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The news, a few weeks ago, of a serving Nigerian ambassador’s alleged physical assault on his wife inspired this piece. Now, my intention is not to discuss that particular case as I feel it is beyond my scope to opine on the matter but rather to discuss the issue of domestic violence among young dating couples. Yes now! We all know of or have heard of relationships where the man chooses to turn his girlfriend or fiancée into a punching bag of some sorts or at the very least resorted to one or two blows in order to resolve a heated argument or quarrel. In case you haven’t let me illustrate with a few examples.

In my second year in university, as a “bigger” boy I opted to stay off campus and I got a small decent flat in a nice building, in one of the communities around the school. It was a small, but very quiet student community. One Saturday morning, my flatmates and I heard shouts and screams from one of the rooms on the top floor. Not quite accustomed to that kind of thing we came out and began to move towards the stairwell. We heard a door slam shut and then some girl screaming “Open this door!” Long story short, the one at the door was the roommate of a very fine third year student who was at that moment being pummelled by her long time boyfriend. Roommate was bounced because she tried to interfere in the beating process. And what was girlfriend’s wrong doing? She went out partying the previous night without consulting  her boyfriend and was reportedly rude and insulting when questioned about it. Some men convinced him to open the door, which he did only after he must have sated himself. He stormed out of the building. Babe’s beautiful face was badly bruised. I later learned that this was a recurring feature in their relationship but all I could think about was why a beautiful girl like that would allow her boyfriend to beat her up and why she would continue to remain in such a relationship! I could imagine the number of correct guys that would have been toasting her only for her to end up with a woman basher.

Even in the larger society we all must have heard of one couple where the girl shows up with the occasional shades-covered black eye or sprained wrist, citing door posts and slips down flights of stairs. And the irony sometimes is that these were girls who were first to swear that no man would ever touch them in violence! The first time is always a mistake and easily forgiven; the second, excused away as a result of drunkenness; the third marked down as deserved due to her rudeness; and on and on it goes. The relationship quickly becomes an abusive one. Our customary and magistrate courts are full with such stories of spousal abuse: “My husband beats me because I refuse him sex!” “My wife poured hot soup on me because I did not give her feeding allowance!” Now this issue is not restricted to Nigerians or Africans alone but is a common feature in various countries.

As a result I tried to figure out why a man would lay his hands on a girl he claimed to love. Another man’s child? What was it? It has been posited that guys are driven to this by their uncontrollable anger and rage. Or could it be issues of low self esteem on the man’s part? It has been suggested that the women even ask for it by their continuous goading of the man. Women have been known to be experts at throwing piercing insults and jibes at men and since men cannot match them insult for insult, they resort to using their fists to respond to such taunts. I have even heard that women say that it’s only a man that really loves them that would hit them! It is regarded as a show of love when their man is passionate enough about them to face them and fight during heated quarrels and arguments. By the way, they also add that the make-up sex is out of this world!

Another suggestion is that these men probably grew up in households where their fathers beat their mothers and as such have come to see it as not so strange. Women too who have grown up in such households may see fighting with their spouses as a demand for respect and a show of strength. Personally, I see it as a show of weakness. Yes, anger can drive us to such points but love should overrule such behaviour. Women are the weaker sex physically and as such should be treated so. Self control is key and the man being the stronger person should simply walk away from a quarrelling woman. But is it that easy to walk away from a woman who “means you?”

The flip side is the case where women assault their boyfriends. Now I have not heard of any case where a woman beat up her boyfriend (this is understandable as the guys would never tell!) but I have heard of wives beating their husbands! Even if the assault is not physical it can be verbal and emotional. Stories of girlfriends/wives assaulting perceived rivals, and (domestic) staff of their boyfriends/ husbands are pretty common. Yet this should not warrant a physical response from the man. Violence should not be an option because violence only begets more violence. These days women now try to return the beatings by attacking men with dangerous weapons. Bottles have been thrown, and manhoods have been severed in anger. The battle of the sexes need not be a physical one.

