Abuse,  By Gracilis,  Family

Sleeping with the enemy

Yesterday was International Men’s day and unfortunately while we were celebrating the men, one man in my home country shot his wife and killed himself. His wife was rushed to the hospital and thankfully at this point, we have not heard she has gone to the great beyond. Sometimes I wonder what would make a man kill his wife? And because sometimes it is the other way, why would someone kill their partner?

A close friend once recounted the story of a Pastor who died at the hands of his wife following severe burns. She poured fuel on him and set him ablaze in the house .What was even more terrible was the fact he was screaming for help while she sat unperturbed in the living room. The neighbours came in at one point , insisting they were hearing shouts for help. Eventually, the man was rushed to the hospital and before he died , he asked people to beg his wife to forgive him  for all he had done to her.

This was quite contrary  to expectations, but one of the first things I thought of when I heard that story was the fact that the woman may probably have gone through so much emotional abuse that she had begun to lose her mind. There is a level of abuse that occurs that denial of reality becomes a strong coping mechanism .

Although no one is perfect, there is no excuse for turning a partner into a punching bag or a gutter where venomous words are spat into.

These days I am still shocked when I hear stories of physical abuse and while most of us can easily recognize and frown at it, a lot of the abuse that goes on these days are non-physical but equally damaging. There is however  no form of abuse that is acceptable.

While I am an advocate for marriage, I will be the first person to advise people  to remove themselves safely  from any violent situation. It is never worth it and research has shown that domestic abuse almost always escalates unless there is some form of intervention.

I have not obtained the permission to share any personal stories  but let me repeat again , that there is no excuse for abuse . There is no such a thing as you made me do it or the devil made me do it Everyone who perpetuates abuse does so because they choose to and would probably continue , especially if they do not think there would be any consequences .

Not everyone who smiles, wears the same clothes with their spouse or post endless pictures and updates on social media is genuinely happy in their marriage .And sometimes people get to the point when they choose to open up.

One of the most unhelpful things we can do when someone informs us that they are being abused apart from not believing them is to find excuse for the abuse

Rather our first response to a disclosure of abuse is to let the person know that we believe them, that what has happened is not acceptable and it is not their fault. We should also find out what they want . It is important not to take over but to be a support.This might also mean signposting them to organizations and domestic abuse advocates.

We can all do our part in this fight against domestic abuse and if you feel you may be abusing your partner, you can seek help so as to stop the destructive behaviour

People who end up killing their partners have been abusing them for sometime and perhaps, all these needless deaths can be stopped, if we nip abuse at its very bud  with a no -nonsense approach  and a  Zero tolerance to it .

Abuse is not acceptable and refusing to be abused shows we have respect for ourselves. We all deserve to be treated with respect ,especially by the people who  say they love us .

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