THERE is no such thing as “age appropriate” when it comes to domestic violence. Indeed, it is a growing problem among older couples, but it is not always taken seriously.
An 82-year-old granny proved that when she opened up, saying she was a victim of years of violence and emotional abuse at the hands of her elderly husband.
Speaking about her “volatile” 54-year marriage to Elias Mlilo, Gogo Malinda Mlilo from Esigodini told how she thought every night could be her last.
Gogo Malinda told how her husband who is supposed to love her the most would frequently physically attack her, often picking up whatever was at hand to use as a weapon, including his walking stick.
She claimed barely a day went by without her husband beating her up or shouting at her while complaining about her cooking and housekeeping.
Gogo Malind, who apparently considered abuse to be something that happened to younger women, bared her soul at the Bulawayo Civil Court where she was seeking a restraining order against her husband.
Elias Mlilo is my husband and we got married in 1965. He is physically, verbally and psychologically abusing me. He is always shouting abuse at me for no apparent reason. Because of his abuse I honestly thought each night could be my last.
“He raises his voice if he can’t account for any small item in the house. He also shouts at me in front of our neighbours,” Gogo Malinda shared her horrifying story amid sobs.
She said her husband was always berating her, calling her a “useless woman”. She further said her husband was also possessive as he was in the habit of “timing” her trips outside home.
In response Khulu Elias said his wife was also abusing him.
“The problem I have with my wife is that she does not listen to me. She is also abusing me. She also disappears from home for some days and when I ask her where she has been, she starts shouting at me.
“Another problem is that I don’t know what she wants in life. She goes to church and consults prophets and traditional healers too. That is where all our problems are emanating from,” said Khulu Elias.
For the purpose of maintaining peace between the two parties presiding magistrate Adelaide Mbeure granted a reciprocal order which compels the elderly couple not to abuse each other.
Meanwhile, the nation joined the World in marking 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GVB). The annual campaign kicked off on 25 November and is running until 10 December under the theme: Orange the World: Generation Equality Against Rape. The campaign seeks to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the World.