This is my story
Violence according to a school of thought can be classified into three groups, namely: physical violence which involves pains as a result of bantering, body injury and ill health as a result of the other emotional and verbal violence; emotional violence and verbal violence attacks a persons’ self worth or self esteem or value. They are however interwoven but a persons’ first experience of violence begins with one and gradually extends to the others.
As a small girl, I grew up in a family friendly home where the norms of family values were held in high esteem. My father not only provides our basic needs but he also protects us from danger and discomfort as much as he could especially we the female members of the family. I never knew that women could be violently treated by men. The driver takes me to school and back because my sister was in a boarding school while my senior brothers go by public transport. This went on until I insisted that I wanted to join my friends and drive to and from school with the bus too. This was how I grew up.
I met my ex- husband and we got married. Before marriage he presented a very serene front but afterwards, I discovered that he had a terrible temper whose impact/ rage can only be compared with that of an erupting volcano. I learnt to stay out of his way when provoked to avoid ugly scenes. Our marriage progressed and we were blessed with our first child. Because of his temper he fell out with his boss in the office and was sacked. He relocated to his home state for a supposed appointment. I remained in Lagos and visit occasionally with the little boy. I again became pregnant for my second child and gave birth to my daughter. When she was 1 year old I decided to join him in his base, before relocating I was into trading I and the kids survived from the proceeds but after a while in Enugu I ran out of funds and had to device other means of survival because he had no job. I decided to sell recharge voucher and operate a mini call centre. I became pregnant for my last child who is also a boy in the midst of all this lack. I couldn’t attend anti natal clinic due to lack of funds until I was eight months pregnant and a friend had to pay for my registration at the clinic. I was ashame to call home and ask for my family’s financial help and also because he was very proud and wont take kindly to my doing so.
After having my baby, my brother sent me money from United Kingdom and I used part to register my business outfit which deals with event/conference planning and management in 2005. I later proposed a Joint venture Programme “Family Time ot “with Enugu State Broadcasting station (E.S.B.S. star TV) this later gave way for another programme strictly for kids called “Fun Time”.
Then the real nightmare begins: He started by been abusive and condemning. He poured all his inadequacies on me and blamed me for his misfortunes. He criticised my faith in Christ and ridiculed my mannerism and family values. He began to accuse me of flirting with his friends and my friends’ husbands even my pastor was not left out in the list of my lovers. He indeed became a bully. I never did anything right and life became a living hell. When provoked he will become destructive. He had once pull down the florescent light in the middle of the night becaus I ignored his orders to put it off when I turned it on to make food for the baby while he was sleeping after he instructed I leave the room because the baby’s cry was disturbing him. He has also torn his clothes in anger just to show me how angry he was at a particular time. He withdrew from me emotionally. He threatened severally to kill me.
When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I relocated to Lagos with my kids and I have been the person financially responsible for their welfare ever since. After three years of separation I decided to file for divorce and finally I can shout I am free from my nightmares.
My story and the challenges of other women I know are the driving force behind my starting an Ngo that deals with the transformation of abused and troubled females.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Ending Gender-Based Violence 2012.