The image of the man beating his wife for possessing a dollar bill in Zimbabwe is truly heartbreaking and disturbing. Observing the photo, you see a woman being horribly beaten by a man. In the distance another man, slightly older but not by much just sits and acts like nothing is happening.
In the description of the photo you learn that the man beating the woman is not just a random man but it is her husband and he is beating her because she came in possession of a U.S. $1 bill. He defends his actions because he says he thinks his wife is cheating on him, and that this money is just evidence of her adultery making his actions justified. The description of the article is more disgusting than the picture itself.
In the image you see a man beating a woman- there seems to be no rhyme or reason for his action, he just appears to be an angry man who is overly aggressive towards the female (who is obviously not defending herself). It can be deemed suspicious that the onlooker does nothing but sit and watch while the man beats the woman, but without the caption, the image is much less haunting. Adding the details to why the woman is being beat, and the fact that she is being beaten by her husband makes the image increasingly more powerful. It makes the viewer wonder why the onlooker was so passive to the violence and why the aggression took place in the first time.
The image brings to mean many questions. Why are women allowed to be treated like this in countries like Zimbabwe? What leads to the abuse of women and how common is domestic violence, not only in Zimbabwe, but across the globe? Looking at domestic violence from a nurses’ perspective, it makes me wonder what I can do to help these women.
Abuse against women is becoming a global epidemic. “Over the past two decades, domestic violence and rape have been major concerns of the feminist movement, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere” (Osirim, n.d.). In countries like Zimbabwe, rape and domestic abuse are clear illustrations of some of the ways in which men exert control over women. “According to statistics released by Musasa project, cases of domestic violence recorded at the magistrate courts countrywide rose from 1,940 in 2008 to 7,3268 in 2010. By the end of the first quarter of this year, the recorded cases were already 2,536” (Matendere, 2012). That’s almost double the cases of domestic violence in a quarter of the time period- emphasizing the need for more nursing care and support for domestic abuse victims worldwide.
Countries like Zimbabwe and other third world countries are not the only countries where domestic abuse runs rampant and is a growing health care problem. “On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. In 2009, 67 women were murdered by a current or former spouse or boyfriend….On any given day in Canada, more than 3,000 women (along with their 2,500 children) are living in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence….In just one year in Canada, 427,000 women over the age of 15 reported they had been sexually assaulted” (Canadian Women’s Foundation, 2012).
If this kind of problem is happening not only in underdeveloped nations, but in fully developed countries like Canada- places where people would be shocked to see such statistics- things must change or at least care must be brought to the women who are suffering in these countries.
Abused women suffer both emotionally and physically. Treating a woman who has just been through a domestic violence dispute can be very challenging. As a nurse you must first treat the woman’s surface wounds, but you also have to be aware of the wounds you cannot see- the emotional scars that come with domestic violence. Often these women are left homeless, shattered and broken- needing much more than just medical support. The care and medical aid needed for women who have gone through domestic violence is a special kind of aid that needs to be treated as such, and with domestic violence becoming a growing epidemic, nurses should be prepped as to how to handle domestic violence survivors not only medically, but also emotionally.
Canadian Women’s Foundation. (2012). The Facts About Violence Against Women. Canadian Women’s Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.canadianwomen.org/facts-about- violence
Matendere, Brenna. (2012). Domestic Violence on the Rise. The Zimbabwean. Retrieved from http://www.thezimbabwean.co/news/zimbabwe/60000/court-watch.html
Osiris, Mary. (n.d.). Crisis in the State and the Family: Violence Against Women in Zimbabwe.
Retrieved from http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v7/v7i2a8.htm