A TALE OF WOES
I got married to Boniface (not real name) in the year 2001. My husband started cheating on me after our first child was born with one woman that is leaving in the same compound with us. At a point, we left the house and packed into another building, my husband continued the same act with another woman but this time, it was a married woman.
When I found out what was going on, I confronted him and that was when my husband hated me to the extent of constant beating and maltreatment which led to the miscarriage of my second pregnancy. I took in again for the third time and he accused me of infidelity, which was a lie because i have never cheated on him.
My husband continued beating/cheating on me with the same woman. The worst part was that he prevented me from visiting the hospital for ante natal check up, so I was not properly taken care of and never received any medical treatment, which led to my carrying the baby up till 10months before delivery. After I gave birth, my husband visited me once and abandoned us at the hospital.
It was my brother that came to our rescue after one month from the hospital by paying our hospital bills. We came back home and my husband started with the maltreatment by starving us. He continued beating me until I fainted on several occasions, it was horrible experience. He told me to leave his house because if I continue to stay, its either I leave alive or death. So I decided to leave before I will die before my time. I stayed in the village (my father’s house) for one year and some months. I stayed in my father’s house because I was rejected in my husband’s house. While in the village, I got information that the woman my husband was having an affair with died. It was then that he came home and pleaded with his in-Laws, seeking for forgiveness, but my father refused that i will not go back considering the fact that my husband was molesting me.
My father reported the matter to the Igwe (Chief) of our community because the issue was beyond them, for example, he came to my father’s house, while I was coming back from the market, and he threw away my wares and started beating me on the road. The Igwe intervened on the matter then, resolved the issue and I went back to my husband and he was sternly warned not to beat or maltreat or cause problems between us again. I went back, not quite long I noticed that all these months that I was in the village, he was not paying the house rent and soon the Landlord started disturbing us to quit from the house. Two weeks later the man gave us quit notice to leave the house so we left but my husband had nothing (money), I had to find a shelter in an uncompleted building, were I stayed with the kids and later he man joined us in the uncompleted building after scolding me that he will not move there with me.
I started seeking for a way of survival by looking for Job that can sustain us. I got a job as a cleaner with a family and was paid N6,000 per month. From that money I was able to save some money, one day he borrowed N15,000 from me promising to pay back but never did, so when I asked him about the money, he went out, bought two canes, gave me one and took the other and said that he will be flogging me while i should also flog him with the one he gave me to see who will die first. I asked him what could lead to such a thing, before i could finish, he started flogging me until I fainted. As if that was not enough, he proceeded to my office, told my boss that he wants his wife to stop working with them and the man stopped my work.
After some years we were asked to park out from the uncompleted building and without any money, i saw a piece of land that was empty and made enquiry and the owner asked me to do batcher there and live. I went and borrowed money and build a one room batcher where i squatted with the family.
As things got hard for us, I discussed with my husband that it’s high time we stopped having children considering the condition/ situation we were facing. He refused and I decided to go for family planning, after some months I did not take in, he accused me of aborting the pregnancy and reported me to his mother. My mother in-law also accused me too without verifying the truth from me, it was a big problem and I decided to have another baby which was the fifth child.
One day I discussed with my husband and told him that I do not like the way the mother was interfering /treating me in my own marriage, the moment he heard his mother’s name, he slapped me and I fainted. People thought I had died; It was by God’s intervention that I came back to life after some hours because when I woke up I saw that people were gathered and crying.
Two weeks later I gave birth to another baby and I swore never to have any child again. When the baby grew up, I got a Job and decided to keep everything I do from him so that he won’t stop me from working. One day I went to work and came back late, so he told me to go back from where I was coming from and threatened to kill me if I stepped my feet inside his house. He took away my five children from me - a girl and four boys. After three days, my daughter who is 16 years old managed to run away from him and located me and she is staying with me now. I am very worried because my other children ages, 14yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs and 4yrs are still under-aged to be left with his mother in the village. He cannot take care of them because he had never provided for them.
Currently, I am staying at my sister’s place. I reported to the family about what was happening and they called him to go and bring me back but this time, I refused to follow him home because he might kill me. The next day, I was walking home, he made an attempt to crush me with his car along the road but I escaped by jumping off a deep gutter and sustained injury.
The last one that happened was on Sunday 10th June, 2018. I went to see my children in the village where he took them to his mother, my husband heard that I went to the village, he came back to Enugu and came to where I was staying and started beating me up and told me that until my bride price was returned to him, he will kill me. It was at this point that someone advised me to visit Ruldin- Society for Neglected Women of Nigeria (an NGO that handles Gender Based Violence) to lay my complaint before I lose my life.
Next month (July 2018) will make it one year we separated. Now I am staying with my daughter. The man is presently living with another woman but still harasses me publicly. He seized all my personal belongings; I didn’t leave his house with a pin. Please I need my personal effects.
Please, I plead with you to come to my rescue before I lose my life in the hands of this man.