Domestic Violence : “If Him Nuh Beat Mi Him Nuh Love Mi”
There are few things that disturb me more than hearing or seeing a grown woman being beaten by a man. This morning I was privy to one such situation. Besides hearing the actual slaps, and things crashing and smashing; the thing that disturbed me most was the still and quiet voice of the 3 year old boy pleading with his father, “stop hitting Mommy!”.
I began to wonder about the effect of witnessing this “beating” on that impressionable child. Would he grow up to think it ok to hit women? Could he possibly hate his father? I was further distressed that the woman in question, instead of trying to shield her child from the indignity of seeing her being beaten, was concerned with WHY the man was beating her. Her constant refrain throughout the approximately 10 minute ordeal was, “why yaw do dis to me?” As if the most important thing in that moment is understanding why she was being beaten. It almost appeared as if she was considering if the beating was justified. I mean, does it matter why he’s hitting you? Shouldn’t the concern be that he shouldn’t, at all, lay his hands on you?
After the disturbing episode was over, I could hear her telling him she loved him, her pathetic pleas punctuated by his cold voice telling her to “come outta mi house.” I was disgusted and annoyed.
I chose the words “if him nuh beat me, him nuh love me” for the title because I have come to understand that there are women who think this way. In their grossly misguided reasoning they believe that his anger and rage is evidence of his love. The fact that she can upset him to the point where he beats the living daylights out of her is testament to his love and affection. How and when did it get this bad? Was there a problem with socialization? At what point did being beaten and put “unda mannaz” become synonymous with love and affection? And how did it becoming normal for women to accept this treatment? The understanding of what it means to be in a good, healthy relationship seems to be horribly blurred and disfigured. I really don’t understand it. Maybe someone who studied Psychology or Sociology can shed some light on that for me.
Is it a feeling of inadequacy? Do the women who stay in these situations feel that ultimately there is no better? Surely there must be better than being battered. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be insensitive but what would cause a woman to stay in a situation like that? And even more importantly, what makes a man believe it is ok to hit a woman? I can’t respect any such man. Any man who has to taunt and subject women to his blows isn’t a man in my eyes, he’s a boy. Beating a woman doesn’t make you powerful, it makes you a coward. The lowest form of a coward, taking power from someone who is clearly weaker than you. It upsets me.
It is even more unnerving when one considers the many situations like the one I described that end in death. The obsession, the violence, the control; all of it. It seldom ends well.
In Jamaica, it ends in suicides and murder suicides. It ends with whole families being wiped out by jealously and obsession. Aren’t these women paying attention? There have been so many campaigns against domestic violence, the constant refrain and warning is “Get out!”, why won’t they heed these warnings? What is it about these unhealthy and dysfunctional unions that cause them to stay? I’m sorry I keep repeating that question, but I really would like an answer. It is no longer rhetorical.
Ladies, if you are in a situation like that, leave. If you have to go sleep on the street, do it. At least you will have your dignity (besides the whole you sleeping on the street of course). Seriously though, I mean the dignity of being a free human being. Not having a man treat you like a slave and not being bound and treated as a subordinate. I must sound like a huge feminist (can men even be feminists?) but it’s something I feel really strongly about. No man should ever hit a woman, ever. And yes, no woman should ever hit a man. I know this post perhaps isn’t as well thought out or researched as it should be, but I really just wanted to get it off my chest. Please, share your thoughts with me.
This entry was posted on July 11, 2011 by Mr. Editor. It was filed under Social Justice and was tagged with Abuse, Beating, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence : "If Him Nuh Beat Mi Him Nuh Love Mi", Family Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Jealousy, Love, Obesession, relationship, Spousal Abuse.