A CASE of a man getting beaten by his wife is rarely taken seriously by society. But it is a serious issue, so serious that one such victim has enlisted the long arm of the law.
A Bulawayo man, Thabo Siwela, is a living testimony that men also fall victim to physical abuse as his wife Zandile Kaziboni is regularly raining blows on him.
Siwela said when assaulting him, his wife’s hands were so fast, that he barely sees her punches coming.
“She beats me up regularly and is very quick with fists. I fear that she will kill me. I always walk out of the house whenever she starts insulting me. She even brags that men should be abused while women are being protected by the courts,” Siwela painfully narrated his life with an abusive wife at the Bulawayo Civil Court where he was seeking a protection order against her.
He said Kaziboni was also using the foulest language to abuse him adding that he was holding onto their marriage for the sake of their two children.
“I fear that she might end up harming me because of her violent behaviour. She beats me up whenever she feels like it. She is also destroying our property. I sought help from relatives and police to no avail. All I want is a protection order against her so that I live in peace,” begged Siwela.
He insisted that his wife’s violent behaviour was a threat to their 20-year marriage.
In response, Kaziboni admitted that she was a bad tempered woman.
“He is the one who is always provoking me. On the latest incident of violence which he reported to the police, I lost my temper and slapped him after he threatened to evict me from the house.
“The source of our problem is that he wants me out of the house and that is why I am opposed to his application for a protection order,” protested Kaziboni before she suggested that they be referred for counselling.
Siwela, however, dismissed her claims saying even if he remained calm or responded in kind, Kaziboni would still be enraged to the point of violence.
In her ruling the presiding magistrate Nomasiko Ndlovu granted a reciprocal order which compels both parties to keep peace by not verbally and physically abusing each other.
The magistrate also ordered Kaziboni not to physically harass her husband or threaten him in any way.
Meanwhile, Duduzile Mhlanga, a psychological counsellor, says Siwela’s situation is not unique. She notes that society has cultured men not to play victim, making them suffer in silence.