“He shouldn’t hit you. Ever.” A message from all who care…

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.

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ruth@ruthlimkin.com

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.

5 thoughts on ““He shouldn’t hit you. Ever.” A message from all who care…

  1. A great article Ruth, addressing a very tragic and often hidden way of life for many women and their children. I recently visited a young pregnant woman to offer her some practical support through her pregnancy and birth. There was something about the way her partner stood while we chatted, as though he didn’t want me speaking with her alone. As we walked out to my car, I took a deep breath and asked her if her partner treated her well. Her eyes looked away and she answered in a way that wasn’t clear. I took another breath and asked her outright, “he’s not violent with you is he?” She looked at me and answered, ” Well no, not really, he pushes me sometimes but he’s never put my head through the wall like my father did.” She had been conditioned to accept abuse and violence. She couldn’t see the fuss about his pushing her, even in her obviously pregnant state. She was okay with her lot because it was “better” than what she’d grown up with. There are many women in that boat. They will never seek help for domestic violence because it’s normal in their eyes. Keep writing Ruth, and challenge the normalization of violence towards women whenever you can.

  2. Ruth, men who hit women are just cowards and women need to understand that is is not acceptable to tolerate the violence. It is part of the culture that needs to be “Christianized” and any culture or religion that condones it should be condemned. Pat

  3. Some people put these things down to ‘culture’. If questioned by authorities the answer would be along the lines of … this is a cultural thing so it’s none of your business. Do immigrants really have permission to come here and abuse their families in our nation? I don’t believe it to be true in theory yet it would appear that in practical outworking some of these cases are not pursued beyond police enquiry in practice. There are women of similar ethnicity to this case who say that they have it good because their husbands do not slap them. Their friends do not have it so good. Their friends’ husbands slap them if they talk back to them or show signs of disrespect. How counterproductive on the husbands’ part to use violence and disrespect as a remedy for disrespect (where in fact a remedy may not be what’s needed – perhaps a fair conversation is all that’s required). It’s really just a cover for dominance and control and a gross misuse of power. It is a facade for cowardice in men who don’t want to take responsibility and be real men. Real men don’t misuse their power. What frustrates me about this is that it is not necessarily so in all families of similar ethnicity. Sure, it may be common. But it is not necessary. It is not a given. I have met many very gentle people of the similar ethnicity. People who I would call gentlemen. Not abusive males. Real men. So I think the cultural argument is a deception. In any case I believe it is wrong to treat another human so. How then does any people group justify this kind of behaviour? Many deny the practice yet practise the practice. Certainly it is a great injustice.

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