It’s another Mother’s Day today, May 8, 2016. I woke up to Mother’s Day text messages from friends on my phone. I browsed through Facebook posts and the social media platform was flooded with accolades and praises for mothers. Some users even changed their page’s pictures to that of their mother’s.
In church today, I found out that all women were given flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day. Women play vital role in the community whether they have biological children or not. They continue to serve selflessly and give as much of themselves as they could. I read a post by one of the Minnesota Senators last night on Facebook. Senator Amy Klobuchar posted on her timeline, “I wanted to share this research that shows Minnesota has the second-highest rate of working moms in the nation, with more than 80 percent of moms with kids under age 18 in the workforce. Policies that help women succeed — including equal pay and family leave — aren’t just important for them. They’re important for our entire economy.”
Mothers are important in the economic development of the community, yet it is sad to note that women are the most vulnerable to domestic violence and human trafficking. I was in Washington DC over a week and half ago when a mother of four was killed by her husband in Ramsey, Minnesota. The 30 year old mother, Courtney volunteered at the Anoka Ramsey Athletic Association, according to news reports. A friend also told me that the family was well know to the community because of her participation in sports with the kids but suspected nothing.
While still in shock of the Ramsey incident, another story of a Nigerian mother was trending on Facebook. For the past two days, there has been several posts of Lekan Shobande beating his wife, a mother of two to death and taking to his heels. That is another mother who has met her untimely death from the hands of the man that claimed to love her.
Although, Alexandra House is a known battered women shelter in Anoka County, there are so many reasons why Coutney might not have been able to summon the courage to go to the shelter. And for the mother of two in Nigeria, similar reasons might be keeping her in the abusive marriage. Sometimes, victims of domestic violence think that things will change positively or get better; other times, victims are too embarrassed to speak up because of community shame. To help many victims who are still enduring the agony of domestic violence, we need to cultivate a culture that says, “It’s okay to reach out for help without being judgmental.” Family members, friends, neighbors, and even strangers blame a woman when she walks away from her marriage. Some even preach the Bible. Please, we cannot continue to sacrifice the lives of mothers and leave their children being passed around from family members to friends when their mothers could have been there to care for them.
We have to change our cultural perspective by walking consciously about not being judgmental. Mothers and fathers encourage their children to stay in abusive relationship because they do not want their friends to mock them about being irresponsible parents because their children divorced their spouses on the grounds of abuse. I have had an abused woman told me her mother wanted her to stay and I have had the father of an another abused mother told me to prevail over his daughter to stay with her abusive husband because of “our culture.”
We do not want to continue to lose mothers to domestic violence or human trafficking. Please, take a stand today to walk consciously to say no to domestic violence and show genuine support for an abused woman.
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Bye for now, until next time.
Featured image from Pro Flowers: Proflowwers.com