This is not the post I was planning on putting up today, in fact, I wrote this last night while seething at the events that led to this change. Last night, something happened that hit too close to home, and I mean this literary. I was settling down for supper when the screams started. They sounded quite far, and at first, I wasn’t even sure they were screams, so I continued enjoying my food. Soon, I realized that they weren’t stopping. I opened the door and stood on the balcony. My neighbor joined me, and we wondered what was going on. We contemplated going to check out what it was. The scaredy cat in me resisted the idea, but we saw people from nearby plots going to the direction of the screams, so we decided to join. On the way, we told each other it must be a mugging, and maybe people were lynching the culprit as we spoke. But what we saw was beyond what we could have imagined.
There was a small crowd that was already dispersing. My neighbor and I separated as we tried to find out what was going on. I asked around, and someone told me that it was a case of a fight between husband and wife, I thought to myself, really? I left my warm bed to come and see a battle between a man and his wife that was already over. I got ready to move. Then I heard people saying. “He beat her so bad, probably wanted to kill her, thank God for the passerby who saw it first and screamed to alert people,” I saw the woman in question. I have never witnessed firsthand a case of domestic violence; it shook me to the core. She was bleeding from the mouth and was missing several teeth, and most of her face was swollen. In the night chill, she was sweating profusely. The monster who did that to her insisted on grabbing hold of her claiming how he loved her and how he was going to be the one to take her to hospital. She winced painfully every time he did. The women in the group refused to allow that to happen. This was a police case. The person who was the first witness detailed how he had beaten her even trampling on her, he is a burly man, and while she isn’t exactly petite, she had no hope against him. I don’t know what happened in the end because my neighbor and I had to leave.
I remember a few weeks ago a friend telling us about how her friend had been beaten so severely by her husband that she was almost crawling to the hospital unable to walk. I have heard cases of domestic abuse since I was a little girl. I was brought up in a village, so that was hardly news. It is worrying that decades later, nothing has changed. To see a woman so severely beaten by a man who wooed her and deployed his charms to get her to be his wife is the scariest thing. It means that women can no longer trust in love, what is love? When it can turn so sour when someone can even take your life while claiming to love you? When someone who you cook for, clean for, bear children with, sleep next to for years is so cavalier about you? Remember the woman who had her hands hacked off by her husband? He didn’t even spare a moment to think that those are the hands she uses to take care of him.
Being a victim of domestic abuse is not only life-threatening, but it is also humiliating and demeaning to a person. I remember that lady, with people all around her examining her life, evaluating her marriage. Wondering what kind of spell kept her with that kind of man. Because as she said, it wasn’t the first time he had turned on her. If she goes back, it probably won’t be her last. You shouldn’t have to live with that kind of fear. Of wondering when the next blow will come and whether it will be the one that ends your life. While women are empowering each other and preaching gender equality and feminism, you shouldn’t have to wear a mask just to hide what is really happening in your marriage. I know this will probably sound ignorant seeing as I have never had to maintain a marriage, but why are you fighting tor someone whose only interest if fighting you? The hardest thing is walking out, I know that, but since when have good things come easy? That leap of faith, believing in yourself, will probably be what saves your life.