Gender based violence and Why women return to their abusers

What kind of hitting does it take for skin to break and blood to gush out? Obviously the hitting of a maniac. The police man comes home at midnight (Every husband knows that is way past any married man’s ‘bedtime’) and starts playing loud music when everyone else is asleep. When his wife confronted him, he beat her up and left her looking like this.

Woman beaten by cop husband.

Woman beaten by cop husband.

The woman could have died for Pete’s sake, people have died from far less injuries. And the worst part, She went back to her matrimonial home after being stitched up and forgave her husband. I think this man’s betrayal is on two counts. One as a husband, he is supposed to protect her from the world and all kinds of horrid stuff but here he is being the administrator. Two as a police officer, his job is to protect citizens from evil people that do such horrible things.  What do you do when the man you trusted with your heart, body and life harms you worse than you can imagine. I can’t even imagine how it must feel.

So why do some women go back to their abusers? Why don’t they leave after a violent episode?

1. For some women, the spouse/partner is the bread winner so they see no way out and feel they have no choice but to stay. If they leave they will be destitute and will probably have to move into a relative or friend’s house as a dependent. To a woman who has run her own home for a long time, this is not an attractive aspect and they choose to stay.

2. When growing up and preparing to get married, some women are taught that marriage is for life and they should be prepared to face anything that happens and not cower away. They are taught that some men have certain tendencies and they should learn to understand them. I heard a story where a particular woman was taught that a man would only hit her if he loved her and so the hitting was a sign of love. So every night he would slap her and she would take it. One night he went to sleep without touching her and she couldn’t sleep. She finally woke him up and said “Bashi Junior, ninshi tamungumine lelo? (Why haven’t you beaten me today?)” I know it’s probably a bad joke or an exaggerated story but it represents what some people believe. Violence is considered a part of life and is given a side glance.

3. Sometimes it’s love. The woman loves the man so much that she believes it was all just a big mistake. He probably didn’t mean to do it, it was because he was drunk. Most times the man comes apologizing with tears in his eyes it’s impossible to stay mad at him. Plus there are the children to think of, they need their father.

4. Some women believe it’s their fault it happened. They think they must have done something wrong and he was justified in hitting her. It all stems from insecurity and what she has been conditioned to think. So they try to act a bit better, they treat him nicer so that he doesn’t get angry.

But what women need to know is that violence should never be explained away. There should not be an excuse for a man to hit a woman (unless she’s physically trying to kill him) especially a wife he has sworn to love and protect. Women need to make attempts to be more financially independent to avoid being trapped in such dire circumstances. He won’t stop hitting you, if he’s done it before he’ll do it again. Our elders need to tell us that they won’t stand for any of their daughters to be mistreated. Society needs to realize that the shame is NOT on the woman who leaves her matrimonial home but on the man who abuses her. Women need to learn their self worth. They need to know just how valuable they are and not stand for such crap being thrown at them.


One thought on “Gender based violence and Why women return to their abusers

  1. spousal abuse transcends economic, racial and education divide.
    doesn’t make any sense at all, but even financially independent women stay in abusive relationships


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