STOP THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE! SUMMER IS UPON US!! PART 2 Like 1 Twitter Omoakhuana Anthonia Imoisili Follow July 28, 2016, 2:42 p.m. in Life and Styles Views: 844 Like us on facebook WHY ARE MEN ABUSERS? “Has he ever trapped you in a room and not let you out? Has he ever raised a fist as if he were going to hit you? Has he ever thrown an object that hit you or nearly did? Has he ever held you down or grabbed you to restrain you? Has he ever shoved, poked, or grabbed you? Has he ever threatened to hurt you? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we can stop wondering whether he’ll ever be violent; he already has been.” ― Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men As I mentioned in the first part of this series, children who are victims of domestic violence more often than not grow up to violent and also become abusers themselves. This is a behavior that is learned. From their experience and observation, they feel dominance over another human being especially women is an exercise of their power and control over others. They feel in control when they subject their partners under their tyranny. I don’t think there is any one particular class of men that are abusive. It cuts across all walks of life - classes, religions, occupations, races, lifestyle..... everything. These men are most times of the opinion that women are meant to be subdued. It is also shocking to realize that even learned and well-educated men are also abusers. This goes to show that it is not necessarily your economic, financial or social status that frustrates men into being abusers. It is what they have learnt. It is the mentality they have. They feel women are “weaker” and are lesser to them. Hence, they derive pleasure in dominating her. They claim this is a “Man’s world” and the women are meant to be controlled. So they take away her freedom by alienating her from family and friends. These men are most likely very jealous and possessive. They pick anger at any little thing, looking for even the slightest opportunity to abuse the woman. They blame her for bringing out this “beastly part of him” by not obeying his “set rules”. Her quivering in fear gives him more room to dominate her more. “My father was one of those men who sit in a room and you can feel it: the simmer, the sense of some unpredictable force that might, at any moment, break loose, and do something terrible. [Burnside, p. 27]” ― John Burnside, A Lie About My Father: A Memoir Most unfortunately, they back up their actions with the scriptures. It really hurts when people use the words of the Bible out of context, in the way it suits them. You hear the man say “Scripture says my wife should be submissive to me”. I ask….Did the scripture ask you to pound and beat her in order to get her to be submissive? He would also say, “The Bible said the husband is the head of his wife”…. Does that in anyway indicate you should kill her? Didn’t that same verse continue with “….as Christ is the head of the Church, His body, of whom He is also the Savior?” And the next verse says, “And as the Church submits to Christ, so let a wife submit in everything to her husband”. (Eph 5:22-24) You don’t see Christ battering the Church, do you? How come you don’t see the part in verse 25 which says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her”? How does dominance, superiority, and tyranny spell out love for your wife/partner? Marriage is meant to signify a life of love for both partners bringing to reality the mystery of God’s love manifested in mankind. Dude, stop reading the scripture out of context just as it would suit you. The way you dominate your wife/partner isn’t a way you would want to be dominated, is it? So why treat another in a manner you do not want to be treated? There is no moral justification whatsoever for being a big bully to your wife/partner. She is a human being deserving of love and respect. God gave her to you to “love and cherish” not to batter, brutalize and send to her untimely death. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP BEING AN ABUSER? For starters, admit you have the fault of always wanting to abuse your partner. Stop deluding yourself into thinking it is her fault and “she made you do it”. She made you do nothing. This is all you. You can choose to be more rational and prudent in your actions no matter how angry you are. Understand the fact that this is a problem. You might have been a child of abuse or you have this sick mentality that dominating a woman is your way of controlling her or keeping her in check. You are only damaging her and making her a less of a human being as WAS NEVER INTENDED by God when He created her. She is your companion and helper not one to be subdued. Be willing to change totally and honestly not temporarily. Understand that abusing another human being is a dastardly act and doesn’t speak well of you as a man or a human being. Seek help. Reach out for someone to talk to – parish priest, pastor, relative, friend, psychologist. No matter how much you apologize to a woman