Friday, April 10, 2009

The Dungeon Behind Paradise

My friend and I were striding on the way to their house. Suddenly a woman emerged from the rear, passed through us, running like a thief in search of a place to hide. She reached the gate and grabbed it with fear but before she could let herself in, a sturdy man dragged her out and with his other hand gave a slap on her face. With the sound of its wallop, I felt the pain. But the fumed man found no satisfaction, he beaten her until she fell on the ground. The woman had little strength to fend off and so she took every furious blow of fist from her so called...husband.

They say in any serious matter, keep placid. Right, I didn't even get the chance to move. And while everyone motioned briskly to defuse the man so as to save the woman, I was there, agape and stood still. I didn't panic, I was shocked.

No lights and cameras, no director that will holler "Cut!" to end the gruesome scene. It's not a movie with great casting. Something that I thought could only be seen on TV. It was real and at that very moment, before my bare's happening.

The woman was my batchmate during grade school and her husband is my friend's cousin. With how they went through their relationship, the couple is a perfect emblem of a sadistic husband and a battered wife. On that night before my eyelids turned heavy, questions filled my mind.

It was 9 years ago but the resonance came to me when recently my colleague was gone for two days and went back to work with bruises throughout her body. Contusions were gained from her husband who has been physically abusing her. She found him guilty of having an affair with another woman and doesn't help her with the financial responsibilities as a family. Their marriage has been dismal and beautiful. He's dismal, she's beautiful. In spite of everything, she has hope that things will fall into place and her husband's ill demeanor will soon change. I am between pity and admiration with what's going with her and how she sees it.

Once more, my mind filled with questions. How could a man physically hurt his woman? What's running through his mind while doing it and hearing his wife screaming for help? Is there really a point where a woman deserves to be beaten? Does the knight shining armor had a change of heart by pointing his sword to his forgotten princess? Do these men took their words seriously when they vowed " 'Till death do us part " where death means it will be through their own unscrupulous hands? Can you blame the woman if she choose to stay with hope in spite of violence? Why did they tell me that being alone is miserable where in fact having a partner can be more miserable than that?

In a headline from Inquirer (December 06, 2008), one of the leading newspapers in the Philippines, PNP Women and Children Protection Center had given report that indicated case statistics for violence against women. From 4,881 in 2006, cases incremented to 5,729 in 2007, it had risen 17 percent. Cases of 1,892 fell under the category of physical injuries and wife battering. Thanks for the facts and figures but these ain't satisfying most of my questions.

Marriage is like opening a crystal clear gate of paradise where there are beautiful promises ahead. But for some, the paradise seems to reach its end 'coz with few more steps, they're on the way to dungeon. A dungeon where one will struggle to find the way out.

While I'm typing every word in this post all I know is that...Love may have winter season when some things turn bitter cold but respect, despite the weather changes, must be kept fairly warm.