Gender Gender

Physical abuse is not a sign of love

Speak Out on Violence: DORIS KASOTE
SOME women are stuck with the belief that a man who does not lay a hand on you does not love you.
This is despite the many sensitisation programmes that have been put in place to make people realise that gender-based violence (GBV) need not be tolerated.
I was at a hairdresser’s a few weeks ago. And I always get amused at the stories that are discussed in salons.
Some out of ignorance while others have some substance.
Among the women was one who had a black eye and she wore heavy foundation to try and hide it. From the story, I gathered her husband was responsible for her black eye. The victim narrated that her husband was actually aiming for her eye but missed it by an inch. Some women were advising her to leave the marriage because at the rate the couple was going, the victim was going to end up dead.
Shockingly, others advised that a man who does not beat a woman does not care for his wife.
A man who is non-violent towards his wife means he does not love the woman he is with. That is utter nonsense, if you ask me. Why should every dispute be coupled with an exchange of punches? People should learn to resolve problems amicably.
What surprised me further is how strongly she defended her husband. How that despite his violent tendencies, he was a good husband and took good care of the family.
Her supervisor said she was also tired of granting her permission to stay away from work because she had to nurse wounds inflicted by her dear husband. Her supervisor, like some of her workmates, advised that she leaves the marriage to save her life. Besides it’s not like she was wholly dependent on the man. She was a stay-home wife, why should she be subjected to being punched left, right and centre? She reported the matter to the police but later withdrew the case.
Women being defensive over their husbands is one too many. This is why even the police have expressed concern over some women frustrating their work by withdrawing cases of GBV. This is after reporting but a day or two later return to the police to say a decision has been made to withdraw the case.
Some men may justify their violence stating that women push them against the wall. This comes to the call for men to also speak out when a wife is being abusive, but one out of 10 men actually comes out to speak about the violence they are subjected to.
Regarding the woman at the salon, I wonder what has become of her if she has continued to live in an abusive marriage.
Until next week, let’s keep in touch, dkasote@daily-mail.co.zm

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