WE had seen Kenny Benjamin‘s new zebra and now, utterly exhausted by grandkids, I sought refuge in a cabana. “Go feed each other to the crocs and leave me alone!” They loved this and ran off to choose the victim. Aaaah, peace and quiet. My heart rate normalised and I noticed another occupant — a lady. Was she a card- carrying member of the child-protection body?
I shifted tone. “Hi, don’t mind me. I really love them!” She expectorated: “Men!” more to herself than me. I said “I have men problems, too” and she laughed — stiff black and blue bruised skin struggling to crease under a capacious hat. She said, “I know your face. You come back and trouble the men who run things, watch!”
We chatted, I listened, she intoned; reprised a life of man suffering in 15 minutes of graphic detail ending with “Men!” She lifted her Niqab-type garb. I saw scars and offered an escort to the police but she demurred; her husband was well-known. I was really mad. We have many freedoms in law, yet few in reality. Fear is palpable. The system is an enemy!
Suddenly, a frantic screech and I leaped towards the unseen kids. “You are the Observer man?” I said, “Yes” on the run. “Den write it nuh!”
I was covering ground to Kenny’s snake pit fearful for the poor human who might fall prey to my indefatigable trio’s tricks. One ‘GSATter’ and two pre-GSAT kids on the loose is a kill crew. I rescued their intended victim and vowed to throw them to Kenny’s lions. They were not fazed. The lady was gone; swollen rye-brown face, stiff, bruised arm, lacerations on a polite thigh, no name, no face, no trace! Figgat it! She was upper St Andrew in diction and demeanour and her Hijab-like garment hid the bruises. That night I slept fitfully, “Den write it nuh” in my head. I know of the abuse, beheadings and grief, but I am in denial. It’s too painful to write of our men, so I defer– it’s obeah, the Devil.
I got no comfort and did an online sweep. Up came Charles Saatchi, the art and advertising mogul with his hands at the throat of wife Nigella Lawson (caught on camera) the millionaire chef. As a fan, I was as shocked as the UK public. He admitted no blame, but accepted a police caution for abusive behaviour. What do rich couples fight over? Money? What colour the Rolls Royce should be?
Mystery lady at the zoo was uptown ranking; flawed but fabulous. Whassup, rich people? Isn’t domestic abuse poor people ting? This violence is not partial!
Domestic abuse is assault (much as praedial larceny is “tief”) — a crime meriting jail time. This abuse is popular, but there is a sick conspiracy of silence: “Is not my business!” Abuse is not a family affair to be ignored by police, not a personal issue to be ignored by family, not a man and woman business to be ignored by friends, nor adult business to be ignored by children. It is everyone’s business to report abuse to the police as this cancer is an epidemic consuming men and women, families, and our society.
An abusive man is a control freak. His classic justification is:
a) It is not unusual for couples to fight
b) It is her fault
c) She does it to me, too.
Grabbing a woman’s throat and blocking her airway is dismissed as a playful tiff. He may be a sociopath; publicly a winner, privately a loser. Most have “power jobs”, some uniformed — police, soldier or politician, rich man, don. They hurt if women leave them as they have fragile egos. It’s not a “I hate you — want to get rid of you” thing, it is “love to insult, demean, hurt you; need you around as your pain is my high.” Many dated caring policemen who became monsters after the bedding. Security services are at-risk occupations for domestic abuse. There is need for good recruit profiling and career surveillance as abusers are drawn to jobs in authority. His views alone matter; his woman is an idiot, her views stupid, her friends are fools and anyone in her life before him was a poltroon. He modestly avers her life on earth began with him. The self-centred conceit is unbelievable, quite mad really, but potentially lethal to the woman.
Are men at risk? Evidence in the UK is that 60 per cent of women and 40 per cent of men are victims of abuse. I have no stats for us in Jamaica. The violence against men is mental, physical and sexual. Women have power, use sex as a weapon and ration sex to get what they want — cash, decisions, things.
In a past life, I mentored abused men. It is as tragic as it is for women. Strong men were pinched, pulled, punched, pushed; got no dinner, clean clothes or smiles; wimpy men slapped with impunity, sexually humiliated and bruised. Men rarely go to the doctor with their wounds. One well-known James Bond character spoke out in 2012. Roger Moore was regularly assaulted by two of his wives. Britain was aghast. Global celebrity status is no protection. Fame did not protect Tina from Ike Turner, nor money Rihanna from Chris Brown. ‘Freaky’ personalities emboldened by power wreak havoc on others’ misery and pain and it’s a crime.
Are there grey areas? Issues in domestic abuse are not binary; neither black nor white so the grey areas are significant. He had an affair, she found out, slapped him around a bit and he was penitent. Is this acceptable? What if roles were reversed? What if equally matched and they fight? Couples who fight say it’s not abuse as she gave as good as she got and the make-up later is sweet! He hit her, she hit back. Who is right? Can abuse be 50/50? When violence is mutual, not the tip of an iceberg, or is one-off, is it abuse? Is a fight always abuse? Does it only qualify when the man does more damage?
The idea that women are more emotional than males is a lie. Do most women beat up men? No, the very opposite! Who is more emotional? She winds-up a man as more men are uneducated, clumsy with words, get emotional, have no words to match hers and gets violent.
Remember, what’s important to you makes you vulnerable — money, “yu Madda”; physical, education, class assets or deficits. If she thinks she is pretty, brown, has a fit body and is smart, do not call her a fat, evil, black b*^&! Do not say her enemy is pretty or that you slept with her best friend, you are road kill! You now know the button; push it and kaboom!
Today, if you are frightened in your relationship, move out. Seek help. Websites like http://www.Refuge.org which leave no trail a nosy, abusive man can find are good and men and women need protection. Stay conscious, my friend!
- Embarrassment barrier for abused men (stuff.co.nz)
- Domestic Violence in Rexburg?! (prometheusun.wordpress.com)
- Domestic Abuse: The Double Standard (krismbell.wordpress.com)
- Many small voices: speaking out about domestic abuse (manysmallvoices.wordpress.com)
- Charles Saatchi says Nigella Lawson used to throttle him too. Is that any defence? (telegraph.co.uk)
- An Abuser is an Abuser. ~ Kimberly Lo (elephantjournal.com)
- How to Spot Domestic Abuse by SingleMotherAhoy (manysmallvoices.wordpress.com)
- Abused Spouses Have Rights (expertspages.com)
- Many small voices: speaking out about domestic abuse (gaiamojo.wordpress.com)
- Domestic violence no laughing matter (rappler.com)