Human Rights lost


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Just a few days after International Human Rights Day, we are hearing of some horrific “domestic violence” incidents that have ended in homicide. A young woman was beaten to death by her partner, an 18-year-old girl stabbed to death by her partner and a man was stabbed to death seemingly in a domestic argument when he went to visit his child’s mother.

I can’t seem to help it, but I often think of the anger and rage that must take over someone when they inflict fatal violence like this. How did it end up like that? Of course, it is inconceivable for most people to get to that point, but too many do. And now three families are missing loved ones at a time of year when everyone gathers together. It did not have to be so. The Observer article linked to above has an excellent explanation from a psychiatrist that should be pondered by everyone:

“The problem doesn’t arise at the point where there is conflict between husband and wife or partners. It starts at early childhood. So if you’re going to think about the solution, you have to think about dealing with it not just from the immediate perspective, but also from early childhood,” (CEO of Training Dynamics and Consultants, Ainsley Deer) argued.

He explained that there is an inverse relationship between corporal punishment in young children and a chemical in the body called serotonin, which is responsible for maintaining mood balance.

“Whenever you brutalise or abuse children, it tends to reduce the serotonin and the lower the amount of serotonin, the more intense or the more prone that person is to becoming angry. So it’s wonderful that we have programmes and things, but we also have to stop abusing our children. When we abuse our children there’s a physiological response which really results in violence when that child grows up, and there’s also a learnt behaviour from the bad treatment that they sometimes experience,” Deer explained.

“So I admire the police; I support whatever it is that they are doing, but you have to look at it not just from the standpoint of programmes for adults. Naturally, you can teach people how to relate to each other, but the deeper problem starts not at that point, but with the children,” the psychiatrist said.

These victims, and countless others, lost the ultimate human right: to life. And it did not have to be so.

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