Heal Belize by treating violence like a disease by: Aria Lightfoot


Aria Lightfoot, M.P.A.

Violence, anger and abuse are cancerous. If you commit an act of violence against someone because you are angry or hurt, your act is transferred to the victim. The victim will be hurt or angry and will pass it on….In cases where the victim does not survive, the society, loved ones and family will catch it and  will pass it on and it will never stop until your family, community or country engage in methods to heal.

There is no coincidence certain individuals, families, communities and countries are always embroiled in conflict and violence even to the point of self destruction. A country is like a body, society the organs and families are like the bloodstream  and the  individual is like a cell. When that cancer cell is metastatic, it gets in the bloodstream and starts destroying the organs and eventually the body.

There is a study from  Scotland that concluded that crime needed to be treated in the same manner that a doctor would treat an epidemic. Glasgow Scotland was able to reduce murders by 60% by changing their approach. Violence like cancer spreads exponentially. (see BBC news story below: Why we need to treat violence like an epidemic) 

Many people may ask – why does it always seem that black communities worldwide have higher violent crime rates?  Well there is simply no getting over slavery. If your ancestors were in a society that devalued them, abused them and committed atrocious acts against them, they will pass it on to their children and and if at no point they recognized the need to heal or someone intervened and healed them,  the cancer  of violence and abuse is passed on …

My initial reaction last night was anger when I read about the three year old child who was brutally raped and  killed and his two siblings were hospitalized after experiencing similar acts of violence. The perpetrator of the vicious acts managed to pass his anger on to me to the point where I was calling for his death and I reflected upon that.

My friend inboxed me and told me the perpetrator’s mother has herself been subject to harsh violence and from all indications, he likely grew up in the same settings of abuse, rape and murder and no one saved him and so he spared no one.

It reminds me that we cannot turn a blind eye to violence and abuse  in our communities  and especially when children are involved. You simply cannot live in any society and think you will be unaffected. The disease of violence is in the bloodstream and it will continue to grow until we see an urgent need to heal. . You cannot escape it because you are one of the cells existing in the organs of society. Let’s change our approach to treating violence.


Click to access Taking-Stock-of-Violence-in-Scotland_2019.pdf