Where is the love in a marriage when a mother of four has to disguise the weekend bruises on her arm and face as she prepares for work on Monday?
Where is the compassion when a teenage wife is told to go back to her husband even if her eyes are swollen from his fists, because she “asked for it?”
These were the tough questions asked by National Council of Women president Vaine Wichman to representatives of faith-based organisations on Thursday, with the aim of shedding light on domestic violence in the Cook Islands as part of the White Ribbon Appeal.
Wichman held a working lunch of representatives of faith-based organisations at the National Council of Women’s headquarters.
She said all faith-based organisations preached peace and love, compassion and mercy, life and dignity.
But she said there was more these organisations could do to help the nation’s most vulnerable women.
“Because we can change our religious traditions and policies that defend an abusive marriage, and because we can shine a light on the reality of domestic violence is a first step in creating a safe place in the churches for the victims and survivors of domestic violence.”