WE SAY NO TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
This is the main topic in a visual communication sign developed by the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (ECC) and that I found in our new health center since September. Since I was not present there during the moment it was installed, I am unaware of the circumstances in which the ECC decided to spread such message, which in addition is shown in the middle of a hospital environment. Rapidly, I found reply to all the questions during the rewarding teachings of Father Andre Marie-Kegne in the personal retreat of the last Christmas. In addition, the young Postulant Marie-Edith educates everyday patients in relation to this topic. Violence -and this is known by everybody: can emerge from men’s heart since their first days of life in the uterus if they are the object of rejection from their mothers, fathers, or both. For a long time in Africa, families behave as if the part of a father in the development of a child were optional. However, histories from patients of psychiatry in hospitals, prisoners in penitentiaries or those who commit domestic violence demonstrate sufficiently that this is a huge mistake. Therefore, what mut be done? To encourage men to be more present in prenatal controls of their wives and well, who knows? They could even accompany women during labor, as it usually is in Western countries. In our context, some scenarios deserve attention:
- In our ultrasound room, we can estimate the rate of men who participate in the ultrasound sessions is about 15%. In general, it is a rewarding and wonderful moment for parents, who through a screen can watch and participate in the whole process.
- The presence of men in maternity during all the labor of their wives until they abandon maternity.
- The presence of men carrying their babies for vaccines…
To encourage these small steps and fathers to preserve active communication with the fetus is also a form to guarantee mutual respect in family relationships, where violence gives gradually space for peace and therefore in the whole country. I sincerely want to express my gratitude to the Cameroon Episcopal for this strong message in favor to peace.