It’s difficult for someone who hasn’t been in an abusive relationship to understand the psychological process of those who choose to remain in such abusive situations. I think sometimes it’s harder for those in such relationships to see past their situation. Perhaps, the family and friends of such victims have a higher responsibility to help out. We need to stop turning a blind eye to abuse, our silence only helps to entrench these activities further. We need to become a society which speaks up for those who, for whatever reason, cannot. So instead of the hushed judgemental tones of ‘why can’t she just leave him’, ‘if it was me I would have left ages ago’, why don’t we speak out for them, confront the abuser, challenge them, be a source of comfort to the abused and a voice who speaks for those who seemingly cant. Maybe our own voices can then become a source of strength which empowers them to do that which we so desperately desire them to do.

Photo credit: www.dawnali.com

94 Comments

  1. Someone

    July 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Nice post

  2. dammy

    July 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    FIRST

    • Kat

      July 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      do u get a prize for this? …..I’m really curious cause i see people shouting first under every post and its annoying, or is there some sort of thrill that comes with being first cause i don’t get it

  3. Amara

    July 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    omg! i’m first! 🙂

    • missy~spectacular

      July 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      congratulations! here…have a sweet…

    • Bukky

      July 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      Not quite-LOL

  4. Esther Cole

    July 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    A very nice article

  5. Bukky

    July 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I dont know what it feels like so i dont understand what makes some women stay in an abusive after all the punching!It really is mind bogglin…Family & friends usually have to step it before the woman sees clearly!

    • Di

      July 1, 2011 at 11:08 pm

      Me neither I don’t understand how that happens to women. Any man dat dares (clenching fists at the thought)…
      The only men that ever hit(flog) me was my dad & my school principal waaay back. I think some women see the red flag & still stay. Such men also knowingly pick this feeble kind of women too.

  6. Amara

    July 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    now that i’ve gone first my comment on this is that domestic violence should never become a norm, both parties should seek help/therapy.
    bottom line is a man really shouldn’t hit a woman, i don’t see any justification for this.

  7. miss p

    July 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    nice

  8. Bolanle

    July 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I totally agree with this article! I find it so sad that a man or woman can allow their partner to hit them and then stay simply because after it happens they say it’s because i love you. Its pure nonsense.

    A person that can lay their hands on the opposite sex has deep rooted problems and it needs to be addressed and resolved otherwise that person will never change. That is a demon inside you and it needs to be rebuked.

    i do not agree with once a beater always a beater as i do believe that people can change, but i wouldn’t step into the relationship with an ex-wife/girlfriend beater lightly.

    Another thing i’ve learned is never say never…never is the worst word in the dictionary because it can happen to you. It is easy for you to look on the outside and say i could never date a guy that would beat me let alone let him beat me, but it can happen because of a number of reasons from you hitting that person first to something as minor as you looked at them the wrong way.

    If anyone is in an abusive relationship GET OUT before it is too late, don’t end up 6 feet in the ground before you realise its too late…however to be honest by that time its already too late!!!

  9. Ytee

    July 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Oh the ease with which we dictate how others should behave in abusive relationships! You do have a strong point, Tj: stand up on their behalf. But one needs to be careful lest you become embroiled and also put yourself at risk. God fight for us all.

  10. Tess

    July 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    That guy who hits you obviously doesn’t love you

  11. Tola

    July 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    The bottom line is abuse comes out of insecurity and there are always tell tale signs! It starts with him swearing at you; calling you an idiot e.t.c. Sometimes ofcourse people say these things as a joke but if your partner swears at you out of anger shut it down. Next comes shouting, then come gentle pushes and before you know it, the slaps and punches start. Stick with your instincts and shut it down from the get go. http://www.theratedt.com

    • hauwa

      July 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      u r on point tola

    • Alladdin

      July 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      u r so on point….my friends boyfriend started d same way n still does that i mean d beating and embrassments in public places. hv tryd makin her see reasons y d relationship isnt good bt 2 no avail. she sees it as a sign of love.
      wat do i do than mind my business. wish them luck!!

