EU Am­bas­sador Weighs in on Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence in the Re­gion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Head of the Euro­pean Union Del­e­ga­tion, Am­bas­sador Mikael Bar­fod, says do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is a com­plex prob­lem that needs to be un­der­stood in its en­tire so­cial con­text. His com­ments came as he ad­dressed the Euro­pean Union-funded None in Three do­mes­tic vi­o­lence pre­ven­tion project, which was con­vened to dis­sem­i­nate in­for­ma­tion on the pre­lim­i­nary re­search find­ings.

“Vi­o­lence against women is a crime with an im­pact far be­yond the im­me­di­ate mo­ment of vi­o­lence. Vi­o­lence against women im­pacts us all, even those of us who have never per­son­ally ex­pe­ri­enced it. It im­pacts the fam­i­lies of th­ese vic­tims, it im­pacts our so­ci­ety, and it im­pacts our ev­ery­day lives. We all pay for th­ese con­se­quences.

“Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is not some­thing that can be neatly com­part­men­talised into what hap­pens in the pri­vate sphere. Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence can af­fect a vic­tim’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the work­force, in­clud­ing their abil­ity to find work and to at­tend or stay at work, as well as their performance and pro­duc­tiv­ity while at work,” Am­bas­sador Bar­fod said.

The EU diplo­mat, who is wind­ing up his tenure in the re­gion, said there is the mis­taken view that do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is only a work­ing­class prob­lem, as he noted it per­me­ated all facets of so­ci­ety, ir­re­spec­tive of ed­u­ca­tion, en­vi­ron­ment and class.

Am­bas­sador Bar­fod said while re­gional so­ci­eties must tackle vi­o­lent be­hav­iour be­tween adults, ef­forts must also be made to change the at­ti­tudes and val­ues that chil­dren learn when they wit­ness this be­hav­iour, so that the cy­cle of vi­o­lence can be ar­rested.

“We know that when you are in a bro­ken fam­ily and your role model is a vi­o­lent male, boys grow up be­liev­ing that this is the way they are sup­posed to act. And girls think that it is ac­cept­able for men to treat them this way. We hope that th­ese de­bates will be picked up by civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions and re­li­gious lead­ers, since there is the view that the church could play a ma­jor role in pre­vent­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

“Of­ten boys are not raised to be men, but are raised not to be women. Boys are taught that girls and women are ‘less than’. It is im­por­tant for men to stand up to not only stop men’s vi­o­lence against women but to teach young men a broader def­i­ni­tion of mas­culin­ity that in­cludes be­ing em­pa­thetic, lov­ing and non-vi­o­lent,” Am­bas­sador Bar­fod told the gath­er­ing.

He said he hopes the None in Three ses­sions would fur­ther equip so­cial ser­vice, health and other pro­fes­sion­als to pick up the signs of vi­o­lence and di­rect women to­wards help at an early stage.

The EU of­fi­cial also placed em­pha­sis on the need for timely re­search in an ef­fort to as­sist as it could im­prove our un­der­stand­ing of the na­ture and scope of the prob­lem and its causes.

Am­bas­sador Bar­fod de­scribed the Caribbean in gen­eral as be­ing faced with the chal­lenges of defin­ing the bound­aries of fam­ily and re­defin­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, as he noted that men must be in­cluded in th­ese ef­forts.

“We need to also con­sider male vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, as there is very lit­tle sup­port for them. We also need to con­sider the prac­tice of over-pun­ish­ing chil­dren since this is where the youth have their first ex­pe­ri­ence of vi­o­lence.”

He said he was ex­cited about the None in Three project’s in­no­va­tive meth­ods for early and con­tin­u­ous ed­u­ca­tion, us­ing a medium that is likely to ap­peal to chil­dren and young peo­ple, since re­search in­di­cates that 40% of girls aged 14 to 17 re­port know­ing some­one their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend; and ap­prox­i­mately one in five fe­male high school stu­dents re­ports be­ing phys­i­cally or sex­u­ally abused by a dat­ing part­ner.

As part of the None in Three project an im­mer­sive, role-play­ing com­puter game will be de­vel­oped that can be used in schools as an ed­u­ca­tional tool to de­velop em­pa­thy and emo­tional in­tel­li­gence and to re­duce the neg­a­tive at­ti­tudes de­vel­oped in child­hood which fuel vi­o­lence in later re­la­tion­ships.

