I'm a story teller, so I let my imagination run wild and this is a fiction that captures domestic violence as I have heard people say...(I wrote this piece in October 2013)

Domestic violence and Mental abuse are issues we often gloss over. It mostly gets our attention when victims are deceased of maimed. It's sad how we turn deaf ears to the loud cries of domestic violence quick to say "it's not my kettle of fish". Domestic violence transcends gender or race, it also goes beyond physical abuse. more and and more people suffer psychological and emotional abuses more often than physical abuse. Lets help stop domestic violence, if you're not a victim you could be affected. Here is the story of Wanda.

 Wanda was young and by many standards beautiful. She was swept off her feet in her 300 levels, contrary to her terms she agreed to a whirlwind romance. The proposal was wonderful, fit for a movie scene. Then she said yes.It was the first day of camp and the stress of wedding plans weighed heavy on her mind. A month later the wedding done and NYSC underway, life was sweet.The slap that hit her cheek wasn’t expected; it’s force pushing her to the ground. Her sobs were silent but the stream of tears poured freely… He would later apologize and tag it an act of the devil.Baby in hand and loads of chores to do Wanda ponders what it’ll be like keeping a job a dream she can’t pursue, her first class certificate lay securely in the bottom of her Echolac box. ‘’hon, don’t you think I should get a job’’ the awkward silence stretched…she feared the beast had been angered by her question; “I could help with up keep”  it was the sound of shattering glass that broke her concentration, he had aimed and barely missed her,  the tumbler hitting the wall. That night she learnt suggesting help was an insult; after all he was the man. The news of her second pregnancy came with mixed feelings, friends and family had a glossary of advise “why can’t you leave him, he’ll kill you, what kind of love is this?” Oh! She wished she could provide answers to these questions she had often asked herself. “He loves me, I know he does, he’s just frustrated” “you know a woman is the one that makes the home, just stay and make it work”.  Was it all her fault, had she brought the emotional and physical pains to herself? Did she deserve it all? The night was hot a constant reminder of the scorching Abuja heat but PHCN had struck and trying to pacify two angry toddlers in these conditions weren’t easy, she didn’t want him agitated either. The neighbors’ son had been frantic and his wails could be heard a block away.“why would I call my wife in my own house and she wont respond? Are you stupid?“hon, I’m sorry I didn’t hear you call”“so I’m now lying” she knew better not to pick an argument but he had been edgy since his return from work. She was still limping and nursing her dislocated rib from last weeks beating, another would probably leave her hospitalized. Before she could muster the words ‘I’m Sorry’ his punch hit her so hard she was thrown off balance. It was now her cries for help and pleas to her attacker, her lover, father of her children that filled the air. The neighbors were more angry than sorry, they needed the peace and quite… so, no one came, no one. As her cries faded so did her breath… As the casket made it’s way down the aisle he could only wonder why no one had stopped him, he was regretting every moment of it…the neighbors cried knowing they would live with the fading sounds of her cries from that night.The stares of the congregation were like bullet hole penetrating his body even his children had a dead look in their eyes, had he ruined their childhood?The armed guard quickly whisked him away just as the ambulance drove by, her family had used a picture of her smiling, and the poster looked so much like the Wanda he had met some 12 years ago…

Comments

Dear Ritz,

You have woven a story that tells the reality of the lives of so many women. The injustice, the cruelty, the senselessness, the profound lack of respect at so many levels of beautiful, trusting, innocent women is all laid out to be recognized, absorbed and turned into action by all of us, collectively. It is by telling the truth as you have done, that our voices become stronger and even more connected as we continue to repeat each others' stories. Through voices such as yours, no one can deny that change is needed, right now.

In sisterhood,

Tam

 

Dear Ritz,

You shared a story that featured the silent realities of so many women. Domestic violence is one of the most traumatic and distressing challenge facing women today. It is very important that we continue to give voice in order for more women to become emboldened to speak up and find help from abusive relationships before things get out of hand. Your story of Wanda speaks to my heart on the need for more engagements until violence against women is stopped. Thank you for adding your voice on this platform.

Best wishes,

Ese