  12. nonny

    July 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    very lovely write up!! God bless you greatly!! I wish many learn from this and grow up in their relationships***

  13. Abike

    July 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    i love ds article n its so point. honestly i av wondered y dey stay in such abusive relationships but today i av learnt nt too just wondered but be ha voice in standn again such abuses…. offcourse wt wisdom

  14. Anotherify

    July 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Why does he hit her? Why does she stay and take it? We will never really know the answers to these age-old question. The only way is to smoke out these abusers and give them a taste of their medicine. Jungle justice for jungle people. Meanwhile, a support system for the abused would be one way to go. Instead of disdainfully judging them for being weak ,let us find a way to lend a hand, a shoulder ,an ear until when s/he feels strong enough to get out and/or get help.
    Enough said!

  15. BB

    July 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    well i was once in an abusive relationship. From my experience, teh beating doesnot start until the guy is sure you are all his and then begins to manipulate your emotions badly. he gives you the beating of your live and then makes you see reason why it must be so and then apologizes passionately. Being the foolly in luv that you are, you excuse him and start all over again….only for the same to repeat itself.
    I guess it got to a point i knew i couldnt take it anymore so i told people who would confront him and he was really ashamed of himself and the relationship ended ofcorse.

    • Enyinna

      July 4, 2011 at 7:54 am

      I think you’re right. Some of us might be abusers and we don’t even know it. When you take advantage of the ones that love you, those that are weaker or less fortunate than you, then you are an abuser. We all need to treat others like we would love to be treated (psychos disclaimer). If you’re being abused, try to talk to someone or anyone about your situation. Abusers should also try to talk to someone; we’re all in this struggle together.
      Even animals protect their weak, so we need to do a better job of policing ourselves and the people around us. And remember, you don’t have to hit someone to be an abuser.

  16. Chacha001

    July 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    The first time, you’re a Victim, the 2nd time, you’re a Volunteer – One expert on Oprah

    • Slush

      July 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      Word

  17. Socris

    July 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve never been in an abusive relationship so I don’t understand how it feels. My opinion? LEAVE oh! There’s no excuse why someone should be turned to a punching bag. Men full this world, he isn’t the only man on earth. As for those women who bash their men with hurtful words and insults. Please just STOP! It doesn’t make sense at all.

  18. Tiki

    July 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Almost first! lol

    brb with a real comment…

  19. Gorgeous

    July 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    It only took an ex to pinch my leg, and I cancelled every thought of a future with him. I just rode the relationship till it ended. Considering the father also beat the mother. Him not being able to keep his hands to himself made me take off. This was a pinch on my thigh ooh. I dunno what I would do with a shove or a slap. Lord Jesus help the man.

  20. Tiki

    July 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Wow, touchy one TJ. In my humble opinion, and this from a level of personal experience, the first blow should be the last one…once a relationship goes abusive, it’s not gonna go any better. Also, if you know someone in an abusive relationship, please don’t turn a blind eye. They need help. Treat them as you would someone with a drug addiction, because the effects of physical, mental or emotional abuse can be far worse than crack or heroine.

  21. afolabi olabisi

    July 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I agree with u.people need 2 breakout 4rm this.

  22. blackpearl

    July 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Its a pathetic story but then are these girls forced into these type of relationships?i once met a girl who says its right for a guy to hit you when you do something wrong and that its a sign of love. for me its a sign of a mental case and the guy needs to be registered in a mental institution. we ladies have to stop subjecting ourselves too such brutality,like i would tell my friends,a guy who hits you while you are dating will eventually kill you when you get married. its just so crazy!!!!

    • Di

      July 1, 2011 at 11:16 pm

      that lady too needs to get into a mental institute! show of love?

  23. pynk

    July 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Abuse is a no go area. Men should always let their daughters know that no man should touch them. My father rang that into my ears. I had an ex threaten to hit me once, and i told him point blank, hit me and i will beat the living daylights out of ur F**king as* when u r sleeping. NO NO NO. there is no reason for violence.
    The story of the Skye bank female employee who was recently butchered by her husband recently comes to mind. Abuse is a no go.

    • Di

      July 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      haaahaaa that is so funny !

  24. Beneetah

    July 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Hmmmmm, it’s sad, yet it keeps happening. if you haven’t been a victim, you really would not understand how it feels to be constantly beaten by a man who claims to love you.
    Truth be told, i have been through that road while i was in Unilag and dating a guy who seemed nice and caring until i saw the real him.
    the first time i received a resounding slap who telling him i didn’t like the fact that he was always with girls, he beat me up and all i could say when he went down on his knees in tears to apologize was “Honey i’m sorry, i know i pushed you to the wall” my exact words.
    years have passes now and all i can say is i wish i walked out of that relationship that same day, i wish i poisoned him that day, i wish i got some boys to teach him a lesson on how not to lay your fingers on a woman.
    The beatings went on and on, i have serious of knife stabs on my body.i could not leave because he threatened to kill me if i left, i was scared because, he had beat me severally and taken me to the hospital, so i said to myself that this guy can actually kill me. i’m in tears now as i type this but my advise to ladies out there is this. if he can hit you the first time, he would do it again and again. the best time to leave is now when you are still alive.
    I lost a very close friend of mine, whose husband was also a beast. he beat her up oneday, she slumped and died on the spot. he was in jail for 1year, and now he’s out and married to some other woman, but Bimpe is dead and gone.
    May God grant us wisdom, nothing is worth beating a woman for, if you van’t stand the heat in the kitchen, please leave the kitchen.
    Just thought to share.
    Ladies please be wise, a man who loves you will never beat you.

    • baberutty

      July 4, 2011 at 10:08 am

      Wow…thanks for sharing this Beneetah. God bless you. Glad you can talk about this now. I hope you’ve gotten out of the relationship and moved on. God is our healer. May He heal you of that hurt and pain and also bitterness with urself for not leaving when u should have.

  25. Kemchi

    July 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Good article. Maybe with more people talking about domestic abuse, more victims will be able to open up to family and friends and not be ashamed to speak out.
    It’s difficult for anyone who hasn’t been in an abusive r/ship to understand why anyone would take it and not walk away. If we begin to psychoanalyze why people do it, we’ll be writing till d cows come home.
    The one thing we can do if we know anyone in this situation is to encourage them to leave. Always offer them emotional and physical support if necessary. A place to stay too, if they need it. The decision to leave has to be made by the victim, but it helps them if they know they have support and they can walk away from it.

  26. Moi

    July 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    @ Blackpearl, You are quite right . Today’s punch newspaper carries the full story of the 30year old guy jobless graduate in Lagos who murdered his wife banker wife/breadwinner in cold blood. He’s been abusing her in the past, she took it all and has been sent to her untimely grave leaving behind an innocent 2 year old daughter…what a life!
    Its better to stay alive…flee!

  27. Bee

    July 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    a very nice piece. Woman battery is a wrong tin in iz entirety…but how abt wen a lady hits d man due to long domestic arguments n uncontrolled anger n d man hits her in return? Waz dat cald,retaliation? I detest any form of assault or battery or wateva name u want to call it! Best tin is self control n walking away. But if d lady blocks ur way out, can dat anger still be curtailed? WOMEN!

  28. Faridah

    July 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Some women don’t get it!!! I have a friend who is in an abusive marriage and she will make mouth about how she will deal wiv her husband but the next day she’s cooing about her king (more like toad to me) But anyway I am divorced with a son and choose to maintain a civil relationship with my ex who never hit me but she’ll be the first to judge me on how I can even talk to him. I’m like you get bitch slapped every other day by the man u lay with but u want to judge me on having a civil conversation with the father of my child who was never abusive. Girl quit playing!!!! WOMEN DO NOT WAIT TILL U END UP LIKE TITI RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kémi Penélopê

      July 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      In fact, the first punch should send U running (don’t even pack your bag, just run w/out looking back)…
      Sisters, a real man (no matter whatever situation he is undergoing) NEVER (I repeat, NEVER) hits a woman, only a cowards do. shikena!!!

