The Dilemma of Women Abuse

By Khothatso Kolobe

166

“Oh my God! He just beat her!” Kayrene screamed in an alarmed tone.

I followed her gaze to the mini bus station opposite the main gate. It was noticeable by two gigantic sandstone pillars that held a triangular shaped structure with National University of Lesotho within it.

Kayrene quickly described how the man across the road pulled a woman, kicking and punching her until she fell. By then, we were in the middle of the zebra crossed hump with Kaycees on our right. The food could wait, I had to see what was happening. Understand it.

By the time I entered the scene, Kat was tailing me closely, equally concerned by the horrific incident. The Roma Police Station was less than three kilometers away and this bloke had the guts to publicly butter a woman. Something was seriously wrong.

Even if it was early in the evening and the place that swarmed with activity during the day was a bit dormant, the act was still inexcusable. Regardless of the cover of night, beating up a woman was an unforgivable sin, at least to some of us.

I approached the infuriated bloke with his blanket all the way up his back for no other purpose rather than to effectively deliver punishment to his victim. His left hand was chocking a thick, dark and decorated stick men customarily carried for protection. Only God knew whether it had landed on the lady’s body that evening.

I calmly enquired the reason behind the brutal act of violence against the lady but in vain. The man kept rumbling in a drunken senseless manner. He ended up asking if I was going to do anything about it, of which I told him I would if necessary.

There was movement from the four guys who were dressed in a similar manner to that of the abuser. Within the movement, I detected the opening of an Okapi knife. Through my peripheral vision, I noticed that Kat was also on high alert.

We were outnumbered. I stepped closer to the lady on the floor because the man stopped kicking and insulting her when I got close. At least for a moment.

A few more guys stopped and one who was holding a dark brown glass bottle of alcohol told the abuser a thing or two. Scarcely had the abuser tried to defend himself than the heavily built dark complexioned guy stepped closer, yelling into the abuser’s face that he was doing nonsense.

During the heated exchange between men who had passed next to the alcohol bottle, I got to think. Would beating up the abusive man really solve the problem? We only get to see the lady getting a beating without knowledge of her misdoings. That is if she was responsible for any.

Yet another question remains, won’t defending her subject her to even more abuse? It was easy to imagine him skinning her alive a few hours later, asking her to call upon her friends who saved her earlier.

I took a trip down the memory lane to my Critical Criminology lectures. It was crystal clear that patriarchy played a significant role in cases of abuse. The abusive husband is sometimes friends with the police and gets away with a slap on the wrist too many times.

Even in cases where police want to take matters seriously by imprisoning the man, it is revealed that he is the sole bread winner. How does one come to terms with sending a father to prison at the expense of the wellbeing of his family?

The ‘unjustness’ of justice. While at it, we might as well throw in the issue of man abuse and how they get laughed at by police when reporting cases of abusive women. It is a little funny, right? What is funny is that some women think a man who does not beat them does not love them.

Abuse may be prevalent; a sizeable number of us might have seen it in one form or another. Contrary to popular sighting, it is still extremely horrendous. The issue of women abuse is concomitant with that of child abuse.

Come to think of it, what would children be without their mothers? Now estimate the psychological trauma inflicted on a child when witnessing mommy beloved get beaten to a pulp.

The hero with the booze bottle and the abuser eventually stopped arguing. Kat and I vacated the negative energy hell hole of the abuse scene. There were too many mind numbing loose ends to warrant decisive action.

That day I left the battle with the hope of someday winning the war. This publication is my weapon of mass destruction against women and child abuse. Or perhaps I should declare it a sword that shall cut women and children free from abuse chains.

May I drop my two cents on the issue. On account of awareness of my ignorance, I will drop a quarter of a cent. It is our duty as men to work on ourselves to understand women enough to resolve issues without locking horns. There is a need to redefine many of the unsupportive beliefs we grew up with concerning women.

We have to learn to express ourselves verbally even when furious. I had been looking for books that dwell upon the issue of uniting the female and male species in harmony. Abuse free harmony.

The book is entitled THE WILL TO CHANGE: Men, Masculinity, and Love.
You will be receiving the summary of chapter one tomorrow.

This women’s month and any other month, let us value and cherish our women. Love them, adore them.

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