Frontlines of My Life

Sophia Atadana
Posted February 12, 2017 from Ghana
Educating one of the community women on spousal abuse

We can have 'heaven on Earth' Marriages'

I am a survivor of spousal abuse: Lots of women in Ghana and the world at large face several challenges. One of the common ones is spousal abuse. I am a survivor of spousal abuse and I know several women in my home country Ghana are still victims. The sad thing is that most of them do not even know that they are being abuse. This is because most women are only aware of the physical form of abuse, but not the emotional, verbal or sexual abuse such as in my case. I was not physically abuse, but just picture yourself as a wife in a home who has no say whatsoever. Not even concerning your own kids and when you are no longer able to keep silence and you voice out your opinion concerning anything, you are told ‘shut up’, ‘who asked for your opinion’, ‘how does that concern you’, ‘what do you even know’. The most frustrating thing is that decisions are taken on your behalf and you suffer the consequences if those decisions are wrong. In this kind of relationship, whatever you do or say is wrong. You are simply treated like a “second class of human beings”. You simply don’t deserve respect and love.

Some effects are:If no intervention for a long time, the victim gets very frustrated and confused in life, not knowing right from wrong, fear sets inn, self doubt, inadequate behavior, and low self esteem among others. The question is, can a woman who is suffering these effects ever be able to take care of herself, home, kids or even attempt to achieve anything in life?

109 784 Cases of domestic violence

The 2005 Ghana Country Report reveals that, Ghana is amongst the countries that records high levels of gender based violence including physical, psychological, economic and sexual abuse. Records available to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana police service indicated that, between the period of 1999 to May 2010, 109 784 cases of domestic violence were reported of which a greater portion was perpetuated against women.

Changing mindsets like ‘men are superior’ and ‘marriage is the highest achievement in life’

I hail from the Northern part of Ghana where my work is based. So I am familiar with the traditions and culture of the people which teaches that men are superior to women and women must obey their husbands no matter what. It is also a place where polygamy is practiced so the situation is even worse on victims. They see this idea of ending spousal abuse as teaching their wives and future wives to be disrespectful. What the men do not know and which we are educating them on is that in treating their wives with love and respect, the wives will intern be submissive and respectful to them. The obstacles to overcome as mentioned earlier are the wrong mindset of society about marriage and how a woman should be treated in a relationship. Then the mindset of women about marriage. Most women think that marriage is the highest achievement in life and so they must be married at a certain age and stay married at all cost so they will be “respected” in society.

Solution – We can have ‘heaven on earth’ marriages which Bendoweh Foundation founded by me has started doing by educating the youth or singles on this all important issue so they are able to identify and avoid marrying abusers thereby breaking the cycle of abuse. It is also a place where abuse women are set free mentally and some of them trained to help other victims in their communities. Abused victims who need financial assistance are helped to go into Shea butter processing or are linked to financial institutions.

I would end with this Bible verse which leads us into the very heart of marriage Ephesians 5: 28-30. The Church is the body of Christ. Does Christ love his body? The Lord loves his body. He nourishes and cherishes it .So should the husband nourish and cherish his wife as he loves his own body. He should cherish her body as Christ cherishes His body, the church.

I encourage all husbands to create ‘heaven on earth marriages’

So husbands, challenge your selves with the word of God which is the blue print of marriage to make our marriages ‘heaven on earth’ as intended by God and stop following traditions and culture which only leads to destruction as we have in most marriages today.

Comments 10

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Austina
Feb 12, 2017
Feb 12, 2017

Yes Adisatu. Marriage ought to be enjoyed. Ride on and keep up the good work. The Lord strengthen you every single step of the way.

Blessings

Sophia Atadana
Feb 13, 2017
Feb 13, 2017

Thanks very much Austina

Immaculate Amoit
Feb 13, 2017
Feb 13, 2017

Adisatu dear,

We will not tire to fight back those who violate our bodies and emotions, as women we do not need to wait until we are killed to realize an abusive marriage is fatal any day.

You did well my sister keep creating the awareness. I admire your courage.

Much love

Sophia Atadana
Feb 13, 2017
Feb 13, 2017

Hi Immah, thanks for the encouragement. We will keep fighting by Grace. 

Anke Tusveld
Feb 13, 2017
Feb 13, 2017

You are doing great work of great importance. Your voice is heard and will be heard even more. 

Keep up your good work!

Sophia Atadana
Feb 13, 2017
Feb 13, 2017

Thanks very much Anketusveld

iyamail
Feb 19, 2017
Feb 19, 2017

Dear adisatu. Thank you for standing for such a courageous cause. It is imperative that women be made to feel valuable above all in their homes. Your task is a challenging one because not only will the men consider you as trying to make their women rebellious, some women themselves may take your support as an excuse for unruly behavior.. So balance must be finely explained and your approach of using the Bible can never let you go wrong. I will say here that this problem is mainly one of empowerment and a focus on younger unmarried girls to let them know their value will go a long way to cause change.

Sophia Atadana
Feb 19, 2017
Feb 19, 2017

Hi iyamail,

Thanks soo much for the encouragement and advice. It will be taken into consideration

Tamarack Verrall
Mar 13, 2017
Mar 13, 2017

Dear Adisatu,

You are challenging very set ideas that show up in different ways in every country, that for some unexplained reason men are thought to be superior to women. As others have also said here, thank you for having the confidence and courage to address this false idea, no matter how engrained it has become. We are working together to change this for the sake of the safety and respect for every woman, and for our opinions and voices to be raised to solve many of the problems we face these days as humanity. My best wishes of your safety and success  and that of the women you are working for in your community.

In sisterhood,

Tam

Sophia Atadana
Apr 26, 2017
Apr 26, 2017

Hi Tam,

Thanks a lot for the kind words.