Witnessing discrimination first hand

We don’t have to look very deep into the past to see how faith and discrimination go hand in hand. Nor do we have to travel very far. It was a big shock for me to hear the terrible murder of Lee Rigby in 2013 by extremists, music to the ears of others. Although extremist terror groups are more present in the UK in recent years, hearing news of a human being beheaded on British streets is hard to comprehend. In the same year, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head in Pakistan, for daring to speak out for her right to an education. Religion had almost stripped her of this right for being female, but for an incredible and remarkable recovery. The Westboro Baptist Church in the United States continually protest against supposed ‘issues’ such as gay marriage because of Bible scripture.

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From personal experience, discrimination is plain to see. Maybe not on the same scale, but discrimination nevertheless. From our personal perspective we see the grassroots level of irrational thinking and delusion in many situations. My main concern is what I see as discrimination- many see as normality . A delusion in itself, or just a sheer reluctancy to change? Neither are healthy.

Although it is unfortunately the norm in so many regions of the world it is important to see the differential between the two. We are very compliant at accepting life as it is, rather than addressing where we could improve. This stark reality became apparant to me first hand when working a shift in an old hotel job.

One late shift the assistant general manager was called due to complaints from neighbouring rooms of crying and possible violence. There was brief conversation in Arabic, but those around weren’t speakers of the language. After going upstairs to knock on the door he was greeted by a couple from the Middle East, although this was clear beforehand by searching the profile of the room (both the room number and nationality I cannot recall). It was the response received by the manager that really appalled me…

When asked if he was being abusive to his partner his response was “But she is my wife!?”. From the way the conversation was brought to our attention the male was confused as to why the situation was even addressed by staff. A rhetorical question to answer for his perfectly reasonable abuse.

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But that is what it was in his eyes. She was a woman who had deserved physical abuse and being stopped in his tracks was a shock. One regret I have from this was not questioning why we did not take the matter further. I was young and didn’t want to question someone who had dealt with many situations similar to this after more than a decade in the industry. An incident management hear regularly and therefore address but not necessarily prevent. What does make it difficult admittedly is the female did not want to take it any further when asked. The difficulty of the situation grows here. Is leaving it causing less harm? What are the repercussions in the long term for a victim of domestic violence? Regardless, it takes more thought than a five minute conversation. Lesson learned; if someone is reported to be visably shaken, this person needs attention.

But since then I’ve always wondered the poor ladies fate. A recurring nightmare she may have to deal with on a day to day basis for the rest of her life. Another domestic abuse statistic. Another suicide to escape the inescapable.

Whatever that may be, it’s enough to stick with me and drive me to ensure this doesn’t get ignored again, and one of the main drives I have for starting this blog. Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Or been shocked as to how a similar case had not been addressed properly due to it being a common occurance? Or even on the receiving end of this kind of abuse?

I wish that lady all the best.

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