Violence against women, or men for that matter, should not be acceptable. A couple of weeks ago, it could be months, I wrote an article about a comprehensive approach to Gender-Based Violence. It has been comforting to see more and more men standing up against Gender-Based Violence. To see the so-called “perpetrators” standing up against GBV is unheard of. Maybe the winds are beginning to turn.
The last time I heard of men who participated in such marches and yet they are still violent to their partners. I am a member of a church and have seen horrible things even within the sanctuary. Men in leadership positions preaching like heaven will open yet they physically and emotionally abuse their wives. The hypocrisy of the highest order!
I am not sure what makes the issue of Gender-Based Violence flare up and then come down again after a while. The waves we are seeing now, we have seen before. We cannot allow the issue of GBV to be the flavour of the month. It has to be an issue that we consciously attend to. I shudder when I hear of women who have been bashed by their spouses and they never report the matter.
The woman has been made a punching bag and she never said a word. I suppose the fear the perpetrator (whom I call victim) instills makes the woman feel paralysed to do anything that can get her out of the situation.
Perhaps as women, we also play a role, a huge one for that matter. We cannot accuse men of being silent and then we also become silent. We are the ones mostly on the receiving end of Gender-Based Violence. What are some of the reasons for keeping quiet – shame, fear of losing the benefits she accrues by virtue of being a partner of the perpetrator.
Do we fear going back to the old lousy life? Is it a way of protecting the reputation of our partner? Could it be the fear of death because these perpetrators tend to say that if I can’t have you no one will have you? Whatever the reason, we need to find a working solution to ending these bouts of violence on women.
I thank my father who told me that any man who lifts a hand for me, I must walk away. That has stuck in my mind and I was never going to allow any violence near me in the form of a lover.
Some people tell me that the woman does not have a choice. Well, let us explore that. One young man said they say it is better to cry in a mansion than to be happy in a shack. Oh! So that talks to our values. So, we value money and “comfort” more than our happy lives. So, it is about what people are going to say. So, it means we are also complicit.
In a future post, I will share with you the story of my aunt who stayed to the bitter end while suffering abuse. With that, I would like to address the abuse that happens in the workplace.