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Witnessing discrimination first hand

Okay my beloved readers, my blog in recent months has transformed into less of a one set up for conversation and debate, instead it has been one that I have used to motivate both myself and my followers. I have needed it greatly, especially in the crazy world we live in.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t post the odd topic that will get us all talking and sharing different viewpoints, as I feel this is equally important if I want to keep learning. I was speaking to a blogger yesterday here on WordPress about some of the difficulties of being a female in her country of residence, and it reminded me of a blog post I was thinking of re-uploading. In a world where there are an increasing number of campaigns such as the Women’s March and the #metoo hashtag, it is probably an appropriate time to reflect on this post.

So this is the blog post from an experience I had back in 2014. It was one of the reasons I started blogging as it hit me hard, and will probably be in a chapter of my book. Let me know what you think and I hope it isn’t too much of a contrast from the recent Christmas and New Years Eve celebration posts, I will have plenty of upbeat posts to come.


Originally posted Mar 19th, 2014.

We don’t have to look very deep into the past to see how faith and discrimination can 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. Religious ideology 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- a percentage of society see as normality. A delusion in itself, or sheer reluctance 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 apparent to me first hand when working a shift in a recent 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, a Middle Eastern couple however the 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 for whatever reason 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 is that 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 visibly 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 occurrence or a matter of ‘cultural difference’?

I wish that lady all the best.

Reposted Jan 3rd, 2018.

Photo by Paola Chaaya on Unsplash

23 replies »

  1. But what could the hotelier do? The woman is bound by so many invisible and cultural strings what could SHE do? You would be looking at removing her completely from a system she probably (via brainwashing) agrees with and placing her in a women’s shelter. Does she have children? Where are they? She will certainly have to lose them etc It’s such a tangled web that at 10 o’clock at night (or whenever) I would challenge anyone to find a quick solution. Nice piece though.

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment. I agree it is definitely a difficult situation. But the situation wasn’t given much thought at all, that’s a big issue in my opinion. In a way we are brainwashed to accept discrimination of various kinds, as normal in some cultures, and after maybe ten minutes it was old news. Even though there is no easy way to deal with this it shouldn’t be brushed to one side. Also I would like to add that the female in question isn’t so much agreeing with her treatment but more accepting- even though not happy, understanding there is very little she can do.

      Regards,
      Sam

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  2. Timely post- ancient problem. Two perspectives that I would like to comment on your post:
    1. What you could have done that night. Not much. Perhaps, calling police is a maximum. But we also know that mentioned in previous post brainwashing cannot possibly happen in that situation ( no time and no contact).
    2. Why women cannot take the case further? Because they often cannot. Mentality, face in front of society, socio- economic bonds, kids. What to do? Globally, we can provide the education for young girls and women at multiple levels ( hello, social media- here the propaganda is required !) and the opportunity to take the case forward- but this depends so much on the county…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and your thoughts on this. I agree to both, I could do very little. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to do anything though, so even posting about it helps me to get my thoughts out there. Even if the police arrived and she didn’t want to take anything further, I feel it would hit a dead end very fast.
      To your second point, it would be very difficult to take it further as the female victim. I feel it is easier to say something in the UK, compared to being in a society that may sees this behaviour as normal or justified and risk more backlash or rejection. If she is far from her home and says something, I guess there is more of a chance to escape the damaging relationship without consequence. That goes for anyone outside of their hometown. This is especially true in a hotel environment, being in such a public place would make it much harder for the aggressor to silence her with CCTV and so many potential witnesses. There is no best place to try and escape violence, but public areas I personally feel would be the best possible places.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Change cannot happen unless people like that man are challenged on their actions. He had no idea he was doing something wrong. By pointing out to him that it is the mother of his children who he is hurting; by making the tremendous effort she is going through every day for him clear, by pointing out that she is a person who feels pain too, only then is there a chance he will begin to empathise with and respect the sacrifices a wife goes to for her husband. Sacrifices that do not deserve phisical and mental traumer as a reward.
    The act of challenging him may be a small step on a long road, but it is a step that needs to be taken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and you are right. I guess this is why I do not want a job that prevents me from doing so, I would much rather be able to call someone out and point out such injustices without the threat of losing a job. Something needs to be said in these instances and it will be very hard to prevent similar occurrences without intervention.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Things do get more complicated in the work place. If you have a policy of not tolerating physical and verbal abuse against staff and that policy extends to other service users then you could point problematic people towards that. Otherwise, just keep doing what you are doing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What are the long-term effects of domestic abuse? I can answer that. I married at 18 to a man of 27 and was married for 18 years. The fundamentalist religion I was in decreed I had to stay and was told I was lucky he didn’t hit me(!) The abuse was psychological, emotional, financial and verbal. Now that everyone’s eyes have glazed over, I did leave and had a fulfilling life for many years. But when one of my sons became verbally abusive I didn’t know how to deal with it. 10 years and 2 years of therapy later, I understand so much more. I had been struggling since early in life and did not recognise the confusion, guilt, fear, worthlessness I was going through because I had normalised it. The adults in my life, and later, my husband, told me what to do, and I obeyed, surrendered my will without question, because this was what I was expected to do. My relationships with my 3 sons are at various stages of repair, but seeing me treated as a doormat certainly has affected their view of me despite my working professionally now for nearly 20 years and living overseas for 4 years of that time. I am not going to defend anything I have written, I share this story purely for the advancement of this dialogue and to point out that it is men that have to call this crap out for what it is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can only imagine what that is like, I too have suffered bullying (if we can make such a comparison) when I was young and it does indeed have lasting effects. I am pleased you found a way out and that you and your three sons are trying to work things out. When you said he (your son) became verbally abusive, is this in any way related to what you wen through or is this completely separate? I won’t delve into it of course, apologies if that is something you don’t want to go into.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes it was directly related, I now know it was triggering P.T.S.D. We were all victims and suffered damage including my ex-husband. It has been heartening to see that so much more is now known about the effects of trauma on the brain and that there are therapies and strategies to bring some measure of healing and recovery for those who have access to these and are willing to do the work. Both men and women’s lives are diminished by domestic violence, as are children exposed to this environment and as is the larger community. Men and women in these situations need support and compassion, not judgement. Thanks Sam for creating a space for discussion.

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    • I agree with you wholeheartedly. We have to be grateful I guess that there is much more awareness and therapies like you said, I can image it must have been incredibly difficult at a time when this wasn’t available for sufferers, even those who do not have access today. (It is never good in any case, I am just trying to look on the bright side!).
      I am no expert but I do feel it is necessary to have these discussions and it furthers the awareness. Thank you helping with this.

      Liked by 2 people

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