NSW Region East Ladies Wing of the Sathya Sai International Organisation of Australia & PNG hosted an educational and topical workshop examining Domestic Violence and titled ‘Love at Home’. The workshop focused on the practice of the five Human Values of love, truth, peace, right-conduct and non-violence as a panacea for violence and the promotion of peace and harmony in the home. The event took place at Strathfield Sai Centre, on Sunday, 2 April 2017 from 2.00 to 5.00 pm.

Approximately 35 people were in attendance, the majority being women. The workshop was tailored to promote mental and physical well-being, using a combination of information and light exercise which included a Tai Chi session.

Domestic violence is a serious contemporary problem in society. To counter its prevalence, awareness of it and its consequences is necessary for all ages and genders. The Ladies Wing took the initiative in going beyond the common domestic, social and spiritual topics it usually addressed and focused on a subject that is confrontational and often slips ‘under the radar’; thus enabling our members to identify the various forms that domestic violence can occur in, not all being physical in nature. This discussion really drove understanding behind what causes disturbed and sometimes dysfunctional homes and the importance of mutual respect and understanding within families.

The afternoon began with a talk by Dr. Malathi and Psychologist Narmatha, who are both members of NSW Region East. They introduced and elaborated the forms of domestic violence and explained why it is an important issue to discuss. They provided some evidence and shocking statistics indicating not only the extent of this blight on society, but also that women were significantly the major victims of it. This lead to a general conversation about the topic within the wider group. The participants then broke up into smaller groups in which each group analysed one of three different scenarios to highlight how domestic violence can be prevalent in daily living and ways of countering it. It was an enlightening experience as all of the attendees were deeply engaged providing their own opinions and asking meaningful questions during the Q & A session.

A Tai Chi session conducted by Indira Thakur, provided a relaxing finish to the workshop. The afternoon ended with the attendees and workshop leaders mingling for some light refreshments outside in the cool autumn breeze.

This initiative by the Ladies Wing tapped into a highly pertinent social issue showing the importance and value of actively practising the Human Values, especially love, right conduct and non-violence, in finding ways of dealing with the problem and helping people live more satisfying, peaceful and harmonious lives. Through this workshop, the participants gained a better awareness and understanding of the different forms domestic violence may take, and ways to deal with it. In turn, they are better able to recognise when this may be taking place with people they interact with, and possibly help reduce the number of victims. A small step in the right direction may create wonders. It was felt the workshop was a positive experience that had the potential to overflow into the wider community.

‘Motherhood is the most precious gift of God. Mothers are the makers of a nation’s fortune or misfortune. They should teach two lessons, fear of sin and fondness for virtue. Both these are based on faith in God, being the inner motivator of all. If you want to know how advanced a nation is, study the mothers; are they free from fear and anxiety, are they full of Love towards all, are they trained in fortitude and virtue? If you like to imbibe the glory of a culture, watch the mothers, rocking the cradles, feeding, fostering, teaching and fondling the babies.’ – Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol 7.6