Sexual Exploitation and Tourism

Peak hour traffic. An endless array of coloured helmets litter the streets, smoke coughing out of the exhaust of an old bus filled with tired faces, a frowning man with his forehead pasted against the dirty window stares out aimlessly at the hundreds of scooters honking their way through the busy street. Two young girls play on the footpath mimicking the others’ moves completely oblivious to the chaos surrounding them. It is easy to zone out, to shut the overwhelming unease that the thousands upon thousands can make you feel, like a person rescued by their imagination as they drift off into a day dream. Like me. I look out at the various clothing stores we crawl past on my way to the airport, thinking about what I need in my wardrobe for work to look a little more professional. Maybe a vintage midi-skirt, that pair of black jeans I have at home that would go well with the white shirt worn by the manikin, perhaps add some blue earrings and red shoes? Zone out from the fact that just before I caught this taxi I saw an elderly Australian man at the hotel lobby, his spotted, plump hands tickling the waist of a young Vietnamese girl as he commented about the bad service from staff, reminding me that underneath the millions in this Vietnamese megacity lies a disturbing reality of sex tourism that is causally linked to sexual exploitation. His yellow stained teeth and hardened belly impregnated by the constant consumption of alcohol that protrudes out and over the belt of his pants sends both shivers down my spine and a desire to kick him and protectively whisk her away from his dishonourable nature.

The global sex industry is a multi-billion dollar economy and despite being predominantly illegal and socially objectionable, the incredibly large numbers expose the darker side to this black market crime and to human behaviour. In China alone, $73B dollars was spent on prostitution in one year, in Israel over 10,000 men per month visit a prostitute and 41% of men who visit a prostitute in France are married.[1] There are generalisations that prostitutes are willing and content selling their bodies for financial reward and such ideas enable continuity of this ancient industry, however the reality is quite the reverse where up to 89% or more desire to leave the industry.[2] Studies of women who escaped prostitution show significantly higher tension and stress responses from the psychological trauma that include PTSD, somatization and sleeping problems caused by the high risk of exposure to violence and mistreatment.[3] The horrible reality is that many are unable to leave because of this fear and the fact that 40% of prostitutes were formerly trafficked and exploited into the industry as children[4] that increases the difficulty to identify with anything else. The link between prostitution and sex trafficking is what needs to be remembered.

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors

In addition to this, is there a link between pornography and the commercialisation of trafficking? Sex offenders communicate using technologies that now give them access to encounter children online or through tourism hidden under the guise of education (such as international teaching or volunteering in the not-for-profit sectors). This is further perpetuated by stereotypes of Asian women being sexually available and willing that has dehumanised them into a sexual fetish, countries like China and Japan view very young virgins as sexually appealing where young girls in school uniforms giggling has become a widespread stereotype and aligns itself with the fact that such countries are responsible for the majority of sexual exploitation and trafficking of girls and women. According to Licadho president, “many Asian men, especially those over 50, believe sex with virgins gives them magical powers to stay young and ward off illness.”[5] This leaves poor families vulnerable and being uneducated view children as property and answers the reason why there is a strong prevalence of sexual slavery, violence and exploitation within Asia. It doesn’t end there. Women from an Asian background in the Australian sex industry also explains the correlation of the high percentage of trafficked women particularly through ‘Asian-women only brothels’ that function as venues to trick women into the country for exploitation over a short period of time before returning them back to their country, therefore making it difficult for police to report the incident.[6]

The situation becomes even darker where livestreaming of child pornography in Australia has increased despite laws to prevent registered sex offenders from travelling overseas and with the availability of telecommunications technology and the internet exposes the surge of paedophilia particularly in South East Asia. Paying as little as $40 enables these sex predators to livestream children being raped and therefore eliciting the eventual trafficking of poor young girls from the region.[7] South East Asia is one of the poorest regions in the developing world, the GDP per capita in Vietnam and other ASEAN countries confirms that hundreds of millions live far below the poverty line that increases the vulnerability particularly of children, especially since $40 could feed an entire family for a month in most regions. UNICEF reports that almost 385 million children live in extreme poverty and are too poor to go to school[8] that disproportionately increases their risk of exploitation as it is access to proper food and shelter, school and the provision of other stable determinants that protect young children. Sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT) and the predatory behaviour of sex offenders is a huge problem in the region where offenders approach young children living on the streets or at the beach. “In many cases, these children are working day and night on the streets, on beaches, and around bar and restaurant areas. These children are highly vulnerable to SECTT.”[9]

