I have never understood how it is be acceptable for any being to look at someone in pain and pronounce that their misery is deserved. The leaking of DJ Euphonik’s affidavit in the after math of his abuse court case against Bonang Matheba opened up the unkind attitudes we adopt to certain people because of who they are.
For those who are not familiar with the background of this abusive relationship, this link will fill you in quickly. If the affidavit is anything to go by, we are supposed to believe that Bonang deserved the abuse she suffered. Owing to her status, I suspect, most people’s responses following the leak have been blinded to the issues involving the two celebrities. I am afraid we missed the point. Abuse should scare all of us, especially women.
Laying a hand on a woman is never okay and should not be tolerated no matter who it happens to. Judging from some comments I read on twitter, it was clear that the resentment others displayed was relating to the survivor. I hope that we never find ourselves glorifying abuse when we reflect on our celebrity culture. I suggest putting aside the personalities involved and seeing this for what it could possibly be.
In our country many women suffer spousal abuse and domestic violence silently. In some communities abuse is something people are encouraged to solve “internally” within the family and not involve outsiders such as the police, court officials, social workers etc.
First of all I don’t ever see abuse as a problem that can be negotiated or solved internally. This takes me back to my sister’s brutal death in an abusive marriage. In September 2009 after she admitted strictly to me her that her husband had been abusing her, we agreed that she would leave him and go back home to our parents. With matters of the heart I have come to realise that no matter how sensible the advice you give to others is, their emotional attachments and what their heart tells them will inform the choices they end up making. A week later my sister’s husband doused her with petrol. She succumbed to her burns after 2 weeks in ICU. To say my sister got the end she deserved would be an insult to those of us who knew that she always believed in the goodness of all human beings.
The principle is the same for me. People who are today questioning the legitimacy of Bonang’s initial abuse story are most probably doing so because, allegedly, she ran back to those very abusive arms. Is that really meant to say she enjoyed the abuse? I don’t think so.
It is common knowledge that most women in abusive relationships tend to go back to their partners after they have been abused. Women suffer silently at the face of abuse because of the shame that comes with admitting that they went back to their abusers, much to their own detriment. Instead of passing judgment it might serve society well if we gently alert women to their weakness for abusive men and help root them out of unhealthy and destructive relationship patters.
Even though she withdrew her abuse case, I still salute Bonang for having had the courage to speak out against her abuse and daring to fight it in court. Her coming out should account to something for all who have been abuse or in abusive relationships and publicly ashamed to admit it. No one deserve to suffer at the hands of people they love.