It is my firm belief that no woman sets out to purposely harm her child, nor any other for that matter. To that I would also add that I don’t believe that men, per se, set out to harm children either. Some men however, are given to violence. They encounter it in their lives as they grow up, and then later they seek it out as others seek out drugs. It spills over into relationships with them being violent to their partners, and then also to any children in the relationship, often the partner’s children. Such men are neither use nor ornament.
In the forty one years that we’ve been married I have never felt even the tiniest desire to hurt my wife, she is as precious to me now as the day I first saw her sitting at the parlour table in our house, she was my sister’s school-friend. Neither of us ever raised a hand in violence towards either of our children. Such a thought is so abhorrent to me that I feel quite sick just writing it. The natural and normal consequence of the loving and totally non-violent environment in which we raised them is that both of our children have moved into happy and fulfilling relationships of their own where nobody within their family groups will encounter violence either. This is as it should be and hopefully remains the norm for relationships everywhere.
There has however, been a seemingly endless number of reports recently, concerning women and their partners killing young children in this country. It appears to be happening more often than ever, though of course that can simply be that such things are better reported these days. In a recent case where both the mother and the partner (not the father), were sent to prison for starving and beating a poor child to death, it is shocking that even teachers and neighbours and social care workers never saw what was going on. The poor little fellow was four years old. In another case a little girl was killed and then just left wrapped up on a bed for almost two years, two years! What causes a society to create such vicious people? How can someone care so little for another human being, and one so small? Recently a man was sent to prison for stabbing an eighty-five year old man to death who was just walking home from his prayers, the murderer also let off several bombs in which luckily no one was injured. An eighty year old lady was viciously raped and beaten badly before being left for dead. A few months later she did indeed die. Her killer is now in prison. It goes on and on. It will never stop. It escalates into gang fights, turf wars, civil wars, and of course, finally, world wars.
There are those who say it is just human nature dating back to ‘man the hunter’. I say this is wrong. It is the twenty-first century and civilisation should have reached a point by now where differences could be settled without this natural inclination towards a violent solution. Just imagine being able to go to anywhere in the world without the fear that you could land in the middle of a war zone. Imagine how much happier we would all be if we could just talk to each other as equals, which lets face it, is what we all are.
I said at the beginning that I didn’t believe that any woman would purposely set out to harm her, or any other person’s child. I do firmly believe that. I think generally that when they do it is after the influence of violent men. It is violent men who are at the root of so much pain in the world, and they come in many guises. Some are just out and out bad, others find it’s a path where they can be more easily successful than any other way. Some manage to hide their violent nature and suddenly pop up as leaders of men, or as dictators – one thing they all have in common though is the leaning towards violence as a solution.
That is the real eternal question…how can we stop killing each other?