Shame and stigma harm us all.
Cultural messaging often objectifies people on the basis of who they are, for instance, a person who doesn’t fit the norm (of whatever is currently ‘socially accepted’ regarding sexual behaviour) may be shunned and stigmatized. When this happens, the individual is no longer the subject of their own life. And it becomes difficult for them to be part of a mutually respectful relationship because their potential partners may be unable to respect someone who is widely seen as an object.
Being marginalized or ostracized – shunned or separated from the rest of the community – also deprives an individual of the safety that comes from the common care of being within a supported group. Violence towards an objectified person is more likely to go unnoticed and is less likely to be reported.
Young people and the wider community need to be educated to be compassionate and to listen to the people who have been hurt.
Marion Little, Adjunct Assistance Professor, Dispute Resolution Program, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, BC, Canada, discusses the reasons contributing to Intimate Partner Abuse in our society.
Please note that if you are in BC or the Yukon, you can access toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service (Crisis Support) 24 hours per day, 1-800-563-0808 or email VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca.