15th July, 2011
Domestic violence is about becoming the second name for Nigerian marriages (I am sorry).We have suddenly reached that point where we look at the various news about domestic violence and we go like, â€œwhat next pleaseâ€. We now see it as one of those things and itâ€™s like nobody wants to talk about it. I know this article is going to attract lots of criticisms especially from the male folk because a good number of them believe the woman is always to blame in any event of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is now the order of the day in marriages. I have seen a lot in the course of running my NGO for widows and less-privileged women. Few months ago, a woman who went through hell in the name of marriage came to see me. This woman went through a lot of beating from her ex and that left her with black patches and scars all over the face. I asked to know why the marriage didnâ€™t work and it happened that she was a Christian before marriage and the man promised never to ask for a change of faith. Years later, he insisted on her becoming a Muslim. This led to both physical and emotional abuse.
It is really sad we live in a society where domestic violence is handled with so much laxity. We sit and watch women lose their lives in the course of marriage. Isnâ€™t it surprising the number of young women we see on obituary pages? A lot of women die daily due to heartbreak from men. We see them with big rides and designer wears and then rush into the conclusion that they are having the best of life.
Nigerian men believe they own the woman just like every other piece of furniture in their living room. But the fact is this; times have changed and you need to make certain changes for peace to reign in the home. Men are always quick to make reference to our mothers who were 100% submissive to their men.
I always donâ€™t hesitate to tell them that inasmuch as I extol the virtues of our mothers, I donâ€™t wish to be like them. Everyone knows me as someone who advocates the rights of men in relationships. I have refused to give up that African tradition of respect and submission to the man. But I also believe that as a woman, I have some rights that must be protected even in marriage.
A woman shouldnâ€™t be treated as a slave because that is what our fathers did. Their women were subdued to the point that they took care of their husbands concubines. Now tell me; isnâ€™t this slavery? They didnâ€™t do all those because they wanted to, but because of the fear of men.
There are many stories of domestic violence in the society. As the story of the Nigerian Ambassador to Kenya was coming to an end, we got the shock of a man, Lukman Arowolo who allegedly murdered his wife of two years.
The Ambassador could be a good man and that is what everybody was saying when it happened. I told them not to allow looks deceive them. There are men and women you see, they look very harmless, but by the time you go close to them, all you see is the opposite.
The guy, Arowolo didnâ€™t even feel sorry about the death of his wife. I recently read his comment where he claimed that life with the late wife was hell. What could make any normal person go to the point of killing a fellow human being?
I remember the death of a young immigration officer some years back. This lady was forced by the society to go back to her very violent husband after years of separation. Just weeks after her going back, she was pushed from a very high building by the wicked man and that was the end of the poor lady.
A lady recently called me, crying out in pain and confusion. She didnâ€™t know which way to take in her relationship with her husband. This mother of three was lamenting in confusion as she didnâ€™t know what to do for the sake of the children.
According to this lady who has scars all over her body, she wants to run away and spend some time alone for her life, but the society keeps telling her to stay back. I asked to know the reason for the violence and she told me she receives the beating of her life any day she tries to question his movement as the man is always coming home very late at night.
It is very sad that we claim to have social welfare offices in the country. The government say they have women affairs ministries and offices for the defence of womenâ€™s rights, but we hear about them only on paper. I have had several cases of women running to them for assistance, but they all come back with the same story, â€œthey treat you as rags and beggars.
Our dear men, when you say you love a woman, you are to love her as your own body. I canâ€™t imagine you pinching yourself, but you constantly punish the woman you call your own flesh. Stop looking for a woman who will become your slave, please make her a partner and friend.
I know some women are wicked and even the Holy Bible says it is better to live in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman. Some women can nag you to death. They donâ€™t want to take their eyes off you. They want to know everything about you and anytime you step out of the house without them, you are there with another woman.
I know it hurts when you get into your house and the whole place stinks because the kids are allowed to pee on the chairs and carpets. I know you eat good food in your friendâ€™s house, but never in your own house. As I said on Facebook, some women are just too lazy even to take care of their bodies and because they are not flexible, they donâ€™t satisfy you in bed.
These are the things that make you look at her and feel like strangling her. She comes up with excuses not to have sex with you. When people come to settle cases for you, the main cause of the quarrel is left untouched because you donâ€™t want the pastor to look at you as someone without self- control. You have suddenly started keeping girls outside because you are tired of her.
Please, in Godâ€™s name, forgive her and return to your home. Stop hitting her over every slight provocation. She is your partner and friend, not your slave. Avoid the temptation to be violent because you donâ€™t know if the next slap will lead to her death. Please, never allow your children grow with the awareness that you beat their mother; they will never forgive you.
Think about those men who beat their wives to death; what are they going to tell their children by the time they grow up. You have been hitting her, she will not tell you, but the truth is that the woman who carried your children in her womb, the same woman who gave you those bundles of joy, is nursing some inner injuries that could lead to her death. The society may never know the cause of her death, but God knows and He will definitely pay back.