Best News & Current Affairs Blog (2011 & 2012) and Jamaican Blogger of the Year (2011) at The Jamaica Blog Awards.

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.


5 responses

  1. Neller

    Some men think the only way a woman will respect them is if they beat them because thats what they grew up seeing their fathers doing to their mothers(take colour purple for example where the man told his son the only way his wife would respect him is if he hit her) and women on the other hand believe its love cause after the 10mins he is apologizing and screwing their brains out. Why do they stay? Well for 1 some woman stay because of monetary reasons “if me leff him who ago mine me” or “if me leff him how me and di pickney dem ago survive” and another reason is because of low self esteem “if me leff him me nah go find a next man” but thats bull shit why subject yaself to being beaten by a man who isnt ya father and the whole “him beat me cause him love me” thing is utter ignorance and if me have a friend who subject herself to that me woulda beat har pan tap a di beat weh di man a beat har. I have never come across any man who is brave enuff to raise their hand after me much less hit me then again i always say is 1 father God give me and him never beat me before and him dead so no man cah put dem hand pan me or else dats the last time him ago use him hand. Woman need to stop subjecting them self to these type of domestic violence tho and realise its the 21st century we living in.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

  2. the sounds are very haunting and i can only imagine the effect on a child witnessing those events.

    i can only imagine that some women feel they arent able to move forward without the man in question … whether for social, financial, emotional reasons. i suppose some women feel they dont deserve any better. i dont know why they’d think they are deserving of being beaten within an inch of life. i suppose feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem/self-worth and feeling like having a man is worth more your own safety have a lot to do with the choice to stay. i guess too there is also some aspect of emotional abuse that helps provide the hold for physical abuse to be tolerated. the man (in this case) is the one who chooses to be abusive but ultimately its the woman who makes the decision to stay and endure the abuse. the ones who claim to be staying for the kids are the ones who anger me most. i should feel sorry for their predicament but i cant because all i can think about is what he would do to the kids if he is willing and able to do that to the mother.

    i feel sad for women in these situations. and God knows i hope i never find myself in such a place. getting hit once is one time too many but if all is forgiven and the relationship continues as if nothing ever happened then its a downward spiral. and i think thats what happens more often than not, the 1st offence is forgiven/forgotten but the issue isnt resolved or discussed and then it becomes a fixture of life.

    July 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

  3. Floydie

    It’s doesn’t matter the situation, men shouldn’t hit women. It’s goes the other way but in some cases a woman slaps a man in the face because I mean, no matter how ‘gentlemen like’ we are, some point in time, we are all “assholes, jerks, etc.
    I have never experience whether seeing or hearing a woman being beaten but I have seen televised versions and trust me, I’m disturbed by it, worst for a young child to experience such act being carried out.
    Women though who tolerate these foolishness as nella sed, ingnorantly speaking, fi get some beaten yes cause dem too damn fool, lack self esteem (can’t blame this really) or dem just don’t care.
    As a male myself, I have been in situations where the gf gets mi pissed. I will shout, hmt, mumble etc but the thought of laying a hand on her never calm to mind and as long as I live I hope that thought will never exist.

    Stick a pin: the only time Oman fi get beaten is when dem a mek love or mash up di place inna hardcore sex zeen

    July 12, 2011 at 4:42 pm

  4. Just reading this has left me feeling a bit ill……….. Can u imagine how that infant must be feeling watching the whole incident?

    I remember running into a friend’s mother at the bank once, and I noticed a HUGE gash in the side of her face. I wanted to inquire about it but I felt it wasn’t the right place or time. On my way home, while talking to another friend, I told him of what i saw and he told me that her husband physically abused her all the time, and that he hit her with a piece of metal that split her face open. I immediately remembered my friend saying to me that his greatest fear was to migrate and leave his mother behind. (He migrated a few months before his father split her face open.)

    What perverse satisfaction can these men get from this act? Why do the women still stay? His money WILL NOT give you your life back after he pounds you to death…. I just don’t get it.. And “if him nuh beat mi, him nuh love mi” is total BULLSHIT and you can’t say your REALLY dumb enough to actually believe that.

    I won’t say it can never happen to me, because it CAN, but to sit there and let it happen over and over again is just…………

    July 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    • ……Crazy. It’s just crazy. That’s what it is. I can never understand it.

      July 26, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s