Latest News Editor's Choice


Opinion / Columnist

Diaspora men held at ransom by their wives

16 Oct 2020 at 23:55hrs | Views
Dr Masimba Mavava
Man sitting on outdoor wooden stairwell, cupped hand wrapped around clenched hand, both hands held to mouth, a pained gaze" This is the everyday posture most men in the UK adopt under pressure from their partners and spouses.

Domestic violence against men is rampant in the UK. The laws in the UK tilts towards women thus many men have become victims. Many men are in an abusive relationship. Zimbabwean men are shocked by the behaviour of their women once they come to England.

Abuse of men happens far more often than you might expect in most relationships. It happens to men from all cultures and all walks of life regardless of age or occupation. Figures suggest that as many as one in three Zimbabwean victims of domestic violence are male. However, men are often reluctant to report abuse because they feel embarrassed, fear they won't be believed, or are scared that their partner will take revenge.

Maxwell Mutungwazi is a Zimbabwean man who joined his wife in the United Kingdom. He narrates his story with tears running down his cheeks. " i was a manager in one of the factories in Harare. Life was not that bad. I was managing. I had stayed two years with my minor children my wife had gone to the Uk. She would call me everyday we would talk all was well. She got a job as a nurse and she would send money. So we applied for our visa that is me and my children. The kids were excited to see their mother after two years. The thought of flying for the first time the dreams of being in the arms of my wife again made me  glow with expectations. We were on the top of clouds literally as we flew into the Uk. Our first month was perfect a scene cut out of a romantic movie."

Maxwell paused for a minute the tears on his chicks had dried leaving two bold white lines which ran from the eyes down the cheeks. He looked at me and said "my life has been turned upside down. My wife started not coming home saying I am having long days and nights. She had developed ways of answering her phone away from me. When she is on a voice call she will go lock herself in the car. She would say they are private work calls. If I demand to see only the number which called her she became abusive partner she would  hit, kick, bite, punch, spit, throw things, or destroy my possessions. She would tell me that "Boarder ndi maenzanise " if I try to stand up to her she would call the police on me" To make up for any difference in strength, she attacks me while I was asleep or otherwise catch me by surprise. She started using weapons such as a pot or knife, or strike me with an object, abuse or threaten our children.  She then would tell me that If I try to retaliate she will take me off her visa." Maxwell paused again now his tears had started to flow this time his nose gave way he was so powerless to wipe them out. He continued now with a shaky voice. " you know I left my job I sold my property we even sold the house. There was nothing to go home for now I am trapped in this country. My wife does what she wants. The little time she is home she is on WhatsApp."

Of course, domestic abuse is not limited to violence. Emotional and verbal abuse can be just as damaging. As a male, your spouse or partner may:Verbally abuse you, belittle you, or humiliate you in front of friends, colleagues, or family, or on social media. Maxwell explained how his wife can call her relatives dissing him".  Whe Maxwell is on the phone with his shift manager the wife Becomes possessive, act jealous, or harass me with accusations of being unfaithful. One day she Took away my car keys and told me that she bought it and she does what sshe wants. She tries to control where i go and who I see. Despite the fact that she is never at hime. The little times we see her its always horror and disaster.

She trie  to control how i spend the little money or deliberately default on joint financial obligations saying "You are now working look after the family" when she meets the few friends I have made She would make false allegations about me  to my friends, employer, or the police, or find other ways to manipulate and isolate me. She Threatened to leave me and prevent me from seeing my kids if I was to report the abuse." He continued this time visibly dejected

"As an abused man, I faced a shortage of resources, a lack of understanding from friends and family, and legal obstacles, especially if trying to gain custody of my children from an abusive mother." All this gave me a very dip anger so one day I left the house i took my kids with me. Thats when the police came charged me of abduction."He started crying sobbing. " i have lived with my kids alone all these years until this woman called the police on me. They took my kids from me I don't even know where my kids are. The police took me under mental health act. I was then forcefully kept at a home for mentally disturbed. I have no access to my Children i can not work and I am not insane"

The more I tried to reason the more I was sedated and forced to be in a sleepy mode. My wife being a nurse convinced the police that I was insane. I was only released back to an assisted living accommodation." Maxwell looked up and cried agai. This is one of the sad stories Zimbabwean men are facing in the UK.

Matimbe another Zimbabwean man in Leicester said the laddies have assumed power against their men. They now feel empowered to treat their men like trash. Most men have gained courage in their circumstances, they seek to overcome these challenges and escape the violence and abuse.

Most Zimbabwean men don't leave abusive relationships
Regardless of gender, ending a relationship, even an abusive one, is rarely easy. It becomes even harder if you've been isolated from friends and family, threatened, manipulated, and controlled, or physically and emotionally beaten down.

You may feel that you have to stay in the relationship because: John Masaka a social worker commented. He pointed further that You feel ashamed. Many men feel great shame that they've been abused, been unable to stand up for themselves, or somehow failed in their role as a male, husband, or father.

Most men suffer because they have they are afraid to be embarrassed at church.
Their religious beliefs dictate that they stay or their self-worth is so low that they feel this abusive relationship is all they deserve.

Many men worry they'll have difficulty being believed by the authorities, or that their abuse will be minimized because they're male, or find there are few resources to specifically help abused men.

The tragedy to this is that many men are in denial. Just as with female domestic violence victims, denying that there is a problem in their relationship will only prolong the abuse. They may still love their partner when they're not being abusive and believe that they will change or that they can help them.

In all these abused situations it is the children who suffer the most.
The a used men worry that if they leave, their spouse will harm their children or prevent them from having access to them. Obtaining custody of children is always challenging for fathers, but even if they are confident that they can do so, they may still feel overwhelmed at the prospect of raising them alone.

Many men leave in perpetual bondage. Women have become monsters and break their families and many hearts along the way.

Because these women are bread winners their parents will always support them. They will never correct them "Ane mari ndiye mukuru syndrome has destroyed the institution of marriage.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

Source - Dr Masimba Mavava
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Subscribe

Email: