Happened close enough to me to disturb me. A regular fight got ugly and the man in question started pushing the woman around. She screams. He threatens to throw her off the balcony. I get to know of this the next morning. My stomach turns. My first words to her are dont you take the first slap, because thats when the hitting will never stop. I dont know their relationship. I dont know the issues behind the fight. But I do know that I have zero respect for the man in question. I wouldnt put it past him. I do also know that a woman has to stand up for herself. A woman has to be strong enough to not let a man get such total control over her that he assumes she is okay with being a punching bag. A woman has to be intimidating enough that he never ever has the courage to raise a hand. A woman should shout for help and not cower in her room, and let the abuse continue behind closed doors.
If a man hits you once, he is going to do it again. And again. And again. And it will only get worse. I have no first hand experience of this. The spouse is a gentleman. He will yell, scream, shake the earth, but not raise his hand. Ever. Not even in jest. It sometimes is amazing how the same genetic pool can create such disparate personalities.
Then I read about Rihanna’s album and her song written after her boyfriend Chris Brown assaulted her, and my stomach turns some more. If a woman like Rihanna, who is the epitome of gorgeous and successful can get assaulted, how safe is the average woman from the average guy she is in a relationship with. As safe as Aishwarya was when she was in a relationship with Salman Khan, I guess. But thats old history. I would like to think the man has changed. I havent read of any assaults with the newly recent ex-girlfriend.
My earliest lesson on how to deal with domestic violence came at home. My parents were in a gruesome argument. My dad, tall, broadshouldered, handsome and genial at the best of times had become a stranger. And in the midst of the fight, he smacked my mother hard on the face. The next moment is something that has stayed with me all my life. My tiny, wren like mother, stood on her toes, eyes blazing, and smacked my father right back across his face. Needless to say, he never, ever dared lift his hand again. No matter how terrible the fight.
Dont take the first slap. Dont stay back in the relationship. A man who hits is not a man to be trusted. Dont expect him to change. Dont explain away his behaviour by drink, or depression or a mood swing. Just get away. And save yourself. You need to respect yourself before expecting him to respect you.