In an effort to reduce gender-based violence (GBV) in communities, the Women’s Action for Development (WAD) last Saturday held a workshop with men to understand the root causes of gender-based violence from the perspective of men.
The workshop, co-hosted by Monica Gender Violence Solution and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, also intended to encourage men how to better deal with their emotions and desist from violating human rights in retaliatory attacks.
Men who attended the workshop pointed out the lack of proper communication between couples, women insulting their partners, denial of sexual intimacy, and financial, emotional and psychological abuse as some of the reasons why men end up abusing their female partners.
Twenty-nine-year-old Matheus Hangula said men end up abusing women because of alcohol abuse, possessiveness, bad influence from friends and the negative role cellphones could have on a relationship.
“Cellphones have many negative effects on a relationship because many things go through cellphones. For example, a woman can receive a message from her ex-boyfriend or even the father of her child, and when her current partner sees that it might evoke feelings of jealousy,” explained Hangula.
“I learnt about the benefits of building my partner and also what has the potential to destroy a relationship,” added Hangula.
He said violence and abuse in relationships are limited or totally curbed when both partners are open with each another.
“When couples, especially those who are married are experiencing problems in their relationship, the solution is for them to seek counselling rather than turn to abuse and if things do not work it is better to separate,” said Hangula.
Johannes Haindongo, who also attended the workshop, said men do not easily open up and therefore gatherings where men can discuss their feelings and problems can go a long way in addressing gender-based violence.
“Men should discuss and address problems that they face, only then will gender-based violence end,” added the 42-year-old Haindongo.
Meanwhile, Mikka Joseph told New Era that he is a victim of gender-based violence.
“When the mother of my child was pregnant she was verbally abusive and later she abused me physically and financially,” said the 35-year-old Joseph.
He said that although he tried by all means to ignore the abusive language and the ‘provocations’ of the mother of his child, he ended up kicking her on the forehead one day after she pushed him to that point by biting and punching him.
“She first bit me but I ignored. When she saw I was quiet she persisted and even punched me. When I saw that she was fighting I kicked her on the forehead and I had regrets afterwards. She went to the police but she did not tell them that she bit me on my shoulder. Only when the police came and they saw what she had done, they reprimanded her. When she gave birth to our child she started abusing me financially. She would be unhappy if I gave our child less than N$1 000 even though I was just a security guard at the time,” explained Joseph.
He added: “From this workshop I learnt that as men we do not report to the police when we are abused. I also learnt that the law is for both parties and therefore it is better to report rather than to beat,” said Joseph.