Domestic Violence in Afghanistan Being Overlooked

by on March 7th, 2015
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COMMENTARY | There are some pictures and stories that haunt you. My nightmare is the one of the 15 year old girl from Afghanistan. She had been abused for six months in the basement by her in-laws. What kind of people would do this? What kind of government allows that? How can you think that any sort of god would want you to treat another human being like this?

Now, everyone in Washington and Afghanistan is upset about the videos of the Marines, and, rightly so. What those men did was desecrate the value of human life. It was vulgar and rude. But how can we ignore or turn our heads when we see what some of Afghans do to their wives? Seriously, if my husband or in-laws tried to do that to me, I would not go down without a fight. That is the subject of a horror movie that should not be a reality for these young girls in real life. I mean, she was missing her fingernails! Torture? Even the military is not supposed to use this method. Or are they? I do remember the pictures from Guantanamo Bay. Maybe I should brush up on my knowledge of military warfare, but that is not what I learned in basic training.

It is sad to read the newspapers about the wrongs our troops do, but it is also sad to see the harm that people do to each other in the name of religion. We have come far as a people by not burning others at the stake in the name of religion, haven’t we? At what point in our lives do we lose appreciation for the value of another human being’s life? Life is too short not to make your life as good as it can be, life it too short not to make the quality of others’ lives improve.

We all know we can’t fix everything. We have learned that from years of war: People have a hard time accepting a way that is different or offensive to them in the eyes of their religion. But we have also learned through our history as Americans, that people can evolve into a new way of thinking. Slaves can be set free, man can walk on the moon, and abused woman can one day, be strong.

References: Patrick Quinn and Rahim Faiez, Associated Press; Pauline Jelinek and Robert Burns, Associated Press

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