Dear Pastor
May 6, 2005
Neighbour beats up on young girlfriend

Dear Pastor,

I am a regular reader of your articles and I do enjoy reading the advice you give to different people. I am not in any situation to need your advice really, but I am noticing something happening with a young lady and I would like to get your opinion.

Pastor, there is this young lady who is in a relationship with a man in my area. Pastor, that man is a mad man. He beats the poor girl like he’s crazy and is always embarrassing her in public. He is much older than she is. {{more}}

I do not think she is 20 yet, while the man is in his 30s. She already has two children for him and is pregnant with another one. Pastor, a couple times people offered to help her but she always makes excuses for him blaming his behaviour on how he was brought up, or the rum he drinks.

Now do you think it will be wrong if all of us in the neighbourhood just decide to forget her and leave her for him to kill her? After all, I do not think she wants help.

Need your take on the matter.

A Friend

Dear friend,

Yes, it is wrong for you all as neighbours to stop trying; you should never stop trying to get this young lady to see the light of her folly. I know that it isn’t always black or white. In these cases a person’s self esteem and general socialization allows them to accept these living conditions.

I still believe though, that when all is said and done a woman should do whatever she has to do to avoid living in an abusive relationship. And yes even some of these men have historical issues and addictions to battle, but domestic abuse must be stamped out. Only a coward man beats on a woman.

If you need to lash a woman to gain her respect, you are weak and not possessed of your manhood… I make no apologies for making that statement.

I know how you could feel fed up of helping when the victim “seems” to be happy with how things are, but our moral duty should not allow us to look on idly.

In the neighbourhood I grew up, my friends and I were confronted with a similar situation. The man brutalized the woman and, no matter how people sneaked her out and sent her to safety, she continually returned to the same treatment wooed by a promise of change and eternal commitment.

One day a couple of my friends and I were on our way to cricket training and saw the said man beating his wife with a belt because she had left home with his permission. For a couple minutes we actually thought of going to her rescue but in the end we did the opposite; we did not help and did not call the police or anything like that.

That woman ended up in the hospital where she spent over a week. It seems like he graduated from the belt to a piece of guava stick shortly after we left. If she had died, I don’t know how I would have lived with it.

So my advice to women in that mess is to get out; somebody will come to your rescue. There must be a family member or a good friend who would be willing to afford you a fresh start.

As for you my friend and all those around, once you suspect or see fool play, call the police, raise an alarm. If the woman wants to stay, even though help comes, if she refuses to prosecute the coward and chooses to live in her mess, then her blood, brain, eyes or what ever he digs, cuts or smashes is not on your shoulders.

Pastor Jackson