Any man who 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.
That said, why do women stay in abusive relationships?
They do not know their human rights
Any form of violence, whether verbal, emotional or physical is an infringement of human rights and should not be tolerated. Not even the slightest of aggravations. Unfortunately a lot of women in abusive relationships do not look at things from this angle and some have even been raised in cultures where it is not only looked at as ok to beat women, but as necessary. There is no misunderstanding that is too big or complicated for dialogue. Talk things out. If talking fails then seek counsel from a wise trusted friend or a qualified professional.
For the kids
Many women choose to stay in abusive marriages and relationships for the sake of the children. It is difficult to raise children as a single mother. Every child deserves to grow up with both parents. However it is better to bring up the kids alone than to subject them to the emotional and permanent scalding that comes with seeing their mother being belittled and beaten up.
For the financial support
Women will stay with abusive partners because they are afraid to lose the financial support they get from these men. The great uncertainty of making it on their own makes them hold onto abusive relationships. But of what good is it to stay for the sake of money and eventually lose your life instead? Dignity and life before finances. That is the way to go.
Fear of what friends and family will say if you part
Society is very judgmental, and many people are afraid of what other people will say about them if they up and leave their spouses. The fear of ridicule, laughter and reproach from friends and family causes people to stay in violent relationships. As society or as a relative, do not derive pleasure from someone else’s pain. Do not force your child, sister, brother, niece or whoever, to stay in an abusive relationship for the sake of the benefits you reap from the existence of that relationship or marriage.
But violence? No. Unless you long for jail. Or death. Which brings us back to the issue of human rights. How educated are people about them? How enlightened are they? We should strive to let the suffering spouses know that it is their right as human beings to live peaceful lives devoid of abuse.
On 10th December which is World Human Rights Day, Bloggers Association of Kenya will in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy meet with bloggers and human rights activists to interrogate the state of Human Rights in Kenya. You can read more about the event here as you also plan to attend.