  29. Purpleicious Babe

    July 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I love the article… I think it was nicely presented without any biased opinions….

    I pray I will stand up for someone that is in this situation and help rather than judge.. Even though that will be my first reaction, instead I will rebuke them and do my part i.e. praying for them and encouraging them to seek help.

  30. Aibee

    July 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Everyone must say NO to violence in whatever form. Let’s teach our sons, brothers, boyfriends, fiancees and husbands that it is NOT okay to beat the women in their lives.

  31. Smallz...

    July 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    My best friend has been in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend for the past 7yrs! I’m at a loss for what to do. Honestly, ȋ̊ dnt knw hw to drag her out of dat relationship. Iv tried my best but seems my best isn’t werkn! The guy has succeeded in alienating all her friends. Honestly, short of reporting her to her father (who I’m sure will just hv a heart attack), I dnt knw wat to do! Funny thing is, she’s always protecting him. She has put her life on hold because of him. ȋ̊ feel rily terrible for her and iv often tot of contacting some badt guys to go beat him up. Me, i just tire jare…Its dis bad and they are nt even married! Hmmm..

    • Damola

      July 3, 2011 at 5:02 am

      Maybe when he kills her, you’ll tell her father.

    • Hot-Angel (Hottu Babe)

      August 9, 2011 at 10:17 am

      That’s a harsh way of putting it Damola.

      But Poster, abeg go and tell her father, and while you’re at it, inform him that you are gathering some boys to beat the boy up, so he shouldn’t worry about the heart attack.

      Please do everything you feel you should do before this bad guy kills your friend.

  32. OLA

    July 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    How many of you have watched your father beat your mother?
    I ask that because i strongly believe that this issue of domestic violence is part of Nigerian culture. It is something that needs to be brought to light and discussed. We hear the high profile cases and we shrug our noses ignoring the fact that so many of us grew up in abusive homes and more than likely know a victim/maga of domestic violence. So many of the the loudest voices on here will still chop slaps today. Typing up a comment will not solve this epidemic. Supporting and standing in for victims is what will. Exposing the abusers, counseling our children, talking about it and creating an avenue for victims to get help are the steps that will bring positive change.

    • Theresa

      July 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      True point Ola, many of us saw this while growing up, however i was determined not to let any fool lay his rotten hands on me or take me for granted. In all my relationships, i didnt go cleaning, washing clothes, cooking or spending weekends at any guy`s place. Today i am happily married to a man who loves me very much even though i didnt do all those things for him during courtship. I know ladies who are in abusive relationships and have spoken to them yet they never listen. Wetin person go do? You cant force someone to value her life if she doesnt want to. It is sad, but there is only so much you can do. Women have to learn to value themselves and not wait for a man to beat them before they feel valued.

  33. uchechi

    July 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Good points raised, nice conclusion. Still can’t fathom WWHHHHYYYYYYY a man should raise his hand on a woman or vice versa. May God deliver us from violent people and paralyse their hands when they raise it up to strike IJN.

  34. EASYGOING

    July 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Is there any one who loves to be in pain?so a man is surpose to see his girlfriend as he sees himself,when she is in pain him also is in pain.that is true love.
    so why will a man beat u and claims he loves u?that is d opposite of love.

  35. Myne Whitman

    July 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Great article TJ!

  36. Ajike

    July 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Its sad that so many women are still being abused by their husbands. And yes, some women batter their husbands too, but because of the natural imbalance of physical strength its usually men hitting women. As a physician I see the results of these, with some women barely escaping with their lives. Please be aware that in Nigeria there are agencies to help such women, and shelters – most people are unaware that these exist to help women in these situations.

  37. Kémi Penélopê

    July 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    It is not only “domestic abuse” but also “emotional abuse”…most times when a woman has been emotionally abused and she finds a man who accepts her (or that she thinks he accepts & respects her).
    While she is being abused, she usually finds it difficult to leave the person abusing her. Many are even afraid to leave him for fear that they will be hunted down and killed.

