By Munene Gangi
“Nothing good ever comes of violence.” Martin Luther
I live a simple, or is it simplistic, life. I am reserved and quite an introvert. The isolation during this pandemic period hasn’t affected me that much, only that I am not able to see as many people as I used to unless taking my walks. No man is an island.
I do my work indoors for much of the time, then I get my moments to rest. If I am not out, I want to see the world within the comforts of my abode through online and social media. And lately, I am perturbed. Dark days, that have for so long been with us, have bred normalcy.
You see, God made man. Man didn’t even think he was alone, that thought didn’t creep into his mortal being at all, for he was surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. He was created to rule over this creation. It is God who said the man needed a helper, a companion, and He made a woman from the man’s rib. Remember this is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh?
Companionship means that feeling of friendship and fellowship. It means being close or intimate. It means having someone to spend time or life with.
Musings of a Woman was a deep and painful article, inspired by the story of a young lady who was in an emotional, financial, and physically abusive relationship. It is one of the stories that can make us feel sorry for the victim involved, it is one of such stories that have become quite the custom in our society.
Gender-based violence, rape, fatalities, you name it.
The stories we hear don’t even border on the absurd, they are really frightening. Reasons for disagreements range from snooping on phones, infidelity, to not tilling a piece of land.
A man travels hundreds of kilometers to buy a machete to fatally ambush his lover in broad daylight, another does the same and even takes time to talk to the lady before dousing the house with fuel, ending up killing his two-year-old child. Yet another stabs his spouse fatally and tries to deal with the incidence by taking poison because she touched his mobile device. And you could go on and on… and on. These stories are plentiful in our media.
Shrieks in our estates and villages have become quite frequent, with battered faces, bruised hands and legs, and maimed bodies filling our eyes. Nights are no longer for relaxation but for meting out vengeance with fatal brutality.
For someone like me who isn’t married or even dating, this is sheer madness. Just what evil creeps into people’s minds? What makes them devoid of heart, love, and soul? Have we forgotten that women are human beings too? That they are beautiful beings too? Yes, I know there are many cases of men who are victims, kindly bear with me.
Is such companionship worth it? Is it? I ask because I have been laughed at by my peers for not being married and having any kid. But then this? Is this what marriage is eroding towards? Just what happens to push people to these extremes? Is it that the companionship God created wasn’t enough? Do we have companions that we should spend less time with? Or have just for societal value?
Society has become sort of immune, or perhaps our hearts and minds have stood still, immobile due to the utter shock. We see it, thanks to phone technology. People are quick to take videos of such incidences without stepping foot into that battleground or giving a helping hand.
We are quick to blame drugs, alcohol, finances, or mental disorders, but what about character, individual and societal? Do we even flinch and gasp when we hear of such? Of rapes and defilements of minors? Does it pain our mortal beings to the point of enough is enough?
It is painful to read such stories, of men, women, and children going through tortures their mistakes didn’t even warrant beyond a tongue lashing. It’s more painful to witness how we return to our modus operandi in the immediate aftermath of such grave occurrences. And seeing how our young people are following suit en masse, young dating couples battered and bruised, is simply chilling.
Where do we go from here? How do we end brutality in our marriages and relationships? How do we remove the normalcy in that norm? How do we refuse to condone such injustices?
Gender-based violence needs help, any kind of help, for it’s really sad when even the authorities appear not to do much. Domestic abuse needs a George Floyd kind of movement. It is a human right, the right to live, and it’s very entrenched in our constitution.
We need to address such plight, more so for our women. We need to advise them that they can say no to domestic violence and leave before it proves fatal. You can only hold on to someone for so long. In the manner we have talked about the pandemic, the guidelines, the numbers, the vaccine… and the consistency that we’ve done it with, we can do so by talking about gender-based violence.
And it is not too late to do something.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” I Corinthians 13.4-7