Women trapped in abusive relationships

Home Focus Women trapped in abusive relationships

It is really heartbreaking to frequently read in the newspapers about violence against women. Although, it is not only women who suffer from Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Men too, fall victim to this violence. However, I will confine this writing to violence against women only, because right now, and largely, it is our women who are killed by their so-called lovers.

The time has come for well-meaning and responsible Namibian people from all walks of like and all over the country to seriously wake up and find a way to stop the increasing murder of our women by so called lovers.

These lovers or boyfriends who have become murderers normally should be people who are expected to be have “romantic” relationships with women. Romantic relationships under normal conditions should be based on emotional affection. Love is a strong feeling that drives one to like someone, care for that person and protect that person under any and all circumstances.

It is therefore heartbreaking to read, almost every day, in newspapers that the men who are supposed to love and protect their partners, are now the cruel murderers. These killings are diabolical and morally abhorrent to our civilised society. The devil is on the move here and our dear poor women have the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, thus living in constant fear of death threats from those who ought to be their loving partners and protectors.

In most cases after enduring abuse, these women find themselves in a dilemma of not knowing what to do to get out from under their abusers. Should they dare to leave or try to end the relationship they are threatened with death therefore they perpetually find themselves between the devil and the deep sea. They are stuck in a situation which is like jumping from the frying pan straight into the fire, while the abusers feel free and enjoy themselves while the victims remain humiliated and are kept in bondage which restrain them from enjoying life.

This situation is very disturbing and it is reaching a level of being a national emergency. We are forced to think that our women are on the verge of ruin, they are indeed in an unenviable situation.
The abusers of women hide behind false pretence portraying to be good people in public to make them seem better than they actually are, thus sailing under false colours. 

When initiating contact with the women, these killer men flatter the women with sweet words and kind gestures, so as to get them to give in to love or romantic relationships. Relationships the women expect to and believe will bring them happiness and everlasting joy, but soon they realise that the men who they believed would protect them and bring them joy, turn out to be an unbearable burden in their lives. Men become merciless butchers of women, our daughters, our mothers.

What some men do not understand is that when a man has begged a woman to accept him as her boyfriends that does not mean that that she has abandoned or compromised her rights to the beggar who comes to her in a humbled manner for acceptance.

It is high time that men accept the fact that women have equal human rights and that they, the women are under no obligation whatsoever to beg a man to recogni=se and acknowledge those rights.
If a man shows interest in a woman and pursues her, and she accepts his proposal, but he later on realises that he has made a mistake by courting that particular woman, he must also be courageous enough to leave and walk away in the same humble manner with which he proposed in the first place.

Even if he had recklessly spent money on the woman, he should realise his own foolishness and carelessness and still walk away and leave that woman in peace. There is no man who cannot say ‘NO!’-the fault will be his. There is no law that allows violence against any human being. The mere fact that the man has spent money on the woman does not make that woman his slave, because no law in this country permits the right to own slaves.

Concerning the women, women should be careful not to allow themselves to become perpetual dependants on men. Women must stand up for themselves in romantic relationships to avoid any situation where a man can think that she will not survive without him. Such situations will wrongly create an unacceptable feeling among men that they have unlimited rights oven women.

Not all men are aware and understand that when they voluntarily provide for their women that in no way whatsoever means that women deserve to be abused. That is a dangerous misconception which is detrimental to the human rights of the women and women should not allow themselves to fall victim of this situation.

There is still much to be done to change the mind-set of men. We have to think of effective measures to prevent GBV.

While condemning GBV is crucial, we have to find a way to tackle the root cause of this problem. Maybe the time is now for educational institutions to have introduce lectures on prevention of GBV. People must be educated to refrain from any actions which will provoke GBV. People in romantic relationships may disagree on some issues but that should in no way lead to violence. GBV can significantly tarnish the reputation of our country and damage its standing in the world which will regard our country as a killer nation.