My recent visit to the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam gave me first-hand experience of the poverty and vulnerability of these families and children. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has indicated that almost 4.8 million people are exploited for sexual purposes globally.[10] UNODC’ Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 20% of those trafficked are children but in the upper Mekong region the percentage of children trafficked are much higher and the larger majority of those trafficked are for sexual exploitation.[11] The greatest impediment to tackling the problem of trafficking and sexual exploitation is the denial by governments and the lack of data, however international law and the instruments have become a powerful conduit to tackle and eliminate trafficking by creating measures that countries can sign, ratify and enforce for national compliance. Australian sex offenders committing crimes overseas are still liable to tough Australian penalties through Div 272 and 273 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the Australian Federal Police have provided a report Child Sex Tourism Form for people to report suspicious behaviour, in addition to preventing or monitoring any registered sex offender who wants to travel overseas to prevent any potential offenses overseas and to protect children particularly from the Philippines, China and South East Asia from such predators. This follows the United Nations Protocol to PreventSuppress and Punish Trafficking in Personsespecially Women and Children supplements the Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and while Australia has adopted numerous measure to reduce potential risks by ratifying UNTOC and the protocol including the prohibition of other forms of exploitation through trafficking including slavery, debt bondage and forced marriage, we should also approach the international justice system particularly due to our proximity to Asia through continued monitoring of the Asian region as well as the provision of assistance to these countries that will improve their abysmal investigative and judicial record. While Australia has formed Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project (ARTIP) to combat trafficking in Asia, more pressure and focus on transnational crime and cooperation should be made to effect any real change in the Asian region that starts with our domestic attitude to Asian stereotypes.

I hear it, the idea that it is legal because there is consent and payment – and therefore a transaction – but it is clear that a majority of those in the industry have been exploited and in particular from childhood that cannot in any way, shape or form be justified by remuneration particularly since a human being is not an object. It is heinous to forget their humanity, their story behind the act and all the causal links that chain them to the industry. Ignorance is no excuse and it is our responsibility to protect all children and women who are vulnerable to exploitation due to extreme poverty and a lack of education, but also the widespread view that objectifies women in general and to see their purpose solely for the gratification of men rather than as human beings with decision-making capacity.

I believe that many people turn a blind-eye away from these facts because most men believe they are vulnerable to becoming predators themselves. Indeed, men have urges and may sometimes feel the fear that they are capable of committing gross offenses that it is easier to simply look away – out of sight, out of mind – in order to prevent the potential of committing gross indecency themselves, but all this does is perpetuate the horrible reality that women, children and teenagers are nothing more then commodities. You cannot blind yourself to prevent yourself from going to hell and love your neighbour at the same time, but a truly moral person would use the law and social awareness to educate the public and reduce women being seen as human beings and not as objects. It is also to remember that the market exists because men are paying for it and therefore the problem is within men. Objectifying women is a form of violence and what differentiates between our humanity and what is heinous is our ability to reason, to feel empathy and to humanise rather than dehumanise people into objects or things. To see a living person is to love our neighbour as ourselves, including women.

[1] https://www.havocscope.com/prostitution-statistics/
[2] https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ei/rls/38790.htm
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2615337/
[4] https://sex-crimes.laws.com/prostitution/prostitution-statistics
[5] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/06/virginity-for-sale-cambodia-sex-trade
[6] https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/lcdocs/submissions/57323/0027%20Collective%20Shout.pdf
[7] https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/surge-in-pedophile-livestreaming-from-southeast-asia/news-story/3b470dd5e945c0abc1175567eee5a642
[8] https://www.unicef.org/media/media_92856.html
[9] file:///C:/Users/saraa/Desktop/Regional-Overview_Southeast-Asia.pdf
[10] https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang–en/index.htm