  38. Dr Peperempe

    July 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    The problem with most of us is that sometimes we can be so myopic in our view and scope. The write up is very good but I have noticed that the comments center around physical abuse when there is the very evil emotional abuse the large majority of Nigerians go through. The most common form is cheating by a partner or spouse. He/she cheats, begs the first time like he/she is going to die if u refuse. You take ’em back and bleep! he/she is back at it but we stay and do ride or die chics! Trust me the emotionally abused are more prone to suffer more subtle but major consequences of their abuse. Its kinda like a patient.The one with the more obvious symptoms would likely get the best treatment and attention however the asymtomatic one would go unnoticed, disease diagnosed only during routine examination or at time of symptomatic presentation when the disease is well advanced and the treatment that can be rendered is ;argely just palliative! Be wise!

    • hateunrealisticpeople

      July 2, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      looooool…. Dr peperempe.. We understand that your a dr or pretending to be one bt next time when you leave a msg, try using words people understand. Wats up with all these palliative and symptomatic!! dont u feel your writing should be clear and concise enough for a lay man to read…Nigerians Sha!!!

    • Madame Sting

      July 3, 2011 at 4:35 am

      WORD!

    • menoword

      July 3, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      You are so right. I stayed in an abusive relationship for a while. It’s more insidious than physical abuse, because it’s so hard to pinpoint. And at some point I started believing something must actually be wrong with me, I was sure I merited the treatment I was getting. If you have a friend who is in an abusive relationship, shouting at her to leave will never work. She’ll always have a defence. All you can do is let her know that your door is open, even if she needs a 5 minute break from the relationship, and when she shows, remind her of her value in an assuring and positive manner. One day, she will leave for good.

    • zizim

      July 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

      too many issues, yes cheating i.e infidelity is a lurking devil in this our society and as usual it is accepted, men are even encouraged to cheat.
      where do we start from in this country..what do we address first…
      may God help us all

  39. sola

    July 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Yes the First Punch should be the last one but we live in a Society where leaving your husband for such a thing is not accepted. As a society we need to stand up against abuse and make sure it is seen as a serious crime. If you need to take out your anger go to the GYM. Your wife, girlfriend, or significant other is not a punching bag. Nigerians have a way of keeping quiet until the issue became tragic. We need to speak out against abuse before we have women dying for no reason.

  40. Unveilinggold

    July 2, 2011 at 1:13 am

    This post is on point!!!!You said it all in the last paragraph…

    Please go read my recent post on my blog where I discussed how I left my abusive ex-fiancee

  41. Anonymous

    July 2, 2011 at 2:05 am

    This story is great, but I sense immaturity and lack of life experience. Don’t be naive women are the flakiest human beings alive. “Be a source of comfort, challenge the abuser.” Ngwannu. Okay now. You yourself try it and come back and tell us the results. You will end up being the couple’s enemy that they will first get rid of. Those people who whisper about such situations are not fools. They have seen it all and know that when it comes to matters of the heart, people’s actions often makes no sense. Mind your own business and live your own life. If not you will soon have yourself to blame.

    • feran

      July 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      I’m sorry but i dont even undertsand what you mean by immaturity and lack of experience. No matter the circumstance women should be taught to leave an abusive relationship. My mum left my dad after he hit her a couple of times, i respect her for that and i urge any woman in an abusive relationship to get out before its too late. Your life is worth more than being relegated to a punching bag, there are other people out there that love you!

  42. Hali

    July 2, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Domestic Violence is not a ‘Nigerian’ thing, it’s universal. I have a friend who married an European who was abusive. It started with him punching walls and blaming her for his anger, then it graduated to him threatening her with the kitchen knife. Finally came the physical abuse. That day she went to the hospital and was given 5 stitches, just above her right eye.
    The story had a good ending; she was smart enough to leave after that…actually her family went to get her.
    If you are in an abusive relationship, PLEASE LEAVE. You either end up broken, emotionally and psychologically or dead. Neither option is good.
    No man is worth dying for.

