Happy Monday everybody. How are you? There has been a recurring theme that i have consciously become more aware of as i get older. Domestic violence, aka spousal abuse aka wife/husband beating. We often tend to look at domestic abuse simply from a physical standpoint., but it also happens from an emotional standpoint.
I was reading and i saw another well publicised case of a woman who killed her husband in the United States – Delaware to be prceise. If you haven’t seen the story, kindly read it here. Red Lion Woman killed Cheating Husband. This woman must have reached her breaking point in that, she resorted to ending his life. The murder is like the tip of the iceberg literally in that, whatever is under the surface must have been so much that we cant even start to imagine.
Likewise everyday we hear of people who are beating their spouses in Nigeria. The Nigerian police in case you don’t know do not get involved in what we call domestic matters. They ask folks to go and settle the issue at home. You begin to wonder who is supposed to protect the victim be they male or female. You also start to ask questions of whether or not they were being abused prior to contracting the marriage. In some cases, the truth is yes.
Another chronicle i heard, a marriage lasted 36 hours here in this Nigeria. A yuppie half Nigerian babe married a village man associated with money. The marriage was on a Friday, it ended on a Sunday. The Sunday morning the man tells her he wants breakfast, the babe made him “continental” – pancakes etc. The guy dished her a dirty/ hot slap – he was expecting a proper African breakfast and he didn’t have the patience to educate his new wife on that. You now begin to wonder if she never made him breakfast before they went to the altar.
Speaking with a survivor of domestic abuse today, i was made to understand a few things
1. Victims are generally ashamed because sometimes they think they are the cause of the violence against them.
2. Unless a victim is ready to leave, there is very little you can do for them.
3. Our society encourages people to work things out irrespective of whether or not the lights are glaring as against why.
4. Victims of abuse hide abuse well most times and become dependent on their abusers for validation.
From where i sit, i believe the fight against domestic abuse is one to be fought by all. We stand to gain nothing by watching our neighbors and others suffer. Note i didn’t say go and break up a fight between a man and his wife if you have not eaten breakfast, before they turn you into the focus of the fight. I think many times we know when people close to us become shadows of themselves, and we have to be sensitive enough to know how to offer them a way out of their situation. I am not an advocate of divorce, but one thing i don’t believe in is change by abusers. Women are equally perpetrators of abuse just like men.
Another thing i have noticed is that a lot of abused women are wholly dependent on their spouses and often cannot leave. I hate to say it, but when there are children involved, you are better off staying alive to take care of your children than been 6ft under. If you know someone in these sort of circumstances, find a way to help empower them.
My final take on this is that folks need to invest more in the education and training of their female children. Women tend to marry up, meaning for every poor man, there is often a poorer woman in his house. That said, skills acquisition, an education to help get a job are necessary. A lot of our strength and sense of self as human beings come from our sense of worth. It has to be instilled in little girls and little boys that no one has a right to make them feel inferior, under-productive or worthless without their consent.
Nobody is worth your life, not even the child that one has carried for 9 months and birthed. The only creature worth your life is your creator.
Please share your thoughts on domestic violence- we all know its wrong, but what are the causes, the tell tale signs that someone is likely to be an abuser or is being abused etc.