Written by: Uchendu Ifeyinwa Jemimah
Blurry eyed and dizzy, she landed face down on the marble floor with such speed that even Paul Walker’s fast and furious cars couldn’t beat. Writhing in pains as her forehead got swollen up, she tried to get up and run, but her limbs couldn’t respond.
She turned towards her assailant, the man she loved, the one she sought refuge in but has become her day mare; she whispered between cracked lips, “Please honey, please I am sorry, I didn’t mean to…” Kpaaa! Her words were cut short by another blinding slap from Clems.
“Shut up you spineless rat, you think you have the right to challenge my authority before my visitors…?” He ranted on and on amidst blows and slaps and kicks administered to Helen until she passed out on the cold hard floor stained with trickles of blood.
Helen woke up 3 hours later, opening her black and blue swollen eye bags confused about her whereabouts. She only saw white curtains, she looked down on her body and saw unattractive blue sheets covering her to the midriff, looked to right, she saw even more white curtains that made her dizzy and seemed to drag her brain.She gasped for air because her lungs were filled with acrid smell of intense antiseptics. Then it hit her that she is in a hospital. She tried to scream but her throat was parched and her voice hollow that only a tiny squeak came out.
Almost immediately, a petite figure in a ridiculously big, white uniform appeared beside her to check her vital signs and motioned for the doctor and an elderly Woman with a tear stained face. Helen with her hollow voice called out to her mother, the elderly woman, and they wept together.
Suddenly, Helen’s eyes shot up wide and she clasped her stomach in worry and asked the doctor, almost springing out of the bed, “Doctor my baby, my baby…” She sobbed. The doctor with kind, sad eyes looked at her and solemnly said, “We lost it, I am so sorry”. Helen shrieked so loud that the streets below felt her pain and the birds in tree branches flew away in fear”.
Scenarios like this abound every day, this is the reality in many homes. People who are supposed to be protectors and safe places are now the predators. Mind you, the effect of this scourge is not peculiar to the female folks alone; males also suffer from domestic violence and mutiny.
Domestic violence has become the norm in most families that most women would advice their daughters trapped in such deadly unions to remain there and endure and wait for their beasts in human form to change. Men on the other hand, tend to remain in an abusive marriage to save face, ward off seeming external attention or to save their abusive partners so to speak, in the name of twisted love.
According to BioMedCentral (2018), a cross-sectional research was carried out based on the Nigerian Demographic Health Survey, which involved 20,802 women aged 15-49 years. It is however discovered that 1 in 4 women reported to have experienced intimate partner violence; thus this leads to either immediate or long-term adverse health outcomes for women and children. It was further noted that, domestic violence limits a woman’s decision making power regarding her reproductive health, putting her at risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (StIs) and unwanted pregnancies. Violence during pregnancy also results in poor attendance to antenatal and postnatal care, increasing the risk of low weight infants or preterm births plus intensive care admission of the newborn.
Men on the other hand experience domestic violence but on the low percentage as recorded in a case study by Paul O. Dienye and Precious K. Gbeneol in The American Journal of Men’s Health, under the title, Domestic Violence Against Men in Primary Care in Nigeria (2009). It was observed that a total of 220,000 patients were surveyed and a 100,000 were victims to female induced violence. The prevalence of Husband battering according to this study is low due to underreporting. Male victims deserve the same recognition, sympathy, support and services rendered to female victims. This indicates that a lot happens under wraps, unseen to physical eyes.
Even children born and raised in such atmosphere view such misogyny as normal method of maintaining order and decorum in the family. I was listening to some people argue on this issue one evening and I heard a girl say and I quote, ” My dad beats my mum all the time, when she misbehaves or when he is angry. I don’t see anything wrong with it; it’s in fact, a sign of love”. How pitiful that this devastating trend has been accepted to be an ingredient of the family institution.
To bring this article to a brief finality, the trend of domestic violence is not attractive nor is it a healthy approach to dealing with marital issues.
Most abusers have history of childhood abuse, psychological traumas and bullying during their formative years. If you are a victim, male or female; or you know anyone who needs help, report to authorities or refer them to seek professional, medical help in handling mental instability and cases of intimate partner violence.
And please my beloved, it is better to leave an abusive marriage alive than die uselessly in the hands of a familiar predator. Seek help and be safe from harm, that way, your loved ones would not suffer the pains of gain less losses.