Moral Parenthood

There are moments where I become so overwhelmed by the injustice that exists in our world, where I find myself sandwiched in the corner of my room trying to breath amidst the tears after reading about Du’a Khalil Aswad, a young Yazidi girl being stoned to death for false suspicions of a relationship with a Sunni boy, the intensity of this subjective pain causing me to crush my fingers deep into the palm of my hands as I think about how witnesses can film rather than fight to stop the injustice. What would possess people to think that murder of a child is justifiable? Then I read about the commercial exploitation of children both sexually and for labour with our most vulnerable including refugee and migrant children, those homeless and impoverished among other demographic and high-risk factors and where the use of internet technology enabling these vicious predators to recruit and sell children. The shocking reality that the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons shows that in some parts of the world, there is a large proportion of women as traffickers.[1] While we often assume that parenthood is absolute in its protection and love toward children, social and environmental conditions as shown by the endemic proportions of global infanticide clearly prove that this is not the case for our vulnerable minors. As I am currently in the process of possibly becoming a permanent carer of a small child here in Australia, where I will become a guardian to a child who would otherwise have no security or stability on a permanent basis due to difficulties with their birth family. When asked how that differs from adoption where a child is legally considered as your child, the only difference is ownership.

The rights of a child is indeed a very complex framework that involves intricate questions relating to ownership, privacy and capacity that challenge the view that children are merely an independent choice within the private sphere of family and thus remain impenetrable from the jurisdiction of the law until they are legally of age. Indeed, privacy regulations are vital to ensure that each person enjoys the right to be protected from engaging in autonomous activities outside of public scrutiny and unauthorised intrusion, within reason. This includes ensuring that the state balances this privacy with security and the protection it largely affords to the public including intervention that safeguards the rights of our most vulnerable. While the rights of a child embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC) and the fifty-four articles therewith that lay the foundation exemplifying the importance of protecting children from harm and to lead a fulfilling life, it has come under scrutiny for its provisions being brazenly paternalistic that fail to address the autonomy and competence available to children. A necessary balance is required between children being vulnerable and dependent with autonomy and competence, child protection and advocacy with increased appreciation of a child’ ability to make decisions. This can be seen in the judicial system of Victoria (Australia) where children are enabled with the right to testimony in family law as well as other criminal and civil proceedings whereby to determine competency, judges factor in the age[2] and other determinable investigations such as whether the child understands the nature of being under oath[3] or give under special circumstances unsworn evidence.[4] Continued advocacy in Victoria to grant children stronger rights by taking a more flexible approach on a case-by-case basis that instead presumes a child as being capable until competency itself is questioned (rather than the other way around), which is slowly challenging the traditional, paternalistic approach.

Children being subject to rights imply them to be subjects to the law and an exploration of how the law can ensure the protection of these rights without abandoning their entitlement to play an active role viz., the assumption that they lack the autonomy needed to claim such rights must be reconsidered. Rather, their rights are parallel to that of an adult, but distinguished by a more sophisticated application. It is clear that competency and rights clearly differ and though a child according the UN Convention is a person who is under the age of 18 unless national laws state otherwise,[5] competency to provide evidence is fast becoming obtainable that challenges the socially constructed view that capacity is age related. It also challenges the theoretical approach. When an adult legally signs a contract, they are considered capable of understanding the binding nature that would enable them to adhere to the obligations set out within the contract. Social contract theorists such as John Locke argued that “children were in a temporary state of inequality because of their irrationality.”[6] As such, children cannot have rights because they lack the cognitive capacity that enables them to make rational choices. John Rawls states that, “it is sometimes thought that basic rights and liberties should vary with capacity, but justice as fairness denies this: provided the minimum for moral personality is satisfied, a person is owed all the guarantees of justice.”[7]

The largely incorrect opinion that children lack capacity deprives them of the chance to develop the intrinsic quality that is a natural part of human cognition, and having witnessed some parents and teachers fail to contribute to the development of reflective abilities by simply telling children how they should behave and what to think clearly is a pedagogical error, and in response children fail to ever learn to recognise their own ableness in decision making leading them to rely on the opinions of others even into adulthood.

What is this capacity for a moral personality? Jeremy Bentham has purported that people can only be afforded legal rights but moral rights is ‘nonsense on stilts’[8] and though it is true that there may be a complex theoretical underpinning to the concept, rights and freedoms have nevertheless become imbedded in our contemporary response to the external world. Rawls makes it clear that all human beings – save for a very distinct few who either from birth or accident have been deprived of this quality – contain the necessary attributes that would enable them with the quality of a moral personality, even if capacities vary. That is, though all people have varying capacities that enable an understanding and exercise of justice, they are still entitled to equal liberties. The exploration of children’ rights are indeed linked closely to the subject of capacity, where they are assumed unable and incompetent despite the presence of the faculty that is merely in its developmental stage. This immediate denial of self-determination reduces an adequate understanding of the broader responsibilities that influence and shape the pre-existing ability that enables capacity itself or as Rawls continues with, “[o]nly scattered individuals are without this capacity, or its realization to a minimum degree, and the failure to realize it is the consequence of unjust and impoverished social circumstances, or fortuitous contingencies.”[9] Capacity as a socially constructed and age-related concept could simply shut them off from the realisation of their own ability for self-determination.

