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Nhaveen, may you now rest in peace, as memories of you live on.

I wouldn't presume to know the suffering felt by Nhaveen, who left us yesterday after being a victim of an unthinkable incident of peer to peer youth violence. I couldn't begin to fathom the pain now being felt by Nhaveen's family and friends. No words of condolence would suffice, but that is all I could offer. This was reported to be an incident of bullying by a group of five teenagers on two fellow youths. Nhaveen was battered to the point of severe internal bleeding, and left for dead in a field whilst his friend Previin is being treated for facial injuries. But what really transpired, is a son about to leave home to pursue his further education, an aspiring young musician taking his first step towards his dream, was abruptly and violently taken away. Taken away by a culture and history of social desensitisation towards violence. I have personally been on the receiving end of youth violence over 20 years ago. Being one of only about 6 non caucasian student and the only non British National in the entire highschool of over 1000+ students; it was my only experience of racist violence in my 4 years of highschool. Though comparatively, my experience of a mere few stitches on my lips and a broken nose is not worth mentioning; schoolyard violence is what it is. Nothing, absolutely nothing condones nor justifies it. A cycle of anger, hatred, pain, fear, and emotional torture follows such an attack- however severe. I was lucky enough to recieve the love, support and solidarity of friends and family, and also the counselling and care of qualified social workers in my school. Though i still feel the physical scar on my lips till today, I am free of any emotional scars. It must be said however, most who suffer schoolyard violence are not as lucky as I. It is also heartwrenching that Nhaveen was denied even the chance to carry scars; it is his family and loved ones who must live with the unimaginable pain of losing him. Yes, those who perpetrated Nhaveen's murder must face the full legal consequences of their actions. Acts of extreme violence must never be seen as isolated incidents, they are almost always a manifestation of a systemic, social cultural problem. Let's not forget that it was only a few weeks back that a navy cadet -Zulfarhan was also taken away from us, after being violently assaulted by his fellow cadets on campus grounds. Circumstances were different yet the conditions and environment in which enabled the damning incident are the same- a young Malaysian was beaten to death by his peers, and the perpetrators flew below the radar of authorities untill it was too late. Whilst we grief, and Nhaveen's family and friends bereave, I think we must really look deeper for the root of the problem. I certainly wouldn't wish upon anyone the pain of living through an incident of youth- peer to peer violence. Infinitely less, we must do everything we can, to prevent even one more son or daughter prematurely taken away from any parent, by any form of violence- in this case youth violence. My thoughts and most heartfelt solidarity, is with Nhaveen's family and loved ones, and also all of you out there who have suffered or are still suffering. If you are victim, know of or are related to a victim, come forward. You deserve nothing less than all the help you need. You must not suffer in silence.

#violence #murder

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