Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Domestic Violence- Love Doesn't Hurt, Loving The Wrong Person Does.

Domestic violence is a very touchy topic that most people do not like to talk about, most times we try to hide it because we don't want people to look at us as weak or insecure. Being from Africa I have seen and experienced a lot of domestic violence cases in my lifetime, luckily I have never been a victim. These incidents happen for various reasons and happen to various types of people. Now I will start off by saying that in a case of domestic violence the woman is not "always" the victim (yes men go through it too), but today we are going to focus exclusively on the women's case because I am all about female empowerment.

   One thing a lot of people do not know is that domestic violence is and has been a huge problem in Africa, It's almost as if it is allowed. A male friend of mine once said that "Nigeria is the only country I know where I will beat my wife, she will  call the police and the police will ask her what she did to cause it".
A few days ago my friends and I had a heated argument about African women and why they stay when they are being abused. Of course a couple of us had different opinions and had a very difficult time coming to a closing point.One friend believed that it was only right to stay for the sake of the children because divorce ruins a family, another said because Africa labels divorced women in a very negative way, a few agreed that it was because of love and my stand was an honest "I do not know". I then decided to go home and take all these points into consideration and ended up with 4 questions; Should I stay with an abusive man because of family stability? Should I stay with an abusive man in order not to be labeled as a "divorcee"? Should I stay with an abusive man because we love each other? and the last question was a point I got from someone else, Should I stay with an abusive man because I depend on him financially?
1. Should I stay with an abusive man because of family stability?
Now one big reason and probably the biggest reason why abused women stay is because of the children.
Most of them believe that divorcing their husband will not be the best decision in regards to the children because it is emotionally hard on them and they will have to be raised in two separate homes. Yes I say that I agree that it is emotionally hard on children and that raising a child in two separate homes is not easy and certainly not the best, but there is a but. I once spoke to a lady that was being abused by her husband, he was the chronic abusive type ( the type that could kill). She told me that she was just about done with putting up with it but she has to stay for the interest of her children. According to the domestic violence resource center (dvrs), 4 women are killed due to domestic violence everyday, that is an average of 1460 reported deaths a year. So lets go back to family stability, if your man is abusing you and ends up killing you, you are not only gone from your children's lives but also he will go to jail leaving the children orphaned. Where is the stability in that? Yes he "might" not kill you but I believe it is better to raise your kids apart while giving them the opportunity to have both parents than putting them at risk of  losing both parents. Also it is not healthy for a child to grow up in an abusive household. Statistics show that most women that are abused grew up seeing there mother get abused. An abusive man is not only a danger to you but also to your children. That is something you need to consider before answering the question.

2. Should I stay with an abusive man in order not to be labeled as a "Divorcee".

The person that gave this point just so happens to be running for public office in the future and she says that no one would want to vote for a divorcee in Nigeria, "how would they expect me to be able to hold things together if I cannot do something as simple as holding my own family together". Now for those that do not know what a divorcee is, it simply means a divorced woman. Because divorce is not too common in typical Nigeria, divorced women are severely frowned upon. The society thinks that it is almost always the woman's fault. That is what I want to clear up. So the question is, is it a good decision for me to stay in order not to be labeled as one? I think not, society cannot tell you how to live your life. Society also can not tell you to stay in a deadly situation to please them. Yes I know that not all domestic violence cases end in death but it is up to you decide whether you deserve what you are getting or if you deserve to be safe and happy. Have a mind of your own and don't be society's puppet. 

3. Should I stay with an abusive man because I depend on him financially? 

When your financial security rely's on a person it make it almost impossible to leave. Knowing that you rely in this person you fear the fact that leaving him will warrant you having nothing. There is always family and friends you can run to in order to get your life together. This is one reason why education is promoted especially for women. There is nothing more powerful than a woman with a degree. Even if you depend on him for now, you know that if things get bad you can always fall on that degree to put your life together. For women without degrees it is not too late. I do have to say that this is something the women's affairs ministry  in Nigeria and other ministries all around Africa and third world countries need to work on. They need to guarantee the security of abused women seeking help.

4. Should I stay with an Abusive man because we love each other

Which brings us to the title of this article " Love does not hurt". Always remember that love does not and should never hurt. Love is kind and always caring, a kind and caring man would never ever think of raising his hand to strike the woman he loves. I know there are times when couples have been through so much together and start having these problems because of stressful events, but he can always get help. Do not settle for such because you love him, love yourself first. 

With all these points I would like to say that I have taken a stand against domestic violence and I hope you all do too. If you have a friend sister aunt or mother going through this, be her light and help empower her to make a decision that will please her. thank you for reading.


  1. Great write up. All of us as Africans and people need to speak up on this issue. I think we have stayed quiet for too long.

    1. It's nice to see strong men wanting to take a stand to protect our women.


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