First time I saw an abused woman’s face, I thought she was having a severe allergic reaction to some food she ate.
This was in spite of the way she was holding her child like her life depended on him. The tears that were pooling in her big beautiful eyes… the fact that she was standing on a neighbor’s balcony. In my innocence and my unparalleled naivety, none of those signs stood out to me. My mind just could not fathom such a horrible thing.
The idea of a man who had the nerve to hit a woman was unimaginable. What kind of monster does that?
The kind we marry.
[bctt tweet=”The idea of a man who had the nerve to hit a woman was unimaginable to me. ” username=”wearethetempest”]
When the truth of the matter finally dawned on me, I was shocked and stunned. To be honest, I had no idea how to behave, let alone how to offer genuine support. I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable or seem like I was meddling in affairs I understood little of. So I pretended to have no clue of the issue that was unraveling until it became common knowledge.
And then, of course, I was sure she’d leave him and never look back. And of course, that didn’t happen. To my surprise, nothing much happened. While this woman had physical, emotional and psychological wounds to heal, this man walked out of it unscathed… save perhaps for a little embarrassment.
[bctt tweet=”I had no idea how to behave let alone how to offer genuine support ” username=”wearethetempest”]
I did not even know which way to feel. I mean, domestic violence kills, and for the perpetrators to get away with a mere scolding shows just how much we value the lives of our women.
At some point, I felt betrayed by the men in my family. I wondered what would happen if it were me and not her. I became terrified of marrying the ‘wrong’ guy because as far as I could tell; when push came to shove I’d be on my own. None of the menfolk would do as little as give it back to him double.
[bctt tweet=” I became terrified of marrying the ‘wrong’ guy because as far as I could tell; when push came to shove I’d be on my own. None of the menfolk would do as little as give it back to him double. ” username=”wearethetempest”]
If these statistics are anything to go by, domestic violence is a tragedy that is here to stay, It is steeped in so many misconceptions that it is difficult for society to recognize it, let alone offer effective support. Our patriarchal and collectivistic societies only make things more difficult for the victim. We go as far as to accuse them of somewhat provoking the episode as if it is ever ok for the abuser to lose control like that.
Her face that day is one that will never leave me. It was an image that opened my eyes to the silent realities around us, a haunting image that wags its finger at me in an attempt to prevent me from fully relaxing in my own marriage. An image that has me always on the lookout for real or imagined signs of abuse from my partner. Be it physical, emotional or psychological.
[bctt tweet=”Her face that day is one that will never leave me. It was an image that opened my eyes to the silent realities around us” username=”wearethetempest”]
Because by now, you should know that monsters don’t hide under your bed, they make themselves perfectly comfortable on top of it. And that is the real horror of it all.