【GOH Activity】Muse or Myth of Happiness? 2016/12/20
Photo: The Chief Supervisor Tu explaining the common myths of DV

 By Nina Huang, International Affairs Specialist, CEO Office, GOH Headquarters

Proofread by Mrs. Avery Lemmon

On December 7, the Garden of Hope Foundation held a class called “Muse or Myth of Happiness?” The lecturer was Mrs. Tu Ying-Chiu, the headquarter Chief Supervisor, who has been working on child and youth protections for over a decade. The aim of this class was to break the myths about domestic violence and the children who witness it in Taiwanese society.    

Tu used Shi-Di Episode II “A woman in the fence” (The Taiwanese version of the Vagina Monologues) as teaching material. The very first question was, “Does marriage mean a lifetime of happiness for women?” In an Asian society like Taiwan, marriage is considered as the ultimate goal for all women to achieve happiness.  

However, marriage is never the ultimate source of happiness or a permanent harbor for women. The fact is that marriage is never perfect for anyone. The abuses of power and control that are carried out in the name of love are the dark underbelly of marriage. All forms of domestic violence occur because of that. Victims of domestic violence become both mentally and physically damaged because of the learned helplessness from living in an abusive environment in the long term.

In addition, the mass majority of citizens often blame the victims for their laziness, emotions, or failures to perform as “good” wives. The myth is that a good woman and a perfect wife never becomes the victim of domestic violence. Unfortunately, from Tu’s professional experiences, we all are potential victims of domestic violence regardless of gender, social class, academic achievement, and occupation.

The point is to educate women and men to not treat their intimate partners or their children as their personal property. The government should also provide related policies for both survivors and perpetrators. Additionally, all citizens have to break the myth of domestic violence and not fantasize about the perfection of marriage. At the end of the class, Tu encouraged all participants to become the significant other for those who surround them. Give those in need a hand, not blame, when dealing with issues like domestic or intimate violence.

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