When I find myself having conversations with some of the young children at the various primary schools I work in, their dispositions and attention immediately change when they realise that I am treating them as an individual, whereby they suddenly become conscious of their behaviour and of what they are saying. They are being heard. The largely incorrect opinion that children lack capacity deprives them of the chance to develop the intrinsic quality that is a natural part of human cognition, and having witnessed some parents and teachers fail to contribute to the development of reflective abilities by simply telling children how they should behave and what to think clearly is a pedagogical error, and in response children fail to epistemically ever learn to recognise their own ableness in decision making leading them to relying on the opinions of others even into adulthood.

While it is clear that we must ensure that we protect children from any violation of their rights, there is a shifting trend that children can be recognised as rights-holders and that the assessment of competency is leaning toward a better understanding of the nature of childhood and development. It is complex to say the least that there exists a problem of parental rights and ownership that can either undermine the rights of children or could depreciate the ability for a family to raise a child, but a balance itself needs to be reached that condones any act that will inhibit the development and education of a child while at the same time promote reflective practices and education that will give children the capacity to understand how to make decisions for themselves. It is what has been referred to as moral parenthood (rather than biological).[10] It is a recognition that challenges both the idea that a child is afforded rights solely by their biological parents that could quite easily been neglected or abused and by seeing children as having these rights would enforce both legally and socially moral attitudes that would shift the predisposition of thinking for a child rather than listening to a child. With adequate mechanisms in place, listening to them and speaking in their language to work out what they find important, to both consider and enable them the opportunity to express their point of view will provide them with the capacity to think independently, consciously and morally.

[1] UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2014, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5492a3d94.html %5Baccessed 10 June 2017]
[2] Evidence Act 1958 (Vic) – in Victoria, it is under the age of 14.
[3]  R v Braiser (1779) 1 Leach 199; Omychund v Barker (1744) 1 Atk 21.
[4] Evidence Act 1958 (Vic) s 23.
[5] Article 1 CRC
[6] Mhiari Cowden, Children’s Rights: From Philosophy to Policy, Springer (2016) 26
[7] John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, Harvard University Press (2009) 77
[8] See Jeremy Bentham, ‘Anarchical fallacies; being an examination of the Declaration of Rights issued during the French Revolution’ (1791)
[9] Op. Cit., Rawls.
[10] David Archard, Children: Rights and Childhood, Routledge, London (1993) 109

 

 

Are All Men Cowards?

I often remark on the necessity of moral consciousness, what I deem to be the correct representation of the ambiguous notion of ‘love’ where one is capable of rationally reflecting on moral judgements toward the principle aim of reaching the ideal [Platonic] Form of Good or God and what one can only achieve once they have transcended to posses a mental state of autonomy. That is, one who can transcend socially expected codes of conduct relative to their culture and what they are expected to conform to toward guiding themselves in a state of rational freedom, setting standards and responding with moral principles according to their own understanding of duty and good-will. This transcendence toward an authentic and independent way of thinking without the interference of our subjective fears and outside influences is determined by the courage to face the separateness of ourselves from others and to take responsibility for our decisions and actions; the greatest obstacle being the angst produced within us by the alienation from everything we had been taught to believe is our reality. It is to face our individuality. This angst is a type of subjective pain and we end up with a difficult choice in the attempt to end the pain; as mentioned, we either transcend and begin taking self-reflective responsibility through developing an independent moral consciousness, or we give up and conform to patterns of social behaviour. This conformity, however, can be religious or gang-related, it can be following your partner or friends and family to following neo-Nazi ideology, whatever is accessible that would enable the individual to avoid exercising independent and rational judgement. This decision is nihilistic since reasoning and acting consciously is the nature of our existence and failing this confirms a belief in a meaninglessness for ones own life. The ‘soul’ of the individual is in despair because the conscious conformism is against our very nature and to silence this blind submission, feelings of powerlessness and of weakness, his nihilism and hatred for himself projects outward to the world around him. He loses his humanity and what is left is nothing but a wretched person who has conformed to the rules of his environment that artificially protects him from exposing his state of mind, or lack thereof. This subjective cowardice to take that natural step toward transcending to an independent moral consciousness by abandoning self-reflective responsibility is an archetype of cowardice in all its forms, which is why it could render a man capable of violence and even murder of a woman behind closed doors, to those who are physically weaker, and who are dependent on them. Why would they take responsibility for others if they are incapable of doing so within themselves?

