Not reporting domestic violence and staying in abusive relationships

Interviews by Oliceia Simon with photographs by Shabna Rahman


With domestic violence being a front burner issue, this week we asked the man/woman in the street why they felt men who are abused often choose not to make police reports and why women tended to remain in abusive relationships. Their comments follow:


20160627Farah KhanWTPSFarah Khan, businesswoman – ‘I think men believe they’re too macho. I think in most cases they’ll feel less of a man so they prefer not to report the matter. I don’t think men can really detect what abuse really is because if a woman should hit on a man they’ll probably feel it’s okay. I don’t think they even know when they’re being abused because I think they’re mentality is how could a woman possibly abuse me? Our society has trained persons to believe that women are the only victims of abuse and they don’t really shed much light on the men being abused, although they are. I believe that women stay in abusive relationships because they feel that because they don’t have a job and that the man is the breadwinner, they have no one to turn to. Some women think it’s love, some even stay to prove a point. Some women even stay because of their children but I believe that this causes more damage. Personally I would leave the relationship, take up my child and leave because it’s more dangerous and I would rather raise the child alone in a healthy environment than to have them exposed to violence in the home. People need to be educated more, especially men, especially those of a traditional background. Now you still hear people saying “oh she look for it’ or “a woman needs licks,” we need to break these things and change our culture and way of thinking beginning in our homes.’


20160627Keisha GibbonsWTPSKeisha Gibbons, private sector employee – ‘Men are supposed to be the head of their homes so if a guy goes to report that he’s being abused to the police that would be belittling to him so he would prefer not to go and report the matter. They say love is blind so when women feel as though they’re in love and they’ve been in a relationship with that person for years, even though she’s being abused, she’ll look back at the situation and say well she doesn’t want to give up all that she has built. This can be seen especially when there are children involved and then they have their family so they feel ashamed which then causes them to hide it and things may become worse until it’s too late.’


20160627Keron RossWTPSKeron Ross, employee at Rentokil – ‘When it comes to men in abusive relationships I think that they might be ashamed to report the matter to the police and in some strange cases you have some men that like the licks. In most cases a lot of women stay in an abusive relationship because they can’t do any better and some may have several children for the person too so they would prefer to stay.’




20160627Troy ThomasWTPSTroy Thomas, bartender – ‘I think that men don’t report being abused because they’re shy. I think women remain in abusive relationships because the man is probably strong financially and she may not be so she decides to remain in the relationship. I do think though that the government can do more for these persons by creating more awareness, going out and speaking to them, holding workshops among other things. If this is done I think more men would report being abused and women would want to leave the relationship.’



20160627Joyann MorganWTPSJoyann Morgan, vendor – ‘Sometime you have to lose to win, if I was in that situation, a man beating and ill-treating me I would leave, take up my things and walk out. But then you have some women who would take the knock and remain in the relationship but not me, I would leave. I feel too that some of these women need to get a job and become independent but you have those cases where the woman don’t want to work or the man don’t want her to work so she has to depend on him. I think men would feel ashamed if they were being abused and had to go and report it because when they go to the police station and tell the officers that their woman is beating them the officers would laugh at them. But if a woman goes to the police and reports that she’s being abused they would act much faster.’


20160627Winston FranklinWinston Franklin, taxi driver – ‘It’s simple, you have different terms, if a woman feel as though she is being independent and she’s the one doing the providing then she has the right to be abusive to her man. This makes her feel as though she can be abusive verbally and physically. I think that in this society persons don’t know their role and because they don’t know their role you find that they would try to control someone rather than try to simply earn respect. I think men don’t report when they’re being abused because of how society has it set up. If I were to go and tell a police officer that my woman is being abusive to me, he would look at me and laugh and say get out his face, but soon as a woman run they believe the woman. It’s always good to have these persons in situations like this seeing a counsellor. But the two best counsellors are the individuals involved in the situation. Because if persons would just say that they don’t like certain behaviours or actions then things may be easier but it’s all about ego and society. If we look at the past generations to the present generations you would see where persons grow up in abusive families and they think it’s customary to behave in that manner. So the changed behaviour really needs to start at home.’

20160627Michael PattersonWTPSMichael Patterson, self-employed – ‘Teeth and tongue must bite and sometime you have to give and take but I feel as though if you and somebody in a relationship and can’t get along then it’s best to separate. When violence occur and you have children and they grow seeing that lifestyle it will affect them. I think for a man if he’s being abused he wouldn’t report it because he may feel as though it’s okay and he can handle it. But these men need to be more educated, likewise the women so that they know that it’s not okay. Then you have the women who would remain in the relationship because they feel as though they can’t afford to do any better so they just take the beatings or the hard talk.’



20160627Mohammed BaigWTPSMohammed Baig, businessman – ‘I believe that men who are being abused stay in the abusive relationship because they feel sympathetic towards the woman, then you may have some of them who overlook the woman’s fault. Women stay in an abusive relation for financial reasons, they look at security and just because they feel as though they cannot be helped they stay. You have both men and women who would remain in an abusive relationship because of the children, they don’t want their family to be separated.’



20160627Paulette SpencerWTPSPaulette Spencer, hairdresser – ‘I think women don’t report when they are being abused because they feel afraid or they may not be independent enough to walk away from the relationship and they tend to think that, oh if they leave they won’t have anything to do because they don’t have a job and how they are going to get by. This causes them to stay in the relationship and take the hit but it can be fear that causes them to remain as well because the spouse might tell them that if they leave they’ll kill them and stuff like that. I think it has a lot to do with low self-esteem too. As a person because if your self-esteem is low you tend to take anything and think it’s okay. I think that there should be persons who develop programmes that can help such women develop their self-esteem or courses that they can learn something so that when they walk away from the abusive relationship they know that they can get by and be able to take care of themselves. I think men don’t report when they are being abused because they feel ashamed, because to me abuse refer more to women so men won’t think that oh a woman knock them it’s domestic violence. They tend to think that they’re men and they’re macho so if a woman hit them they definitely wouldn’t want to report it.’


20160627Felicia JeffreyWTPSFelicia Jeffrey, housewife – ‘I think women prefer to remain in an abusive relationship because they are afraid that the men would go after them and hurt them. Men on the other hand would prefer not to report when they’re being abused because they prefer to just live with it and they don’t want to hurt their ego or feel ashamed when they try to report the matter. If I was aware of someone who was being abused I’d advise them to go and make a report because no one should have to live under those types of conditions. Everyone has a right to a happy life so neither a man nor a woman should have to live in an abusive relationship and the fear of not being able to report it.’

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