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Why Do Men Turn Violent On Their Women?

by Laura Wambi Arina
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Any man that lays hands on a woman, not to touch and caress her or pray for her, but to physically assault her, is a disgrace. Not only to manhood, but to the entire existence of mankind, and he deserves nothing short of ridicule, reprimand and punishment by law. Let us not mince words when it comes to domestic violence. Let us not even allow our minds to think for a second that there are instances when it is okay to beat up a woman. It is wrong. Period.

The problem with society today is that we have sunk so low to the point of simply watching from a distance as women (and some men) are battered left right and centre, all the while snapping away with our smart phones to take pictures and videos, then rushing to share these with our followers and to spark a debate on social media. I have nothing against social media really, but we have to do more than just watch the videos that do rounds and feel sorry for the victims. But let’s look at the root of the problem first.

Why are there so many cases of domestic violence? What is the cause?

Sense of entitlement

Due to cultural and religious norms, some men often feel the need to take total control of their women and children. This sense of entitlement often goes hand in hand with other discriminatory attitudes like sexism. We’ve seen cases where as a woman gets more and more empowered, the man feels like he’s losing control and turns to violence to ‘tame’ the woman.

When an anthill finally grows into a [volcanic] mountain…

Small misunderstandings in the house that are not resolved keep piling up and eventually, like an active volcanic mountain, the pile erupts into a full-blown argument. In many cases it erupts spewing kicks, scratches and blows. ‘She has been chatting with men’ , ‘He comes home late every day’, ‘He won’t spend time with the kids’ ,‘She wastes a lot of money on things we do not need.’ These are issues that if not resolved as they happen, could lead into a fight, which might turn physical. Handling issues and talking about them as soon as they come up is the best way to avoid this anthill to mountain aggravation.

Personal Background and Upbringing

A person who was brought up being taught that the only way to get a woman to submit to you, or to punish her and get her back in line is by beating her, will be a violent partner. There are people in this age and era, who still believe that an occasional slap here and there keeps a woman in check and ensures that she never repeats a mistake. Such behaviour sometimes comes from outdated cultural influences.

Still others grow up in abusive relationships and come to live as abusers themselves when they get their own families.

I admire men who grew up seeing their mothers and sisters being beaten up by their fathers, and have grown up to be responsible men who would never lay a finger on their wives or any other woman for that matter. They choose to learn from their fathers’ errs and be better men. Let us teach our kids to be respectable and responsible. Let us instil in them the culture to resolve conflicts using non-violent ways.

Influence of alcohol and drugs

Alcohol does not make you do things; it makes you do things that you have always thought about doing, but have never had the courage to do. That said, alcohol should not be blamed for battering a woman because it does not take away the conscious mind, it only gives false courage.  After all, many alcohol abusers are not violent and many violent men are not always drunk. A closet violent man who is high on something is more likely to beat up a woman than a sober one. They’ll then want to use this as an excuse for their behaviour.

Peer influence. Your friends are who you are.

Anyone who encourages their friend to beat up his/her partner is the devil’s advocate. Statements like “It worked for me. I beat her up and she has not questioned me since. You should do the same” and “Amekuzoea. The only solution is to show her who is boss” are the reason why some men feel motivated to batter their spouses. Someone can only be influenced into beating their wife or girlfriend if they have an elevated sense of power and masculinity and deep down they already believe that taking it out on someone less powerful is a way to cement their power.

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