after abusing her, you can never take away the pain and experience from her. Chocolates, flowers and other gifts don’t do squat compared to the emotional, psychological and physical pain you have inflicted on her. Words, once they are said can never be taken back. Hush up those hurtful and abusive words that are rushing to come out from your mouth and replace them with kind words. If you are so angry, go outside and take a breather. Calm yourself down and come back in to have that “talk” with your wife. Reason with her and help her see how she has wronged you. Settle issues amicably instead of going for punches and kicks. Why would you want to cheat on your wife? Suddenly she doesn’t look so attractive anymore after delivering and breast feeding your four kids right? You would prefer “young and fresh blood” right? You have no reason to cheat on your wife….none at all. At best encourage her nicely and with kind words to keep fit and dress beautifully not only to appease your looks, but it would also boost her confidence level. God entrusted your wife to you for you “to love and cherish”. She is a gift to you and you are meant to be her protector not a tyrant. Understand her, appreciate her, respect her, learn to love her and she would give you the world. Now, over to the women..... WHY DO WOMEN STAY IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS? “I am living in hell from one day to the next. But there is nothing I can do to escape. I don't know where I would go if I did. I feel utterly powerless, and that feeling is my prison. I entered of my own free will, I locked the door, and I threw away the key.” ― Haruki Murakami So, I got thinking and asked myself these questions……. What is it that scares women so much that they choose to stay in abusive relationships rather than opt out? What is the idea of love in the midst of domestic violence? Why do women feel so worthless that they settle for these “abusive men” who can only exercise their manly muscles on them? Why do women feel these abusive relationships are the best they can do? Is it due to financial insecurities? Lack of good education? No jobs? Whatever happened to mutual happiness and love in marriages and relationships? “I am sorry”? Gifts? Flowers? To make up for the physical, psychological, emotional trauma she has endured? Seriously? How does it work? These and so many other questions filled my mind and here are some answers I was able to come up with: Loneliness: An abused woman always harbors the fear of not finding someone better than the man she has now. She feels no one would love her as she deserves to be loved. She feels it is better for her to stay in an abusive relationship than to be alone for the remainder of her life. She is overwhelmed by an inferiority complex so great that it has crippled her. She just doesn’t believe she is worth any better. How greatly wrong she is…. Societal Influence: She feels the need to keep up the façade of being happily married and not bring shame to herself and disappointment to family and society. She wants to flaunt the ring on her finger to say she is married. She believes that every marriage has challenges which is true but what she is wrong about is, challenges are meant to be handled maturely and amicably and not through abuse. Why can’t she see that? Financial Insecurities: This is a big bone that can neither be swallowed nor spat out. She’s got no job and no means of surviving outside her husband. She fears she wouldn’t be able to support herself much less her children. She fears she has no work experience, no skill, nothing to get her started even if she wanted to take a walk out of the relationship. Isn’t it obvious to her that she is a woman of many talents? Safety Plan: Leaving the relationship is one thing…getting a place to stay is a different ball game altogether. Many a time, families of abused women refuse to accommodate them when they choose to leave their marriages/relationships. They insist she has to make her “marriage work”. They are least concerned about the safety of their child and are more pre-occupied with what people would say. Some may not be able to afford the financial burden of another mouth when they are just even struggling to get by. She fears all these... This is wise thinking but again, “where there is a will, there is a way”. Fear of a fresh start: “Where do I start from” she ponders in her heart. “How do I begin again?” “How am I sure where I am headed would be better than where I am now? “What’s the guarantee that I will be happy if l leave?” She is tightly wrapped with uncertainties and sometimes the maze of life is just so confusing that she refuses to even try at all. She decides to stay put in the abusive marriage/relationship because she is scared of the unknown. She forgets that if she doesn’t try, she would never find out. I still love him: Abusive women delude themselves into thinking the abuse they receive is their fault. The man makes her feel she “made him do it” and apologizes for the abuse. She feels inclined to forgive him and believe it wouldn’t