  43. KeKe

    July 2, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I was in a relationship for 4years. Emotional abuse began one year after, physical abuse started 2years after and I had the strength to leave last year. I will tell you, there was no love. Maybe I just cared alot? Like I will care for anyone. Because if there was love, he would have never hit me. I still have a huge scar from our last big fight. He didn’t only hit me, I also got insulted every single day and I would be on the phone screaming when he said some things, and then transfer the anger onto my younger sister. So I argued/fought with two people almost everyday.

    He still wants us to get back together. Aunties, friends, his mom call to beg but I am not TIED to him. Men do not rule my world, I don’t need one to validate me. I know someone who will love me sincerely will come around, the one who will never hit me or take advantage of me because of who I am.
    It brings down your self esteem, woman beaters make you believe you are not good enough for anybody else. This ex said noone will end up with me because I’ll also frustrate the person and he’ll end up teaching me a lesson! He called physical abuse—> lessons. He’ll explain to you why he hit you. He’ll justify his acts. And he says this again and again and again…till it sticks.

    It’s difficult to leave but the moment you start to love yourself and start believing you need a man not a woman beater, you’ll definitely find your way out, someway somehow.
    Girls, you are worth much more than that and that’s exactly what I tell myself every single day!

    • menoword

      July 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      Oh you are so on point! I have had that said to me as well, and the only thing that stopped my abuse turning physical was my ex’s knowledge that I had taken martial arts classes. You’re a survivor Keke. God will continue to increase your strength. He will give you a man truly deserving of you. God bless!

    • WaleAdeniji

      July 4, 2011 at 8:55 am

      Happy with you that you’re able to dump him. He is never your God and he can never be. The right man who will love and cherish you will come around when you least expect. He was only saying that to reduce whatever remains of your self-esteem. I am so happy for you that you were able to call it quit. A wife better is not better than a dog!

    • tinkerbell

      July 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      all i can say is u spoke like u lived my life!….till you are there you cant explain or understand it…but now i know better and i am happy i got out alive…..if i could change one thing in my life it will be those four years with that devil!!!!!!!!please i can so assure u that there is a guy out there, that wont beat u up, and will love you for just who you are,dont make the mistake of going back to him,whoever is begging you should tell their sister to date him they obviously dont like you!

  44. Foxtrot

    July 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    What i cant understand is why any one – male/female – should feel that it ti their right to hit someones child.

    If they were faced with the same situation in the office would they lift their hands to hit their colleague? It ridiculous and i think that its about time Nigerians start speaking out about domestic violence!

    ANyone that hits another person is a coward! a bully! and should be shunned by society – afterall hitting is only one step away from killing…………

  45. neon

    July 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    i have an aunt whose husband used to beat her at every opportunity, one day he slapped her and she just went mental!!! this aunt is 5.7 an dher husband is about 6.2m she smashed a bottle on hos head and beat the living day lights out of him so much so when they got to the hospital the doctor asked if he had been in a car accident…. last year the celebrated their 4oth wedding anniversary, and he told the story.

  46. chica

    July 3, 2011 at 2:13 am

    Great article, especially as it’s evident in the comments that there are so many people going through this. It’s pretty inspiring reading stories of people who has experienced this and have gotten out. I say sharing stories is a great way to encourage others – you never know, this might be the impetus for someone who reads this to leave their unfortunate situation. From my experience, and as with most things, it’s tough to make people do things they aren’t ready to do whether it’s get out of an abusive relationship, stop drinking or doing drugs, or even something as simple as changing their look. I believe in the power of sharing stories to encourage others e.g. The Oprah show! So thanks to all those who’ve shared – God bless you and continue to strengthen you, and use you and your stories to help others move forward themselves.