This ar­ti­cle is about the divin­ity or de­ity of Je­sus Christ/ God. From the very first page of Ge­n­e­sis 1:26 God said, “Let us make man in our own image, in the like­ness of our­selves.” There is a mys­te­ri­ous ref­er­ence to God in the plu­ral, three times. In­ter­est­ing! Although Je­sus didn’t openly say, “I am God” the fact of his divin­ity or de­ity in scrip­ture is clear. The fact that Je­sus ac­cepted wor­ship and did not cor­rect or re­buke the wor­ship­pers alone speaks vol­umes. (Matthew 2:11): “The sight of the star filled them with de­light, and go­ing into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and fall­ing to their knees they did him homage.”

Luke 24:52: “Now as he blessed them, he with­drew from them and was car­ried up to heaven. They wor­shipped him and then went back to Jerusalem full of joy; and they were con­tin­u­ally in the Tem­ple prais­ing God.”

John 9:38: “Je­sus heard they had driven away the man whose sight he had re­stored and when he found him he said to him ‘Do you be­lieve in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may be­lieve in him.’ Je­sus said: ‘You are look­ing at him; he is speak­ing to you.’ The man said: ‘Lord, I be­lieve,’ and wor­shipped him.”

He also said that “I and the Fa­ther are one” (John 10:30). This state­ment en­raged the Jews be­cause they in­stantly re­al­ized that he was claim­ing to be God so they tried to stone him. The Jews went on to say in verse 33: “You, a mere man, claim to be God.” Je­sus was clearly declar­ing the fact that he and the fa­ther are of the same na­ture and essence. An­other clear ex­am­ple is in John 8:58. Here we read: “Je­sus de­clared, ‘I tell you the truth … be­fore Abra­ham was born, I am!’” God is called I AM. (When Moses had to face the peo­ple God said to tell the peo­ple that “I AM” sent you). The Jews who heard th­ese words con­sid­ered this blas­phemy and ac­cord­ing to the Mo­saic Law they at­tempted to stone him (Leviti­cus 24:16).

Af­ter Je­sus’ death Thomas doubted that Je­sus was the Mes­siah. Je­sus had ap­peared to the other dis­ci­ples and they told Thomas all about it to no avail be­cause Thomas con­tin­ued to doubt. How­ever a week later Je­sus ap­peared to Thomas and Thomas called him God (John 20:19-28).

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the dis­ci­ples when Je­sus came. So the other dis­ci­ples told him: “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them: “Un­less I see the nail marks in his hands and put my fin­ger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not be­lieve.” A week later his dis­ci­ples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Je­sus came and stood among them and said: “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas: “Put your fin­ger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubt­ing and be­lieve.” Thomas said to him: “My Lord and my God!” We must re­al­ize that Je­sus did not cor­rect this state­ment.

You see the de­ity of Je­sus can be found all through­out scrip­ture: In John 1:14: we read: The Word was made flesh (took on hu­man form), and dwelt among us. You see Mary was a vir­gin and be­came preg­nant through the Holy Spirit. The fa­ther was not of this earth!

Here is an­other clear scrip­ture declar­ing Je­sus’ divin­ity as the ev­er­last­ing fa­ther (Isa­iah 9:6): “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the govern­ment shall be upon his shoul­der: and his name shall be called Won­der­ful, Coun­sel­lor, The mighty God, The ev­er­last­ing Fa­ther, The Prince of Peace.”

John the Bap­tist boldly and humbly de­clared: “Be­hold, The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29).

John 9:29: “At this they hurled abuse at the man who Je­sus had just healed of his blind­ness. ‘You can be his dis­ci­ple,’ they said, ‘we are dis­ci­ples of Moses: we know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from.” Yet we read in Luke’s ac­count of the trans­fig­u­ra­tion Luke 9:30: “Sud­denly there were two men there talk­ing to him; they were Moses and Eli­jah.”

Luke 8:38: The man from whom the devils had gone out asked to be al­lowed to stay with him, but he sent him away. “Go back home,” he said, “and re­port all that God has done for you.”

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