This week a woman humiliated a popular Disc Jockey who goes by the name DJ Magnum. She posted a video of him naked and handcuffed to a bed as she interrogated him. She wanted to know whether he had had sex with someone else because of the evidence she found. She said she would release the video on social media – which she ultimately did – while also revealing that she wanted the public to be aware of her trials stemming from being in a relationship with the DJ. The same man lost his house in a fire just a couple of days before.

The video raised many questions. Is violence ever justifiable in a relationship? Are there instances when we can excuse a person for reacting with violence because their partner was abusive, unfaithful or otherwise failed them? Are those guilty of violence in intimate partner relationships unworthy of compassion? Must we evaluate the circumstances before making judgments? Is it acceptable to find humour in a situation where a woman abuses a man? Is it acceptable to publicly embarrass a man believed to be deserving of such? Do we ever find humour in the abuse of women?

Many viewers of the video found it humorous. DJs are often viewed as alpha-males. Some of the music they promote emanates from the Jamaican dancehall culture and often endorses sexual domination over women and violence. So, a DJ caught in a situation intended to embarrass him and ultimately ruin his reputation might lead some to assume that the alpha-male persona might be a façade that many often present. While at work, the adrenaline rush that the music prompts might result in many having alter-egos. But in the case of DJ Magnum, maybe it was the fact that she caught him when he was vulnerable – he revealed that he was asleep when he was handcuffed to the bed.

I did not find the video amusing. My thoughts were focused on whether folks would find it hilarious if it were the DJ who had handcuffed the woman to the bed and interrogated her. Surely most people would not find it funny. There would be outcry, including calls for the perpetrator to be jailed. While many people who saw the video said that the woman should be charged, there were also many who had no compassion for the DJ.

Many young women congratulated the woman. Many of these women may have dealt with or maybe are going through similar issues with their partners. While in a way I understand the thinking behind them standing with the woman, because sometimes people are so blinded by their pain that the only justice they see is revenge, I am against abuse of any kind in intimate partner relationships.

More people must realise that they are responsible for their own happiness–if one truly loves oneself it is more likely that one will not put up with abuse of any kind. Many women have not accepted the fact that they cannot control a man and that the onus is on the man to decide that he is going to do right by his partner. Doing right is about him making a choice to deny the urge to cheat if that is his weakness. It is about him knowing when to be honest with a woman who desires a monogamous relationship – stepping away from situations where he knows that he wants something different. It is about him controlling his anger in situations where he is tempted to become abusive. And if the tables are turned and the man is in a situation where he is dealing with a woman who is not doing right by him, the same rules should apply.

Unfortunately, telling men and women to be in control of their lives to walk away when situations threaten to become harmful, to love themselves first is not always as easy as it sounds. Daily, we see the results of unhealthy relationships which sometimes end in death or serious injuries. And, in many instances, the abused partner does not have the courage to leave the relationship. Many abused women have said that it is not always easy to walk away. There might be children in the relationship.

Their financial security might be at risk, especially when the woman is solely or mostly dependent on the man. This highlights the importance of women educating themselves so that they can be financially stable and able to take care of themselves and/or children if a relationship does not work out.

When a person in an abusive relationship does not want to acknowledge what has happened to them and dismisses it as not being damaging to their person, it exposes how often abuse is downplayed. During an interview, DJ Magnum claimed that he did not take the incident too seriously and that it was going to make him stronger. He also pointed to the fact that there were no bruises and that if the woman should be charged it should be for releasing the video. But in the same interview, he described how he was awakened by the sting of a lash and had felt for a while that he was dreaming. During the interrogation, all who saw the video witnessed him trying to break free from the handcuffs and seemed unable to do so.

And then there was the perpetrator’s interview where she tried to pass the entire incident off as a joke – saying that she had been drinking. The DJ was into kinky things, she claimed, while noting that he could have freed himself if he wanted to. I wondered, was it also a joke when she stated during the video that she was going to release it to social media so that people could see what she was dealing with? Was she now trying to downplay it because people were condemning her?

But she also stated that he had threatened that if he ever saw her with another man, he would resort to violence. It was a worrying accusation that raises questions about the woman’s safety. And many people who had no pity for the DJ made comments about his character, saying that he is known to be disrespectful to women.

This case once again exposes the two-facedness when it comes to violence against men. The pressure that is put on males from the time they are young is partially responsible; ideas such as ‘men don’t cry’ and ‘men are the head and therefore should assert dominance’ still pervade society and many men who don’t fit the models are often mocked. It is also why many men who are abused remain silent.

Violence against men will never be a joke and all the work that should be done to curb it should be undertaken. I’m sure if we could wake the women and men who have died because of domestic violence, none of them would be laughing.

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