The Regional Family Commission of the West Bengal Catholic dioceses organized a two-day workshop on domestic violence. It took place at Dishari Pastoral Centre in the Baruipur diocese from November 16 to 17.
It was a Training-for-Trainers program, and as many as 40 selected lay people from eight dioceses of West Bengal, along with priests and nuns from various congregations, attended.
The Regional Family Commission of West Bengal and Sikkim conducted this program with a mission to minimize violence in the family and society.
The event was inaugurated by Bishop Shyamal Bose of Baruipur diocese who is the Chairman of Radio Veritas Asia, Bengali Service.
In his welcome address, Bishop Bose said, “We need non-violent family and society", and for this “all should bear and show love and respect for each other in our family and society.” I am deeply disturbed at the recent incident of family violence in New Delhi where a man had chopped his lover’s body to 35 pieces,” he said.
He then told all to focus on the Holy family, St. Joseph, Mother Mary and Jesus.
Father Joseph Biswas, Secretary of the Regional Family Commission in West Bengal, gave an introduction to domestic violence, its kinds and ways. He said, “We all have families and in this program, we are all being trained to be resource persons to find out ways to solve the problem of domestic violence. All our collective ideas can make a difference which is the aim of this training program.”
“Violence has many dimensions from overt to covert. Violence begets violence and it does not solve problems," said Father Biswas. "Seeds of domestic violence are often sown unconsciously. Violence in the family starts from a mere shouting to the other member of the family," he continued.
All the participants were made aware that children can be taught non-violent behaviour. Each person, by changing himself/herself, can influence those around.
Through these workshops, participants were made aware of how violence originates and spreads. It was observed that from morning to evening people are informed of violence by reading the newspapers, watching TV shows, cinemas and even some mobile games containing acts of violence, gripping and ensuring a sizeable quantity of viewership.
Father Faustin Brank said, “All matters of domestic violence should be settled amicably. One must remember that in most cases matters of divorce start from petty issues and aggravate.”
Arindam Acharjee explained the laws and sanctions on domestic violence. Many misconceptions got removed due to this. He said that the ‘Domestic Violence Act’ of India has a nature of inculcating a peaceful environment.
Father Pradeep Roy said to RVA, “I hope that the participants attending the training on Domestic Violence will look at the couple, not as victim and oppressor as it is usually done, but as two persons who were once united in love by God Himself to live happily forever, but now struggling to remain together finding no way to live life, and both suffering immensely in the process.”
“Understanding that our role is not to judge who is right and who is wrong but to look at them with compassion and help them get out of the difficult situation, the participants will do whatever is within their capacity to alleviate the anger of both partners and be reconciled to each other, in a spirit of forgiveness and love,” said Father Roy.
One of the participants Kakali Biswas said, “Domestic violence is very common. It does not benefit the family and society, rather it is leading to the point of destruction which I have understood from this training program.”
“Now I take the promises that, I will try my best to keep safe our children in the family,” said Biswas. - Atanu Das, from RVA Bengali Service
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.