Fri | Aug 18, 2017

George Davis | Don't take one more slap

Published:Wednesday | December 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM

I have, from close quarters, seen men beat the hell out of women on two occasions that have been seared into my memory.

In the first incident, I was walking around outside in my yard on a moonless night, made darker by the fact that my granny couldn't afford the luxury of outside lighting. I was standing behind several hundred concrete building blocks, arranged in rows of five and stacked about seven block heights high. The blocks were stacked near the yard's perimeter fence, beneath the sprawling branches of an East Indian mango tree on one side and the branches of a pink-heart guava tree on the other side.

With the night dark and the trees casting a shadow, I would often lie unseen atop the blocks and either throw stones or insults at persons passing by on the roadway. It was almost impossible to see me or know where I had flung a rock from. So on this night, at about age nine, I was walking about outside when I heard what sounded like a man and woman speaking in hushed tones.

I climbed atop the blocks and to a mixture of surprise and excitement, saw that a man and his woman were standing on the sidewalk, on the other side of my granny's fence. I was close enough to smell the ganja on the man's body. I must confess to being excited, because, as a boy who had never seen 'rudeness' live (or on TV) before, I sensed this could be my lucky night.

I recognised the woman as someone who lived about four houses up the road from me, while the man was her babyfather. So as I lay on my stomach in the dark, I heard the man accuse the woman of 'bunning' him. She issued strong denials.

I could see out of one eye that he had used his hand to grab both her wrists. He repeated the question-cum-accusation, and as her denials got stronger, he used his free hand to land a sickening punch to her face. I froze, and then closed my eyes tightly. Despite the force of the blow, the woman, who was by now crying, maintained her hushed tone, apparently because she didn't want to draw attention to her ordeal.

Several more blows landed, and as she wrestled him to free her arms, the fear of shame dissipated and she started bawling out his name, demanding that he let her go. She eventually broke free from him and sprinted up to her house. He beat a hasty retreat in the other direction.

I told no one about what I saw, and felt satisfied I had done the right thing when, days later, the same man walks by me with a bag of groceries in his hand to deliver to the same woman he was using as a punching bag a week earlier. I watched as he went into the yard and disappeared into the house.

In the second incident, a woman was standing at a phone booth in the community when a notorious troublemaker remarked how her 'property' was filling out her shorts. The woman ignored him and remained standing in a line of about eight persons, which included at least three men. Angered by being ignored in front of an audience, the troublemaker ramped up his comments, detailing what he would like to do to the 'property'.

The woman said nothing.

Enraged, the troublemaker parked his bicycle, walked over to the woman and delivered a ferocious slap to her face, knocking her to the ground. He then kicked and stamped on her about four times, before one of the men in the line held him back.

The woman didn't report the incident to the police, and the troublemaker wore the assault on his chest like a badge of honour in the community. I am not blaming women for the horrific things done to them by men in this country. All I'm saying is that when those masquerading as men even suggest violence against you, take action. Don't be willing victims for these sacks of filth who draw strength from servility and weakness.

Ladies, protect yourselves. Take action.

Selah.

- George Davis is a broadcast executive producer and talk-show host. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and george.s.davis@hotmail.com.