Worrying attitudes

*graphic images:

Some ignorant people (dare I call them stupid idiots?) have said a lot of nonsense about women who are abused, beat and battered at the hands of their spouses and partners. Some who have no understanding of just how difficult it is to get out of an abusive relationship have mouthed off theoretic euphoria that says to ‘walk away.’ Here is a case of a woman who was in an abusive marriage, her spouse threatened to kill her and at one point even threw their 17 month old baby over a gate! This was a woman who had seen her man do what he threatened he would do, he showed no signs of conscience even where his own baby was concerned. How could he not follow through with the threat to kill her?

Such innocence

This man was out on bail on an intimidation charge when he committed this heinous crime. Anyone see how his crime escalated and got nearer to his partner, from throwing their baby over a gate, to attacking his wife’s niece in front of witnesses who happened to be neighbours to intimidation and then to actually brutalising her?

The brutality!

The man was on bail and one of the conditions was that he stay away from his wife and child but he violated the conditions as well as disrespected a protection against him coming near the two. (Point of discussion: how can a man who disrespects his own wife and his own flesh have any respect for pieces of paper?- these laws gotta change….anyway…)

What I find particularly enraging and also alarming is the following excerpt from the newspaper article:

{Police Ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi said yesterday that Mbili’s family should go to court to complain that the protection order had been violated.

“The court issued the protection order, therefore victims should go to court and asked for them to instruct the police to arrest the suspect and the police will then definitely make the arrest.”}

This is the kind of response we get from the police? That the family should go to COURT and COMPLAIN that the protection order had been violated? Am I missing something here? What then is the role of the police? Maybe I am wrong and do not understand South African law but this sounds all to familiar within my country’s  context. The other month, we read of how a wife to some ‘prominently positioned’ man was threatened, in itself a crime section 186 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) is applied.  What worries me is that a formal report was made and a docket was opened wherein it was established that the woman had indeed been threatened with a gun by this husband with whom she was on separation yet the police were in agreement with ‘the powers’ to withdraw the charge ‘least the party be embarrassed’!! Her words, according to the article are:

“I withdrew the charges last week on Tuesday chiefly because I still love my     husband and secondly, to avoid embarrassing my party,”….

How many times have we heard of someone shoot by a gun? It’s no longer an American challenge, neither is it South African

Wtf!! To even think that the party ‘leaders’ knew of this incident and still went ahead and ‘asked’ that she withdraw the case is baffling and telling of how they view issues of domestic violence…definitely not seriously. It does not bother them that stats show that at some point (I hope that has changed), 60% of murder cases before the High Court were a direct result of domestic violence! Had this woman been shot dead by her ‘husband’, would they have claimed responsibility as well as complicity? No bother even trying to guess how that would end.

It is way past the time that we all took issues of domestic violence seriously. Domestic violence is NOT a private affair when it costs the public money, time, personnel and other intangible and unquantifiable resources. How much paper is used in writing up dockets? How many police officers are attending to cases of domestic violence? How many nurses and doctors are attending to issues of domestic violence? How many counselors are attending to survivors of domestic violence? How many cases are in courts that are domestic violence related? How many pieces of legislature are to be put in place to try and curb domestic violence? How many women and men should suffer in silence? How many more children must grow up in violent homes? When will this cycle end?  Domestic violence is NOT a private issue when it costs life…how many people have to die at the hands of their partners? Domestic violence IS war! It is war when every 15 seconds a woman is beat up by her husband or partner. It is very worrisome to hear people shushing survivors of domestic violence. It is worrisome to hear law enforcement agents turning away survivors from their stations….to solve their ‘domestic issues’. It is worrisome when senior leaders in the society encourage men who threaten their partners with death. These attitudes must change and change now!!


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