"Fear of a Name Increases the Fear of the Thing Itself"

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30.11.2017 Tanja Tanskanen

The foregoing sentence is from the pen of the writer J.K.Rowling and the creator of the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter. In the fantasy world lord Voldemort is the very embodiment of evil. He is so scary that even saying his name out loud causes a great fear in everyone. How in the world something can be so scary that you don't even find the courage to say it out loud? Maybe the answer could be found by identifying what is fear. Fear can arise from the feeling of uncertainty. It is the feeling that something bad could become even worse. It is the feeling of inadequacy, like you don't have the capacity and resources to deal with the possible outcomes of confronting the issue that causes the fear. It can be fear of the unknown. Also when repressed, fear can need other powerful emotions to disguise it, like the feeling of anger.

Violence. The thing that should not be named. How something so heavy and dark could be brought up and discussed openly? Bringing up the violence and having the courage to talk about it in right terms is the duty of every professional who might encounter individuals with experiences of violence. It is extremely important to recognize and identify the many aspects of violence in the professional field but we should also create a culture that doesn't try to hush up the issue of violence. It is a sad story to hear that when seeking help and support from the ones closest to you, you don't get the empathy but the advice to bear with the situation because "hey, that's just the way life sometimes is". Thoughts like ”silence is golden” and ”minding your own business” are still embedded in our culture. But silencing the victim and advising them just to bear the cross they're given, could also be seen as a form of violence. So the change is not only on the shoulders of the professionals but on everyone who’s close ones might be touched by violence. Every individual should be responsible for evaluating what is my role in maintaining the culture of violence and how could I change my mindset so that I can take action on preventing violence?

Not only the victim but also the person who uses violence can experience fear and shame. Not being able to understand why oneself behaves violently in certain situations and feeling ashamed after a violent outburst, can cause disguising oneself behind a role, withdrawal from social interactions and the feelings of worthlessness and lost life management. Sometimes it can appear that the person who acts violently is the Voldemort itself. However, to think that violence is the Voldemort and the offender has the power to take control of the evil that violence is, is more fruitful way of thinking. The individuals that live with violence are not the problem, the behavior is. Through creating an atmosphere and space to talk about the issue of violence openly, one is able to take responsibility of ones actions, without having the fear of being judged.

"We've all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on, that's who we really are." J.K.Rowling

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