Columns 14.6.2018 08:15 am

Our bodies are not your crime scene, men

Woman and men from Soweto gather at UJ Soweto Campus, Pimville at the start of the march to Regina Mundi Church against women abuse under the campaign #NotInMyName, 26 May 2017.  Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Woman and men from Soweto gather at UJ Soweto Campus, Pimville at the start of the march to Regina Mundi Church against women abuse under the campaign #NotInMyName, 26 May 2017. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

What turns a relationship once filled with laughter and sweet nothings into a battle of strengths and violence?

The slaughtering of women in South Africa is across different races, ages and beliefs – but these victims have one thing in common: they are all married to the same kind of man.

The solution to this bloodbath lies not with the women, but these men who need to make the necessary changes.

These men are the ones with low self-esteem, those who hold cultural stereotypes above basic human compassion, those who believe that mahadi/dowries buy them a human being, those believing that being the breadwinner makes them superior – and even those who believe that the Bible expects submission.

These are the men whom we need to fix; these are the people whom we need to zoom in on.

What turns a relationship once filled with laughter and sweet nothings into a battle of strengths and violence?

Murmurs fill the spaces as we say “but they looked so happy”, while every night she fought for her sanity, her freedom – her life!

This man has blood on his hands – and, as women, it is not our responsibility to wipe his hands clean, unless you are his mother.

A TV programme this week threw the spotlight on a female who murdered a man whom she claimed was abusing her. In the struggle a gun went off and the abuser was killed – according to the one serving an eight year sentence …

What riled me was when the victim’s mother said: “How can you kill someone just because he hit you? What were a couple of slaps and beatings that motivated you to take a life?”

It may start as a couple of slaps, but how am I to know if today it may not escalate to it being my last breath?

Infidelity, substance abuse and irresponsibility in parental expectations lead to frustrated men and women – and then the battleground is set.

Marital rape, women held in subjection using culture and even scripture – these are all elements used by weak men.

Our bodies are not your crime scenes, men.

Where are the leaders championing the fight against the slaughter of women?

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo.

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