My nine year old asked me a titillating question on-route to a television shopping expedition last evening.
“Dad why are women the victims of more violence than men?”
I had been listening to a report on the Pickton Murders on CBC Radio. Commissioner Wally Oppal had just finished stating that society and the police had let these women down. He said that systemic sexism, systemic racism and attitudes towards mental illness were significant factors that permitted Pickton’s murder spree to continue on for as long as it did.
My first response was that it was true, women are victims of more physical, sexual and psychological violence than men. Women also are more likely to be seriously injured during assaults or attacks than men are.
Stranger violence is most likely to be male to male, but family violence is most likely to be perpetrated by the male. As for why, I explained that violence against women is often an issue of power and control.
Violence is something that a father of three boys has to contend with more often than one would think. Boys like to roughhouse and carry on. I did as a child. I continue to “carry” on with boys. It is fun bonding. My wife does not always see it that way. Her refrain is someone is going to get hurt, stop it! My biggest concern is that we not break anything! It might be one of those men are from Mars, Women are from Venus things!
The big exception has been my rule about hitting one another out of anger. I have a zero tolerance rule. We do not hit anyone one out of anger. We use our words or take a time out. That can be a challenge at times, but there are not exceptions.
The golden rule is paramount. I hope that my boys have a genuine abhorrence for sexism, violence against women, racism and poor attitudes for those struggling with the illness of poor mental health.
We are Christians, we treat people with kindness.