When I saw a poster written by activists following the brutal murder of 20 year old Özgecan Aslan in Turkey by a man who attempted to rape her, where it wrote “Biz kadın gibi yaşamak istiyoruz,” which translates to we want to live as women, I unequivocally understood what that meant. There is a trend that one will notice as you continue to read, that the most vulnerable in our society, those that require protection and support are turned away, ignored and ultimately become the victims of violence and exploitation. These perpetrators who seek out the vulnerable epitomise cowardice defined not as one who is afraid of the dark, but rather one who is afraid of his moral responsibility that in the process discards morality and becomes a ‘worm’ as Kierkegaard calls such men. “For a worm it might be regarded as a sin to harbor such thoughts, but not for a being made in the image of God.”[1] Power is a critical variable and often those who abuse their position of power or authority are the members of a household who make the decisions.

The global number of people trafficked per year for labour and sexual exploitation is staggering, with 75 per cent of the 20.9 million[2] exploited being women and children;[3] 4.6 million are victims of sexual slavery. In 2012, accounting 14 per cent of all homicides were deaths resulting from intimate partner or family member abuse,[4] with 50 per cent of all female homicide victims – a total of 43,600 women – killed from domestic violence. 95 per cent of perpetrators of all global homicide were male.[5] It is estimated that globally, 35% of women have experience violence either physically or sexually. Women with intellectual disabilities are regularly victims of physical and sexual abuse that forced sterlisations continue to be performed and the impact on children who witness or experience domestic violence includes “a range of behavioural and emotional disturbances. These can also be associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life,”[6] as well as an increased risk in health issues.

The situation is not something one can dismiss and domestic violence by intimate partners and family members resulting in the overwhelming number of fatalities is clearly disproportionate between genders, just as much as sexual exploitation. Whilst it may be possible to quantify the number of deaths or reported crimes, it would be difficult to verify the actual number of women and children who have experienced violence and further still, it is even more complex ascertaining the causal roots of this tragedy. By taking into account the socio-political and cultural conditions, and even the psychological and behavioural perceptions of masculinity, we may shed light on ways to establish normative changes to current state practices on the prevention of interpersonal violence.

Disparaging views against women is not an uncommon phenomenon, in fact, it continues even academically where traditionally male-dominated disciplines such as the sciences and philosophy consistently disregard the canons of female representatives while subjecting them to hasty generalisations and mockery that prolong pre-existing gender bias without consideration to the historical and continued subjugation of women’ rights. Some stricter patriarchic societies have normalised violence against women in addition to the mental health effects caused by the glorification of abuse where violence is used as an instrument to engender notions of masculinity and power. This is clearly the case in Turkey, where the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Policy revealed that almost 86% of a population of over 38 million women in the country has suffered from physical and psychological violence.[7] My home country, Australia, also has staggering results where it has become the leading cause of preventable death and illness of women aged between 15-44 following the establishment of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, however comparably it is not as pervasive. When such widespread violence becomes a cultural norm, it verifies why 64% of women in Turkey remain married to their abusive partner. The effects of domestic violence has a devastating impact on the mental health of victims as seen with patterns where clusters of Turkish women experience major depressive disorder, phobic and post-traumatic stress disorder[8] that can often be considered a normal female feature.

It is not normal.

