‘As you read these words, know that somewhere right now, a woman is looking into the eyes of her partner and taking her last breath. Perhaps shot, strangled or beaten, she is dying. She will never get to hold her children or see them grow. She will never graduate or know the thrill of truly being in love and being loved. She will never become a mother herself. So take a breathe dear reader, take a deep, long breathe and savour its beauty and the profound joy it brings, because somewhere in this instant , there is a woman out there who will never be able to take one…’
These are the chilling words of author, Vanessa Govender, in her epilogue in her book, ‘Beaten but not Broken’.
It is the riveting story of abuse at the hands of a treacherous and violent boyfriend. Sadly, her worst fears have once again become a reality in our community. Week in and week out, the media are the couriers of indigestible news of murder and suicides.
For too long, we have blamed rifts and failed relationships on flirtatious behaviour, alcohol, drugs, narcissism, parental intrusion and disapproval, religious beliefs and downright incompatibility. The problem seems a much deeper one – a ferocious amalgam of deep-seated jealousy, hatred and rage which spawns into an ineluctable crescendo of blood-curdling violence and death.
If we conduct an hypothesis, in many cases the prescient signs and red flags were already there – a powder keg waiting to be ignited.
If we opt for a clinical introspection – psychological or psychiatric – are we looking at a new breed of paranoid schizophrenics or classic psychopaths? Are we hiding from the terrors of bi-polar disorder?
Are our childhood scars of abuse rearing itself in adulthood and blurring our thinking? Do we suffer from an inferiority complex and double orientation? Are we control freaks seeking an exclusive dominion?
These are just some of the orbits of humanistic behaviour that circumvent our lives, all of which have been researched exhaustively. As to the success of rehabilitation and cure, I leave that to the behavioural gurus.