Is the Jamaican Domestic Violence Act sexist?Wednesday, April 21, 2021
In the year 2021, in which we are fortunate to be alive in Jamaica, we still have the problem of inequality.
We have come to a point in civilisation, thankfully, that women are independent and can pretty much do anything a man can do — oftentimes doing it better. However, as a society, we fail to acknowledge the darker side to this equation.
It is standard knowledge that it is never right for a male to hit a female; however, as a society, when the shoe is on the other foot we tend to turn a blind eye.
We have all heard the saying that “the day a man raises his hands to hit a woman is the day he is no longer a man”; nevertheless, it seems that this saying is not applicable the other way around.
As an example, recently there was a video circulating on social media of a Jamaican woman violently attacking a Jamaican man who somehow resisted the urge to retaliate and, instead, took the high road and did his best to walk away. It was interesting that, as the man was being violently hit, people in the background ridiculed him. There even came to point at which another woman handed the abuser a board which she used and slapped the man and injured him, yet that same man still managed to walk away.
In instances such as this, I believe it is important that women are not seen as being inferior to men in any aspect, especially when it comes to being violent or inflicting harm.
Many times, in Jamaica, when a woman is harmed by a man she is helped by other women and men. However, when a man is being harmed by a woman, he is laughed at and seen as being less than a man, even when it is by choice that he chooses not to engage in violence.
In other words, a male that does not retaliate against a female is often seen as weak and punished by society in terms of being ridiculed. It then begs the question of who is looking out for the male victims of domestic violence?
One Act that is not looking out for men by explicitly excluding them from aid is the proposed Jamaican Domestic Violence Act which offers protection to women, children, the disabled, and the elderly. The Act seems to only care when the male is the perpetrator. This Act needs be reviewed immediately because it either does not care about men or think women are too inferior to hurt them.
For any law to be taken seriously, it must not be discriminative.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login