Dear abused woman: go, and stay gone! Run!

2017-05-12 06:12

Yesterday, social media went abuzz as the much exasperated Twitter and Facebook users fumed over the recent killing of a young girl, Karabo Mokoena, allegedly, in the hands of the man who’s supposed to be her lover, protector. The hashtag #MenAreTrash trended. Karabo’s case is just but a tip of an iceberg.

I can never, even for a second, try to dispute that.  Just a mere thought of this gruesome murder does send a chill down one’s spine. It is an unimaginable, inconceivable, terrible deed any sane Homo sapiens could ever plan… but it happens! It happens, and it happened. It happens, and it will continue to happen.

Relationships are the most mysterious phenomenon one could ever come across. Every single person, regardless of race, tribe, nationality, educational status, socio-economic status, or physical status, can and will be in some sort of romantic relationship at some stage of their life. There is no guideline, no formula, no pre-relationship preparation seminars, no policies, or any standardized ways of entering into one.

We all are, therefore, lay people when it comes to relationships.

Maybe that’s why we see a lot of divorced and abused marriage counsellors, social workers, psychologists, and pastors. These are the people who should, supposedly, be knowing better when it comes to the Do’s and Don’ts of relationships. But we all know there is just no manual that comes with instructions. At the end of the day, we’re all lay people.

We used to believe that women tolerate abuse in the hands of their supposedly beloved ones for financial security. We used to believe that it is those women with shallow pockets or no education who’d rather keep mum, just so they can have a roof over their heads, and a bread on their table. The belief was men with bottomless pockets are the chief abusers. Ironically, we see it happening across the board.

While men perpetually abuse their women, often women also perpetually downplay the abuse. This is certainly not in reference to Karabo’s case, since I cannot factually be talking about the case that I know little of. But I have seen a lot of men who believe it is okay to abuse their spouses, although they don’t necessarily call it abuse. They call it “discipline”.

In the same vein, I’ve seen abused women who are okay with what happens to them, and tolerate it with no regret. They too don’t call it abuse. They call it “love”. I shudder every time I see the relationship of those couples “enduring” such tribulations. When a “lovely” couple break-up over a small argument, while a known abusive relationship survives, one can’t help it but take a big sigh… indeed, relationships come with no manual.

Let me rope you all in, on this true story, of what is, at least to me, a classic abusive relationship wherein a woman consistently allows it. This particular individual is very well known to me, as I am known to her. I’ll let the story flow as it is, but just twist the names and places.

Perhaps, we should give her a name… Lindiwe.

Lindiwe is a young, brilliant girl from a very poor family, in the deepest of the rural areas. She is a medical doctor, to be precise. When Lindiwe went to medical school, her unemployed single mother told her to focus on her books, so she could alleviate their perpetual poverty at home. Even her favourate teacher had warned her of men in varsity. She told her that if she looks at boys, she’s likely to come back home without a degree, but with a baby.

A young Lindiwe took all those advices, focused on her books, and obtained her medical degree at a record time, at age 23. Believe it or not, as a newly qualified doctor, Lindiwe was still a “hymen imperforata”. Well, not exactly. But she was, indeed, a virgin.

Few months into her employment, she met love of her life. A charming man who made her first and only ever romantic life a paradise. Her newly found advisor.

Within no time, Lindiwe had already bought a big German machine (which she herself couldn’t drive). Her “romantic” lover was driving her around. Well, I too would certainly do with a chauffeur.

Four months into the relationship, Lindiwe was three months pregnant, she was barred from communicating with any male person, or meeting any. She was barred from using any form of social media. She was (and I’m not saying allegedly) physically assaulted. All her phones were smashed, SIM cards chewed, so she could use the new ones, where no man would be communicating with her (unless, of course, if she personally gave out her new contacts).

The abuse went on and on and on. It also turned out that the boyfriend’s supposed employment is a fake. The dude is unemployed, and never was, and rely fully on Lindiwe for survival… shelter, food, clothes, transport, you name it.

Unlike those many of us who call it something else, Lindiwe calls it like it is… ABUSE! But she still stayed. Well, not past tense. She is still staying. Lindiwe has, in fact, suffered miscarriage in the hands of this Mr Muscle. But, yes, she stayed.

I’ve been the unlucky one, because Lindiwe has been confiding in me since the beginning of time. As much as she was telling me in confidence, I had always told her to walk away. Not just walk away, but to run for her life. To run the fastest. To go and stay gone! But, mostly, to get Mr Muscle arrested. I’ve always told Lindiwe that, if you confide in me, I’ll “confide” in your family and anyone else whom I believe may speak some sense into you… lest I speak on your funeral and say: “I saw it coming”.

Lindiwe and I agree on many things. But when it comes to her leaving Mr Muscle or getting him arrested, we differ greatly. I had thought, maybe because I’m a guy, the motive might sound awkward. I, instead, sent a female colleague to speak to her. It failed. I suggested the services of a social worker and a psychologist, she refused. I spoke to her family, but she still wouldn’t listen to them. By the way, this is just a boyfriend and girlfriend. No ritual or official formalization of their relationship as yet.

One day, when the beatings became severe, and she informed me as usual, I suggested she lay a charge. She did go to the police station, instead, asked for a protection order, and chucked the dude out of her hospital room (yes. the dude stayed, and still do, with her in the hospital's Doctor's Residence aka DQ). Less than a week later, they were love birds again… but a boxing kinda love birds. The relationship in which an educated abused woman is the sole bread winner…

One would wonder:

Why is Lindiwe still staying?

When will Lindiwe finally leave Mr Muscle?

What threats do Mr Muscle pose on Lindiwe, that she can be so scared?

What other help or advice can one give Lindiwe?

Who, except Lindwe, can lay a charge against Mr Muscle?

Should one start worrying about Lindiwe’s mental health?

Dear Lindiwes of this world:

Run for your life! Vamoose! Get him locked up in jail. Go and stay gone! Your breath relies on no man. The sooner you ask for help, the better. Do not feed the ego of the abuser by staying.

Dear Mr Muscles of this world:

You deserve nothing but a lifelong jail sentence, in which all men should rejoice seeing you rot!

Dear Media:

I know very well that you do not, and shall not write or report about the stories such as Lindiwe's.  I also know that you believe I'm probably out of my mind to "put Lindiwe's dirty laundry out in the pen". But I know for a fact that your papers and newsrooms will be inundated with her story, should Mr Muscle's penetrating fist severe her jugular, and her life taken too soon. Should we, really, be waiting for the Lindiwes of this world to die before they make headlines? I shudder!

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