Something is off with that man, I’d tell myself every time he would throw a tantrum in his drunken stupor. And yet he claimed to love me, despite all my faults. Those faults, he was always eager to point out and when I would suggest we break up, he would change his tone and profusely apologize. The hallmark of a liar. The last time I saw him, I had already broken up with him. But he wouldn’t let me have some personal items he’d borrowed; camera, tripod, microphones, inter alia.
I was livid that I had to live in fear of such an individual, in a country where apparently if you’re a woman and you get assaulted, you have to bear the brunt of the accountability. As if I asked to be assaulted. The problem with third-world, developing countries is that even if they advertise themselves for making strides in gender parity and equality, it’s usually not the case. Because at the very crux of the problem, is the corrosive nature of our culture, and its corollary-our laws.
The first thing I did, after suffering blows that caused my near disfigurement, was to go to the nearest police station and clearly point out my assailant. I was under the impression that once this was done, he would be arrested and I would be granted a protection order of some kind but according to the law here, no such thing would be available to me as I wasn’t ”married” or living with my assailant at the time of the crime. I would have to live in fear, dread every moment the psychopath might use to complete what he started. Because his goal wasn’t to maim me or even injure me, it was clearly to kill me.
It all happened under the watchful eye of his mother, standing right at the door as his son was bludgeoning me with the tripod he had borrowed from me. I yelled for help, I exhorted her to call the cops, but all she did was leave me to fend for myself. A friend was waiting for me outside in the car, and even he couldn’t intervene, faced with the terror that would not abate.
I collapsed in the corridor, feeling the life slipping out of my body, feeling my head explode and not understanding how I was able to swallow so much pain. But I couldn’t let him finish what he started. Sure, I wasn’t as muscly and I was rather frail, but I had come a long way to let a man, who hadn’t achieved half of what I had achieved, inflict death upon me.
I knew what would put an end to all of it and I pretended to regret breaking up with him, telling him I still had feelings for him, while my face was bruising up and that shiner was getting worse. His simplistic barbaric mind bought those excuses just as quick as he was to resort to violence. His was so clearly a mind that never developed, he couldn’t understand nuances and everything was prone to duality. She broke up with me, I will kill her; She loves me, I will stop beating her.
After that event, the legal procedures were a blur, but I felt something I had never felt before. Contempt. His father, being highly ranked in the police force would certainly interfere to impede my quest for justice. His son could beat anyone, kill anyone, but owing to our ambiguous, poorly implemented laws, his father could just bail him out, with no regard for the safety of others. But I will not stay silent. I never beat anyone up, all I wanted was to regain my possessions and never see that person again.
I should not be living in fear and neither should the millions of women who suffer silently in developing countries. The feminist wave that captured the West ought to liberalize women from the shackles that prevent them from even being safe in developing countries.