A few years back when I first relocated abroad, I attend a women church convention and the topic was “Women Speak up against Domestic violence” I watch as the guest speaker and other notable women of African and Nigerian descent spoke on the issue of domestic abuse as it relates to the African woman.
I watched silently as other women came up to testify of being abused by their husbands or someone they know or a close relative going through domestic violence, everyone of that have tales that in reality of the Western culture was domestic abuse.
Wow! these ladies all had it on that day. I could just applaud everyone of them for a well delivered point of view and the suggested ways to stop this violence against women. It was all well spoken but then many of what was described would be term just little conflicts between husband and wife, if these women and their spouses were back home in Africa and can be easily resolve with no third party called or the authorities being involved.
As I sat there listening, it dawn on me that their is a greater form of domestic violence going on the the African society which have destroyed many marriages, many women have gone and are still going through physical, emotional and mental abuse as a result of this domestic abuse.
Many have lost their lives, they have been killed in the violence involved in this abuse but yet it is and have never been addressed. Countless of women have stories of their experience of this and have scares both physical and emotional to show.
Victims hardly recover from this violence, the scares remain on survivors till their death. Marriages that survive this abuse are never the same, especially if the spouse of the woman was not strong enough to fight this abuse with her. This abuse is worst than much talk about domestic violence of a man on his wife.
This unmentioned, un-talk about abuse, is the abuse of the African woman by her spouses family. The abuse of a wife by her mother-in-law/brothers-in-law/sisters-in-law. This abuse is one that no one woman should ever go through, it is the most deadliest of all abuse in African marriages.
Years ago while still a teenager, I went to spend holidays with my maternal grand parents and one early morning we were woken up by the scream of a man. He was screaming that his wife had been murdered.
Everyone was shocked to behold a gory sight of a woman breastfeeding a baby of about eight months whose head have been severe off her body. Women took the child off and the police were called. The man told a story about coming home to see his wife that early morning dead, a small voice in the crowd interrupted his story that he was lying and that voice was from his eight years old son.
That little voice told the surprise crowd how the dead came in and beheaded his sleeping wife, threw the machete into the pit toilet where it was indeed recovered. Later, the story was told how the mother-in-law had continuously asked the son’s wife to leave the marriage because she does not like her. How she came in a few days back betting the lady that if she does not leave, how it would be her corpse that would be taken away. Indeed it ended so.
I witness another of this terrible abuse again where a mother-in -law and kids beat up and packed out the first son’s wife while he watched. A mother-in-law used the pestle to hit the son’s wife, there are numerous and numerous stories. I am not just writing of the experience of others but I was a victim for more than 13years.
The pains, the trauma, the scares are memories that gives me continuous night mare. Sometimes I stop to imagine, a woman who have been married herself with no one to bother her in her matrimonial home, a mother to daughters, who are either married or would get married treating someone’s daughter with so much hatred.
Sometimes it is hard to believe but there are many out there who have stories like mine to tell of their experience or are still going through this as I write. I feel it is time to bring awareness to this traumatic abuse on African wives. My experience that brought so much pain have led me to my book on this that would be published soon.
Many women are living in the darkness of this violence, fear and in secrecy of this violence, leaving in denial. Trying to hold unto their marriages but this is not about holding on, I dis this same but it is time to speak up against this inhumanity in our midst. We need to speak up and let this menace be destroyed that is terrifying and destroying many women out there.
Tell your story, send a light to create the awareness of this violence
TO BE CONTINUED.