Reply To: Reflect and discuss: Why prevention in Mercy’s story

Dellene Clark

    Mercy’s story reflects inter-generational violence. The behaviour and norms of the community entrench and normalise the abuse of power towards girls and women, often by the very women who are abused. Mary’s aunts explained that it was the way in which a man showed his wife his love. In this way the girls grow up to be exposed to sexual and physical violence and boys grow up to be perpetrators thereof. Until there is an understanding of the abuse of power for what it is the cycle will continue. Dialogues or conversation sessions which empower communities to understand the dynamics at play will allow a shift in understanding, behaviour and power. This will address violence at the root of the problem and not just the fruit thereof.