Intimate partners have been encouraged to open up and develop a talking culture in their relationships in order to curb the escalating gender based violence (GBV).
Communication has been pointed out as one of the most important aspects of a satisfying marriage. Facilitators and participants of Talking with the Thabas television show said this during the filming of an episode on GBV on Saturday at Mass Media Complex.
The coordinators of the show, a couple Percy and Ashley Thaba said partners develop bad habits and create destructive patterns when things are not going well in their relationships or marriages. Therefore, they explained that the show is aimed at helping people deal with real life issues in their marriages. Worried by the escalating GBV cases in Botswana the Thabas said they came up with the topic to tackle and discuss GBV for healthier marriages. Ashley said the discussion on GBV that will soon be aired on Btv would go a long way in making a difference and helping families as many women suffer at the hands of their partners. She also said a majority of people especially women are abused by their partners but they suffer in silence. She therefore challenged them to break the silence, open up and develop a talking culture.
“There is need for Batswana to develop a talking culture. Our culture does not allow us to talk things out. Even children were taught to keep quiet and not allowed to talk things out, but if we want to curb GBV we should develop a talking culture from young age,” Ashley advised.
She said a majority of men are not open in their relationships, marriages because they grew up under a culture that restricts them to open up. Ashley said there is need for children to be taught to open up, express their views from a tender age so that when faced with
“Most of the intimate partner violence cases go unreported as women who most of the time are victims do not report or open up on such abuse. Some women do not open up because they cannot afford to lose their partners or put them to jail while some fear to be victimised. However, with this talk show we want people to develop a talking culture,” she said.
Sharing the same sentiments, Percy said culturally as an African man he knows that husbands or males in relationships, marriages believe they are superior because they are the head of the family.
He however stated couples complement each other hence they should listen to each other despite the gender difference. He further stated that the magnitude of violence against women has tremendous negative impact on both individuals and the society as a whole.
Bonno Valencia Gaefele, a GBV survivor who was shot seven times and is currently living with bullets in her head after her late husband shot her before committing suicide, shared her experiences. She called on people who are currently in abusive relationships to open up before it was too late. The mother of two who said she got married at a young age called on parents to listen to their children especially when disclosing to them their marriage problems and react on time.
“I was sent back to my husband by my own mother despite disclosing to her the abuse that I was suffering at the hands of my husband. She was even against the idea of divorce stating that it will bring shame to her home up until I was shot and nearly killed,” Gaefele said.