happen again. She feels she loves him still despite all and he is capable of change. She cannot handle the fact that the man she loves is the one hurting and tormenting her with so much abuse. She claims she still loves him and fools herself into thinking “he never meant to hurt me”. How can she not see that he wouldn’t stop no matter how much he apologizes after every abuse unless he decides to? I can change him: “I believe I can change him” is one of the most delusional reasons she stays in an abused relationship. She feels that somewhere, somehow, she can change him. She forgets that she has no control over him and he alone can make the decision to change. CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION OF YOU Sweetheart, for starters, I need you to understand something – I cannot overemphasize enough, your worth and dignity as a person. All the points listed above and others that you may have personally are valid points and I see where you are coming from but these can be handled if you decide enough is enough. I just need you now to take a look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see? Do you see a failure or a success? Do you see a beautiful woman or one who is deserving of all the ills that befalls her? Do you see a woman worthy of love, respect and care or one who should be battered? I ask these questions because it is important how you see yourself. It is important because at the end of the day, you have to make the decision to either live a good and happy life or wallow in depression. When we all go to God to stand judgment, we are going to account for how we lived our lives. What would your story be? “I was in an abusive marriage hence I couldn’t live a happy life” is that it? You have a responsibility to yourself as do I. We all have a responsibility to ourselves to make most of the life God has given us. We were not created by mistake. We have a purpose to fulfill, a mission to accomplish and by virtue of our birth, we have been put on course. It is left for us to seek out what that purpose it and live it out. We have no reason not to live a great life. In most of my articles on “Woman”, I have gone on and on about the greatness, uniqueness and beautiful gift woman is to the world. Gorgeous chic, you are beautiful, amazing and unique. I won’t tire of saying it because that is who and what you are. You are too special to be battered. You are too wonderful to be trampled on. You are too amazing to be brutalized or abused. Enough is enough. The future is not as gray and bleak as you fear. The first step is look inward and appreciate yourself. Tell yourself you deserve better than what you have now. Tell yourself you are worthy of love and respect. Believe in yourself and in a positive future and take a bow out of that abusive relationship. You love him, I understand. You can’t believe he could ever hit you, I know. He says he is sorry and you believe him, I get it…… but has all of this stopped the violence from reoccurring? Love is not fear, intimidation, violence or cruelty. Love is patient and kind. Love is just and merciful. Love is beautiful. Love is happiness, peace and joy. I could go on and on…… He says he is sorry and begs for your forgiveness. It is good to forgive but what is unacceptable is when the forgiveness becomes grounds for the abuse to repeat itself. Forgiveness is you as the victim forgiving the abuser and the past and moving on with your life into a brighter future where you wouldn’t be subject to such again. Forgiveness is not holding grudges against the abuser or holding on to the painful memories but letting go and allowing true healing come to you no matter how difficult. Asking for forgiveness means a whole lot more than just saying, “I am sorry”. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you never suffered those experiences. Sure you did but you didn’t let them define you. Instead you rose higher above the experiences and became a better person because of it. Sweetie, I need you to be brave and confident. Coming from you after the much you have endured, I would understand if you drag your feet but I want to encourage you to take a bold step out of slavery and bondage into that great life God has planned for you. I promise you, you can live that great life you want if only you believe and go for it. Hereafter comes the concluding part of this series. So smile because IT IS A BRAND NEW DAY! Thank you so much for reading this second part of the series. Watch out for the concluding part of this series and kindly leave your comments so we can all read and know your thoughts and see how together, we can put an end to this dastardly act. Visit www.khuanascorner.com for more interesting and inspiring articles that would brighten your day, put smiles on your face and happiness in your heart. Cover image source: https://justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/domestic-violence/ So what other reason do you think exists that makes women stay back in abusive marriages and relationships? 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