October is domestic violence awareness month. I am compelled to write on this because recently it tears off my heart to read headlines involving my fellow Gambians about all these senseless killings of spouses , killing that should not have happened at all. “Gambian soldier killed his wife at Fajara Barracks over Tabaski clothing dispute: Bakau girl knifed boyfriend after heated dispute “ ( headlined Freedomnewspaper.com 10/03/14)“Boyfriend killed over Eid dress” (jollofnews.com 10/03/14). “ Gambian kills wife , commits suicide in U.K”( jollofnews.com).Wow ! Why so many senseless killings out there by Gambians? What is possessing our people? One killing is too many to hear and too many to accept. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone. This is not just a Gambia issue but global one but killing spouses is not really a common thing to Gambians.
We must not resolve our differences through violence and it should never involve murder at it’s worst. Love should not hurt. When you love someone , you should die for them not kill them. It is weakness to resort to violence towards your spouse. It is strength to seek common ground, and compromise, it is important to understand that killing your spouse will not solve the relationship problems. Love should not cost anyone their lives, should not involve physical pain of any sorts, nor should it involve emotional distress. We are involved in love because we want to have happiness, we want to feel worthy and want the other person to feel the same way. Things are not always going to be easy , there will be thorny roads and regardless of that, efforts must not involve taking the life of the other party. No one person should feel scared in the presence of their spouse, no one should feel lonely in the presence of their spouse, and no one should feel the least of him or herself when you are involved with somebody. If you feel otherwise, it is the wrong one for you. Domestic abuse doesn’t have to be physical but psychological and emotional as well. Everyone deserve to be happy and be appreciated and if one feels otherwise, they should be free to leave without fearing for their lives.
Our temperament is our biggest enemy. When argument arises, it is important to control your anger. It is a big mistake to make any decision whilst you are angry. I will suggest that when things are heated, it is best for one party to move away as quickly as possible and be somewhere. Wait until both parties cools down, have constructive dialogue based on mutual respect.
To my fellow men , please pamper your women, if you going to make her scream, let it be of pleasure in the bedroom not of pain from abuse. It is cowardice to seek dominance in a relationship. It is weakness to hit your woman or scream at her. She should be happy to see you not happy to have you away. Should she be thinking about your hand, it should be the good of how you utilize it between her legs not on her face leaving marks. Domestic violence tears away the veil of our civilization, it makes us look like beasts, monsters, stupid, ignorant .If there is a problem, talk to someone for guidance, or advice . Resorting to violence is not only wrong, but unacceptable to all those with conscience.
I urge all my Gambian sisters out there to recognize those signs of an abusive relationship and these signs include but are not limited to the followings viz: if your man is using fear, intimidation, dominance humiliation , isolation , threats, denial and blames you for every thing, verbally , physically and emotionally assault you, it is time to head to the door. Don’t feel desperate to stay in an abusive or potential abusive relationship. You are better off single than in marriage or commitment of any sort whereas you are enslaved, and unhappy. I will tell my fellow men the same thing but please do not resort to violence. It is not worthy it. You love someone,try and treat them right and let them treat you the same way.
I hope we all stay away from violence especially those that are fatal to our our spouses. Honor your commitment and make it a happy one. If there is no happiness, please graciously let it go.
God bless you all and may He bless our heart to endure love with those we promise to protect.
By Bamba Mbackeh Jabbi