AS WE CELEBRATE Valentine's Day, we need to remember that Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is the most common form of violence in relationships.
In a Study conducted by TAMWA (Sheikh and Gabba), respondents in five districts of Tanzania mainland cited physical assault, emotional abuse, being deprived of basic necessities, being denied the freedom to work and lack of respect as the main forms of Intimate Partner Violence.
Five (5) in ten (10) women have experienced some form of Intimate Partner violence in Tanzania.
Tanzania does not have specific legislation to address Intimate Partner Violence. The Law of Marriage Act has a clause in Section 66, which has 'touched' on domestic violence without providing remedial action and punishments in Tanzania's Penal Code. The crime of IPV, physical assault is grouped together with 'grievous bodily harm' as in two men having a bar room brawl.
Red roses, candlelight, and "I love you" cards for Valentine Day should include the oath with the words "I will not abuse my loved one".
The oath should also say "I will protect my loved one from HIV infection".
And all of us, together, should say "Stop Intimate Partner Violence".
The purple ribbon is a symbol to stop Intimate Partner Violence. The purple ribbon should be tied around the bouquet of red roses and the candles when lovers celebrate Valentine's Day.
The red ribbon, the symbol to create awareness on HIV and AIDS should dominate the Valentine's cards that lovers send out to their loved ones.
Love is protecting our loved ones from pain and disease. Let us start on this Valentine's Day.