We need a Help and Shelter for men
Guyana Chronicle
April 28, 2007

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A recent editorial in the Guyana Chronicle painted a gloomy picture of the fate of an increasing number of women who are being disfigured and maimed at the hands of furious, estranged spouses in domestic-related incidents.

It is clear that domestic violence is on the rise. There seems to be more broken homes than ever. Today more children are growing up with only one parent in the home.

It is natural that all this makes for sympathy being extended to the victims of this phenomenon---the women.

And so the wives are the ones assisted by various NGOs. Help and Sheleter is there for abused women and children.

And every now and then the government ministry responsible for the well-being of women makes a statement urging men to refrain from battering women. Of course this is how it should be.

However, tragic events earlier this week have shown us that there is another side of the story which needs to be looked at.

The two men who battered and maimed the two women featured in the lead story of our issue of last Monday have committed suicide.

This has come as a shock to all of us.

At the time of the attacks, full of rage, we thought of the perpetrators as animals who needed to be caged and kept away from human beings.

We hardly thought of them as persons with feelings.

Now we know better. Now we know that they must have been full of remorse in the aftermath of the attacks, remorse so strong that they could not face themselves and decided to put an end to it all.

Of course there are other incidents of suicide committed by husbands ridden by insecurity and other devastating emotions. But these two suicides, coming so closely to each other, are telling us a story.

There is need for men to be counselled. There is need for them to be looked upon as persons who are at times pushed beyond limits they can handle and who snap and commit atrocities they cannot live with later on. They are crying out for help.

We must take notice and do something now.

In many of these tragic scenarios, the men and women lived together for years, bearing children and raising them to teenage years and beyond.

There must have been periods of love and tenderness and caring.

And then comes the violence.

This does not happen overnight. Violent flare-ups tell of long periods of suppressed anger and resentment, and then the cataclysmic eruption.

Couples with problems need to identify mediators to whom they can talk and seek solutions when marital problems arise and violence is imminent.

Be it some doctor or priest, or just a very good friend, they must talk to someone.

Perhaps the time is now when those who fund NGOs should look at a Help and Shelter for men.

They need it.