I recently spoke about a memory where my father was standing outside of a bedroom door when I was a child, wielding a large kitchen knife and screaming at my mother, who had locked herself in the room, telling her to get out so he can kill her. This is followed by another memory of him reading a poem he wrote for my mother about the love he had for her. Psychological abuse stands at the forefront of violence against women and children and is used as a tactic for several reasons; the first is to control the victim through feelings of guilt, confusion and fear and the second is to deflect blame and responsibility for their own actions. This includes tactics such as economic control and isolation from any support mechanisms including friends and family, making excuses such as exhaustion due to work obligations, criticising her appearances and intellect, and mind games such as gaslighting taken from the 1944 film Gaslight starring Charles Boyer as Gregory Anton who slowly convinces his wife Paula played by Ingrid Bergman that she is going insane. It is the gradual tactic that sows psychological doubts of ones own sanity. My father came from a Turkish/Arabic culture that glorified violence and where violence against a wife and other men were promoted as a symbol of his capacity to protect his family unit [his parents and siblings].

Whilst we have feminist studies, cultural ideals and notions of masculinity seemingly go under the radar. An environment that promotes notions of masculinity through defined attributes such as physical strength, breadwinners [domestic power] and professional prestige effect perceptions on how a man should appear and behave. When constructions of masculinity is defined as much as beauty is to the identity of the feminine, a dichotomy is by extension coupled with this definition whereby feelings of emasculation are formed when one fails to adequately adhere to the required qualities that define this image of a ‘man’. Masculinity and the concept of gender itself is a social construct.[9] He assumes failure and develops a sense of insignificance and a way to overcome the sense of subjective powerlessness is through acts of aggression since it is envisioned as a form of power. This is also the case with sexual violence and why 58% of trafficking cases globally account for sexual exploitation, not to mention the crime of sexual violence as a weapon of war. As with definitions of masculinity, notions of feminine purity often shift the blame to victims of sexual violence. 

article-sexworker-1109

A haunting glimpse into the reality of sex-workers as it almost exposes the monstrosity behind men who have lost the depth of their humanity by willingly engaging in sexual exploitation of women and their failure to adhere to the responsibility toward morality.

The effects of my experiences as a child witnessing the violence included feeling guilty for what was essentially the abuse against me, as well as being afraid of and distrustful of men that I never approached intimate relationships. Instead – in my isolation – I focused intently on understanding the conflicting challenges between what was moral and loving in principle to eliminate what was programmed by my environment and experiences. I saved my own life because of this. I changed my name and chose to lead my own life independent of all institutions and social requisites including my past experiences and developed a new life or ‘church’ under my own direction. Most continue being subject to or inflicting violence, careless of themselves and denying any problem with their circumstances, hence the prevalence and prevalent acceptance of violence against women. What needs to be understood is that any form of violence can never be justified unless it is in self-defense and even so there are strict rules as to what may be adequately considered thus. Any man who raises his arm against a woman or attacks, exploits or abuses someone vulnerable is exposing nothing more than his mental health and moral defects and utilising psychological games by blaming the victim to deflect responsibility or by using the cultural normalisation of violence as a justification cannot change that very fact.

Only a man who self-regulates his own behaviour and adheres to his own moral principles consciously along with his own independent view of selfhood would never feel emasculated even with a woman who may be professionally or academically more successful, because he becomes a man in his own right rather than what is socially constructed. I was forced to fend for myself, to fight through constant injustice and to surpress my feminine attributes to survive, hence why “Biz kadın gibi yaşamak istiyoruz” is saying that a woman wants to be a peace enough in her life to be herself. While patriarchic cultures may be to blame, it is the fact that violent men have serious mental health issues vis-à-vis their failure to take moral responsibility for their behaviour. It is to wholly accept the fact that violence equates to mental health problems, particularly in light of children who are exposed to violence and are likely to inherit the same behaviour later in life. It is not just that women and children are currently going through an invisible catastrophe, but on the whole people have turned their backs on morality and our responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in our community.

The trend here is that people have turned their backs on love.

[1] Douglas J. Soccio, Archetypes of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy, Cengage Learning (2015) 401. See Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life
[2] See United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012
[3] Ibid.
[4] See United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), The Global Study on Homicide 2013
[5] Ibid.
[6] World Health Organisation, Violence Against Women: Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Against Women Fact sheet (November 2016) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/
[7] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarabrynn-hudgins/a-chronic-problem-violenc_b_13649898.html
[8] Simsek Z, Ak D, Altindag A, Günes M. “Prevalence and predictors of mental disorders among women in Sanliurfa, Southeastern Turkey,” J Public Health (Oxf). 2008 Dec 30(4): 487-93.
[9] See Maurice Berger, Brian Wallis, Simon Watson, Carrie Mae Weems, Constructing Masculinity, Psychology Press (1995)