How abuse starts

By Andrew Matyila

OPINION

One would be surprised to discover that some men, many from the black culture, do not understand the wrong acts and abuses they do as being something unlawful. 

Most men grew up in an abusive environment, especially in the 70s and 80s, and do not consider some grievous acts as being very bad.

First, in the black family’s tradition, there’s always a stick or knobkerrie around in the house, to hit or beat whoever has done something wrong, or something thought to be wrong by the elder people.

At school in those years, it was the same thing – if you don’t know an answer for a question asked, you get the beating. You fail a test, come late to school, disobey some instructions, you got beaten. Those were the means and ways of disciplining a scholar.

In communities, boys running after girls would beat the girls for simply not coming or adhering to their attention. Some boys and men would occasionally beat their girlfriends in public view, without any good reason to, but in the name of bragging.

Funnily enough from some girls there was also this notion that when your boyfriend doesn’t beat you, he doesn’t love you much. Life was sometimes crazy, or made to be.

A boy would call a girl, propose love to her, but when the girl is not interested, he would beat her or literally twist her arm until she said yes to his request.

A no from a girl in a room would be regarded or taken as just her playing hard to get. A boy would forcefully remove her clothes. In many cases, no reports would be made by the girl after that, some fearing their parents’ response. Those acts were sort of normal those days and men grew up not knowing the meaning of no from a women, up to today.

Some do get lectured by their wives and so do understand what to do or behave at a given time. Unfortunately not all men do understand, as some do not even make that time of listening to their partners and some of their concerns.

The media should play a big role in thoroughly teaching the nation and be open to matters of this nature. 

It must be an everyday teaching and would help, starting from the kids, as they also grow up seeing bad things done in front of them and ending up thinking those are correct, good, ok or fine.

Teaching everybody also on how to interact with women would help end gender based violence and abuses of any nature.

Men must be made aware that they can’t do as they please to women anywhere and anytime. 

When some men pay lobola to get or make women their wives, they tend to think that they can do whatever they want, anytime, anywhere. They need to be taught that that is not so. Some grown-up and educated men think in that fashion as well.

The other reason for men being abusive starts with lack of respect to women or their partners. Lack of education from some also plays a role in being abusive. 

Love lost also inflicts abusiveness from some men. Some resort to killing their partners when they are no longer being loved.

Drugs and liquor also play a huge role in abuse. Youth of today are involved immensely in drugs and fearing no one. 

Girls nowadays drink liquor a lot and are sometimes subject to being abused as a result. Youth often go to liquor and drug places for leisure. These are catalysts for abuse.

Let every men act like real men. Real men don’t abuse women. Real men don’t abuse children. Real men care about everyone. Let every men stop GBV now.

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