THIS week I came face to ugly face with man abuse - and it was an horrific picture.
Many moons ago I recounted a childhood experience of a sinewy, macho and hyper-religious neighbour who stunned his wife with a crushing punch to the face in front of me.
It was years ago, but to this day I cannot forget the "dlup!" when the reedy lady's mouth met the bare knuckles of her husband's fist. When I walked out of their house she was lying in an undignified, bloody mess on her kitchen floor.
For reasons I can never explain the man became a hero in the neighbourhood. Word was that he made people defecate.
We never saw him for the coward and criminal he really was for beating up a defenceless woman every now and again.
The most painful thing in the world must be to be bliksemmed by someone you can't defend yourself against. Ask me - I know. I have a recurring dream that haunts me, which I guess I have shared in the past.
In the dream I am in the boxing ring fighting against mean "Iron" Mike Tyson back in the day when his mandatory routine was to make men almost defecate in the ring.
To worsen my sorrows, my son is sitting at the ringside and rooting for me. I try to do the Ali shuffle to at least look good while effectively running away from the mean monster.
Inside the ring there is no place to hide, and eventually Tyson connects with my face and I hit the canvas like a bag of potatoes. The killer punch must have been painful, but I do not feel it.
What pierces my heart as the ref is counting me out is my son yelling from the ringside: "Ah, Pa, stand up! Hit him too... Are you scared of him?"
I think: Yes, boy, I am sh** scared of him. And no, the ref can count to 100, I am not standing up."
Thank God it is only a dream from which I always wake up.
Back to the man abuse I witnessed this week ... in a police station nogal.
I was there to make an affidavit and chanced on a couple who could have been the folks next door - normal everyday people.
Only, the man had his head swathed in bandages and was mute, while the wife egged him on: "Tell them why I hit you. Did I not warn you? Don't make me mad ... tell them."
The man, in a hushed, conciliatory tone: "Well, a mistake is a mistake."
Woman: "Who's mistake?"
Man: "Mine. But why did you have to hit me. This is not the first time. I am tired. You hit me in front of the children."
I knew the feeling, if only in my dreams.
By the time I left the police station the man was all smiles and waiting outside the cop shop (apparently for a taxi) with his no-nonsense wife.