By Ruth Limkin
Sometimes a great and terrible tragedy dismantles a carefully constructed facade which not only reveals one awful truth, but many.
This is the sorry situation in the trial currently underway regarding the murder of the three Singh siblings. Disturbingly, it appears from testimony, that the death of three children in a triple-homicide is only one of the tragedies that occurred in the Singh home.
Shirley Singh has been on the witness stand last week. One can’t help but feel deep compassion for Mrs Singh, who has had to contend with the grief of losing all three children. In addition, her answers on the witness stand reveal that her marriage and home was not only marred by sexual infidelity and depravity, but also by violent assault.
Last week in court, Mrs Singh was asked about the times she was assaulted by her husband Vijay. In details of the questioning, she was asked if she had ever reported to police that her husband ‘had assaulted her about 50 times over the years.
She replied, “We have been married about 35 years, I think 50 is not too bad.”
“Not too bad” reportedly included being given a black eye; bruising to the left side of her face and a cut lip; being punched in the face; and knocked down and kicked in the back when pregnant.
Being assaulted by your husband is not ‘not too bad’. It’s immoral.
Once is unacceptable and time to seek help. Fifty times is a deadly domestic culture of misguided power, manipulation, intimidation and abuse.
The truth is that the murder of the three Singh children wasn’t the first time great violence visited their home.
While there are cultures where views of humanity or of women consider such behaviour acceptable, that is not the case in Australia. As much as we sometimes find our Judeo-Christian worldview an uncomfortable imposition upon our desire to do whatever we want, it is in situations like this that we remember it’s value.
Our view of humanity, of women, of the vulnerable and of responsibility means that spousal abuse is always wrong.
I think every Australian who cares would be deeply, deeply sorry for the grevious loss Mrs Singh is carrying. We would also be deeply sorry that she endured so much silent pain.
He shouldn’t hit you. Not once. Not fifty times. Not Ever.
White Ribbon works to change culture and prevent violence against women.
If you, or someone you know, is at risk of, or currently experiencing family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault some numbers to get help are:
1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732): 24 hour, National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line for any Australian
131 114 – Lifeline has a national number who can help put you in contact with a crisis service in your State (24 hours)
Police or Ambulance
000 in an emergency for police or ambulance.