Saturday, July 23, 2011

Victims running for their lives- is domestic violence on the increase?

Even though I don't directly deal with Domestic violence issues like organisations such as Baobab for Women's Human Rights and Project Alert on violence Against Women in Nigeria that do not only provide legal services for the victims but also counselling, mediation or shelter as the case may be, I still get to refer people or give links to vicitms friends and family via emails, phone calls or social media. My referral role is getting on the increase to my surprise. Does this mean many women are increasingly getting abused in their relationships or they or their family are just getting hold of help links like this?

I won't get into the unprofessional habit of divulging people's secret or identity since I didn't ask their permission but I will say on the safer side that some of the cases that I have had to refer are so pathetic! Some of the victims of spousal abuse have being enduring this act of destruction to their health and being for many years. They only get to seek help when this is about to claim their lives. Some of these victims can be counted lucky that they did not lose their lives while hoping their husbands will change or while hoping they made the right decision by waiting to take care of thier children in this abusive settings.

A banker, Titilayo Arowolo was killed on the 24th of June, 2011. Titilayo was stabbed 20 times according to the report and she was also hit by a sledge hammer. Her internal organs were found on the floor and her husband was suspected to have killed her. Some say for ritual or was a spiritual attack of which blogger Anna Wunmi Fani responded 'Hmmm, spiritual attack???!!!!! Everything in naija is related to spiritual attack. When will people start owning their bullshit and stop blaming the devil for their actions. We need to start equipping women with tools on how to deal with domestic abuse, both physical and mental. It is NOT OK for a man to hit a woman. Only a spineless, despicable coward hits women!' What was so interesting about this story was the fact that Akolade Arowolo and wife had being having issues in the past to the knowledge of Titilayo's and Akolade' families but nothing critical was done!

It is rather of importance to keep one's life and protect oneself from abuse and violence than keep a marriage or relationship that will take one's life. As suggested by the executive Director of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), Amy Oyekunle, it is time to go on the campaign offensive that lives can be lost to domestic violence and to provide information to women or men that might be enduring such act of violence. Really, won't it make sense for victims of domestic violence to first run for their lives and then decide where to go from there? The Domestic violence Bill (
the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill) has being passed in Lagos but never at the Federal level. Since we have to be our own watch -dog and protector before seeking state help or asking a third party to help, we need to take a solid protective stand and run for our dear lives instead of enduring domestic abuse/violence.

N: B - the above image is from Tess Wigwe's case


Molara Brown said...

It is so sad, how alot of people would stay in a violent marriage just to safe face and be called a good mother.

Unfortunately, even those children will blame you one day for denying them the joy of you as a parent, for not having that strength to walk away. I know it is not easy but I must say I value my life so much to even stay in such relationship.

The Activist said...

@ 'Lara: in fact what was more chagrin was how people persuade women to stay for the sake of their children. Really!

Zoneziwoh said...

This is unbelieveable dear Sr. I can imagine this. oh no---If you dont mind, i will share this info on my blog.

Anna Fani said...

Thank you for that story sis. I cannot begin to tell you how much domestic violence aggravates me. My own friend and colleague in Dubai was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat by her ex-bf outside her apartment after he'd stalked her for months. Her body has never been found. Can you believe after the guy was sentenced to 15 years in prison, he had the gall to appeal the sentence? Unfortunately for him, he pissed the magistrate off with this and his sentence was changed to life imprisonment!!!

As women, we have to do better with standing up for ourselves and what is right. It is not written down anywhere that if you don't get/stay married or have children, that is the end of your life on earth. It is better to be single, happy and alive than married, miserable and battered or 6 feet under!

beloved said...

Toyin, it is really a rising issue in 9ja as in my office, we deal with issues like these daily , but what i find disturbing is the attitude of the women themselves , their's this attitude of hopelessness. and when you decide to pursue the matter legally they are the ones to beg for mercy for their husbands.afraid of what the family would say, imagine?

The Activist said...

@ Zofem: you are free to share this info on your blog. Thanks for lending your voice to this discussion.

@ Anna Fani: It is pathetic! The orientation has to be right to make a lasting change.... I think I read the post about your colleague incident. Kai, I hope many will get life iimprisonment for offences of this nature in Nigeria.

@ Beloved: I can imagine, the socialisation of girls and women in Nigeria make some behave the way they do when issues of violence is the case. But we gat to keep speaking about it.

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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