but even now it hurts. It really hurts. Please think about it."

I hope that its impact will be twofold. I would like him to consider if that is the legacy he wants and I would like him to know that it is not O. K. for him to hit her in front of me.

Yesterday I cried, today I took action.
When you see a man violating a woman, what do you do/what will you do?



JaniceW's picture

An interesting question

I thought you handled this well, Anette. I think if I had seen this in Japan, I would have appealed to his sense of honour, and politely and privately let him know that he dishonours himself as a parent by shamefully hitting his daughter. I do not have your history and so would not have thought to discuss this from the perspective of the parent-child relationship but find your response to be gentle and so powerful. If I saw this happening in the United States, I would take action but the circumstances would dictate the type of action, as here it is easy to aggravate a situation and make it worse.

A very compelling question and I look forward to reading other's responses.

olutosin's picture

Wake up all!

Thanks Dear,

This is a wake up call to all, in our own society, it is an everyday thing, we thought it is the right way to train a child but it turns out to be the right way to create evelasting hatred, enemity between you and your child. The humiliation and all sort, In my High School then, the Principal will have us off our uniform before the lashes when I look back now it is with hatred that has lasted two decade, we re trying to build love please let it shine whereever we are and we can be taht example our world needs.

Cane, slaps, and beating all put together can never change a child. Training is by words and acts, do as you would be done by, fathers imagine those hot slaps again in your face. If it is the other way round, how will you feel?

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


LauraB's picture


I can't imagine a more graceful, and bold action than your clear, and heartfelt words. You are very clear thinking with your connection to your own emotions and story. This story stirred me with a visceral response- which indicates to me that truth has been touched. I think you have a special calling to be involved in women's empowerment- stopping violence and supporting women in healing. Do you think?

"Yesterday I cried, today I took action." brilliant.


Maria de Chirikof's picture

Changing things

I think it was very bold of you and congratulate you on speaking to the father. I am very interested in hearing how he treats her in the future, keep us posted.

It is a huge thing we need to change where violence against woman stops and woman are valued as themselves again. It is strange how it seems that woman who suffered violence themselves can feel the pain of other woman and girls and how it effects us so strongly still. It is why we need to work so hard for the girls who are now adults and were hurt as kids since it can be like what you experienced and you just want to cry about it but instead we need to do something real. Where you can feel you are an adult now but even something like watching another child get slapped can bring back all that pain and humiliation you felt yourself as a child. I think our being too timid in the past to talk about it helped keep that cycle going and love that you are breaking that cycle by kind words that describe the long-term effects.

Thanks for posting this!


aliĝngix's picture

Way to go

I'm happy for you, taking that action. It took a lot of guts. You gave that man something to think about in polite but firm way.
Thanks for sharing.

Anette Leslie's picture

Thank you all ladies

I am glad I joined world Pulse. I've gotten more courage now seeing all of you women taking action too.


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