Published On: Thu, Mar 23rd, 2017

No-violence prenuptial

With Carnival heating up the matter of culture becomes once more a topic for debate. What is it exactly? Not daggering in the streets, if we have to go by the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation. It’s something else – like, people behaving properly.

That may be true in an imaginary world, in the real world things go differently. That appeared once more in the courthouse yesterday where a man stood trial for, among other things, ill-treating his wife.

The woman filed complaints, then wanted to withdraw them and in the end took the wise decision to seek a divorce.

We all know that saying – where two people are fighting, both carry (some) guilt.

Our defendant took that idea to the next level and that’s where local culture came in.

I am the head of the family, the defendant said, adding that when he corrected the behavior of the kids, his wife went against it. And that was not all; no siree: his wife could continue with arguments for four to five hours. And she made up stories. She was also a good actress.

You get the picture: the poor man portrayed himself as the victim of his wife.

And yeah, because his wife behaved the way she did, he had grabbed her by her throat a couple times. It’s the culture, right?

As long as these misguided ideas continue to live in the brains of macho Caribbean men (do not misunderstand us – those men exist in other cultures too) women will have to reckon with some sort of violence the moment they stand up to their man.

Will it ever end? Sadly, we don’t believe that. But we do have confidence in women who stand up against what is wrong. Filing a complaint at the police in domestic violence cases follows a familiar pattern. Sooner or later the victim returns to the police station with a request to withdraw the complaint.

He won’t do it again. He is sorry. Don’t leave me.

Then they find out that their man is making up those stories too.

So the best way to deal with this is to come up with a no-violence prenuptial: if you ever hit me, I will leave you.

If a guy does not want to sign up for it – forget him.