By Daniel Likius
ALLOW me to add my voice to the ongoing public outcry over rampant so-called “passion killings”, mostly perpetrated against women of our society by Namibian men.
What we need to do first is to think inside the box. Violence is in the mind of some men and other perpetrators before being unleashed or committed in the form of “passion killings”. Hence, we need to devise effective ways to get to the mind of men before violence escapes their mind to reality. This I believe is an effective preventative measure.
and emotional intelligence
The problem we have is that some men dismally fail to effectively communicate to their women in instances of suspected, real or perceived infidelity and termination of romantic relationships. This is a deep and multifaceted aspect of interpersonal relationships that involves serious encoding and decoding of messages between males and females. Effective communication and emotional intelligence are the oxygen to any relationship, without these, it dies. And we have seen that lack of communication and emotional intelligence in romantic relationships has not only ended relationships, but tragically claimed the lives of many women at the hands of Namibian men.
Here are some of the questions we need to grapple with: Why is that some men cannot discuss cheating and ending of relationships and only end up killing women? What impedes men to seat down with their women and amicably resolve conflicts related to cheating and termination of relationships? Here is what we need to know. Gender communication stereotypes suggest that women are more inclined to share their problems, emotions, etc. in conversations than men. Men are considered tough and those who display their emotions are relegated to weakness.
This is the reason why most men cannot gather the necessary emotional intelligence to discuss these issues with their female partners. They fail the litmus test of communication in a relationship. Instead, they are engulfed by avalanche of emotions and rage. Hence, you find some men resorting to violence; using a gun, knife, panga, etc. to shoot or stab their female partners. I believe that in most cases, these senseless killings would have been avoided if men had the communication abilities under such circumstances. Therefore, a diagnostic approach should be employed to ascertain corrigible aspects in the upbringing of the boy child in society, especially in areas where these so-called “passion killings” occur occasionally. This always gives us a glimpse that some men from these areas may have grown up or may be growing up with a certain behavioural attitude that leads to these problems in their romantic relationships. It could be that boys growing up in these areas are not well-taught or skilled to express their rage by communicating without resorting to violence when they are young.
If this is the case, it would then be impossible and overly arduous for a grown up men who were brought up in such a setting to initiate let alone partake in communication to resolve these complex romantic relationships problems. We certainly cannot expect such a man to all of a sudden be able to master effective communication and emotional intelligence, when he learns that a lady whom he has financially supported for a considerable period of time suddenly decides to end their relationship or cheating with another man.
Therefore emotional intelligence should be learned.
Death penalty versus bail refusal
I don’t believe that any amount of constitutional amendments or introduction of the death penalty can prevent “passion killings” or gender-based violence. I still need to be convinced on how amending the law or not grant bail to suspects and introducing the death penalty will prevent the carnage. In my view, death penalty is a punitive measure – meaning you are executing a person who has already committed a crime and not preventing them from committing a crime. History has taught us that some men kill their women and themselves too. So how then will death penalty assist in this instance? Who will be so experimental and adventurous with their lives that they would kill their partners and wait for them to be executed before committing suicide? The death penalty will be of no use in my view.
I am again not convinced as to how not granting bail to suspects in these cases will reduce the killings. It is just like saying, let them kill as they want, when they come to court, we will show them that there is no bail for them.
Are we really convinced that these people who are also ready to kill themselves are going to be deterred by a prison sentence? Well, I don’t think that these people commit “passion killing” thinking of bail, prison or what the constitution says.
These men have a problem of expressing their rage in these circumstances and only through violence or killing. What we need to do is to teach them another way of expressing their rage without resorting to killings.
The Way forward
These killings emanate from a certain mentality harboured by some men. As I have alluded to earlier, we need to devise effective ways to get to the mind of men before violence compounds their mind.
There is a difference between harshly punishing offenders and preventing people from becoming offenders.
The problem we are faced with is not a granting of a bail problem or constitutional problem. It is a problem of some men who cannot express rage to their women via communication without being violent, and instead get engulfed by anger.
In previous years, the Namibian Police had a very wonderful initiative called “TALK DON’T SHOOT,” campaign. This was a brilliant idea because it attempted to get to the mind of men before violence attitude is moulded into reality in form of “passion killings”. This awareness initiative was targeting the real problem by educating men to learn emotional intelligence and equip them with better interpersonal communication skills, for them to be able to solve problems in their relationships and shun “passion killings”. This campaign was a very smart and targeted imitative, a step in the right direction that in my view needs to be urgently revived and vigorously pursued. There is a need to involve social workers and communication experts and other professionals in public awareness campaigns such as “TALK DON’T SHOOT”.
Above all, and as the First Lady said, Namibian men should learn to practice forgiveness, tolerance and respect women.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015