  47. Banzabakwai

    July 3, 2011 at 3:14 am

    No beating or violence is not part of Nigerian culture. Anthropological research will reveal that anywhere/time it happens, its a gross aberration!
    Violence of any kind is bad. Spousal violence is abdominal at the least. We have to inculcate in ourselves and wards the right of dignity to recognise, resist and walk away from it immediately – no matter the ‘other’or better side of the perpetrator. Otherwise, like an earlier post said, 1st time victim, 2nd time volunteer.
    BTW, we need to expand this discuss to how empathetic a society / people we are. What is our standard for treating our poor, weak and vulnerable? If Governors ( some allege a certain Baba head of State) have their spouse horsewhipped and it doesn’t lead to their downfall at elections, can we really be thinking of stopping or punishing the smaller nutboxes in our neighbourhoods, work places or congregations?

  48. Uju G

    July 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Hmmm… This is really SAD .. I can only imagine.
    A parent’s communication pattern greatly influences a child’s behaviour.. I have heard of kids crying while watching the physical and emotional abuse between their parents .. these act hurts the kids emotionally and that is when it starts affecting them psychologically .. soon it becomes NORMAL?!?! to watch their parents fight and quarrel .. and they start accepting the portrayed behaviour as a normal way of resolving disagreements or venting their anger.
    Secondly, I have a set of questions … how do parents help to resolve their children’s uncontrolled anger? – When a child start breaking stuffs and punching the wall because he is mad, how do you as a parent react to that?!?!? How do parents react when their girls say piercing hurtful words to people? How do parents resolve siblings fight, especially between a boy and his sister? Do you tell your girl that she deserves the beating from her brother because she provoked him? Do you punish the girl for saying hurtful words to her brother? Do you encourage hitting in any form? Does it really matter who pushed or punched first?? How do we encourage and instill self esteem into our children? Do they get a meditation time to think about what they did and how they should react the next time? … and we have heard of guys in high school or even primary school that slap and hit girls, how do we as adult react to all these? .. are we one of those parents (or sibling, aunt or uncle) that visits the school to fight the school staffs because our child (or brother, sister, nephew, niece) was disciplined for fighting?? .. I ask these questions because they all contribute to future abusive relationships .. and probably an untimely death of a loved one … *sighs*
    Encouraging and supporting the woman or man to leave the relationship is a good idea .. but what about fighting the root of the problem (contributing factors that encourage abuse) rather than cutting off its branches? (trying to help heal the wounds) Just a word for thought .. My heart sincerely goes out to all those in abusive relationship .. I just hope and pray you realise your worth and find the courage to walk out .. Godbless 🙂

  49. abby

    July 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Emotional abuse sucks as well; sure thing. Being down that path for almost 2years before I realised it could get physical and took a walk. So ladies need 2 watch it before it gets big and results in being dead. God help us all

  50. WaleAdeniji

    July 4, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I was once a prosecutor in one of the Magistrate courts in Nigeria. The police brought a couple to court due to incessant beating and injury caused to the wife by the hubby. Having known about them before that day, i was prepared to ensure the man doesn’t go away with what i regarded as the last beating he will be able to subject his wife to. I was damn wrong! It was a surpise to see the wife approch me and asked me to hand off the case. She was prepared to tender a withdrawal letter and stop the arragnment of the husband. I sat her down with her wounds and ask her why she thinks the man should’nt pay for the pains he inflicted on her by going to jail. She said and i quote ” i love him. No man will be like him. His sex with me is great most expecially after he must have smoked Marijuana. I doubt if there is other men who could last longer like he can do”. Need i say i was speachless? And here is a beautiful light skin woman in her 20s. I have to ask her to tell that to the magistrate when the husband is to take a plea which she did. And that was how the case ended. What am i driving at? Most of these ladies are the cause of their own problem. There is no amount of talking you do that will make them leave such abusers. You will always hear them giving you one silly excuse or the other like “where do i start from?” “I love him.” “I will remain with him because of my kids.” I see this as stupid. Nice piece TJ!

    • aisha umar

      October 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      kai, this is really stupid

  51. Julz

    July 4, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I was in an abusive relationship for two years. When the abuse began it was mainly emotional and verbal. I have never in my 24 years on this earth heard someone say such mean, cruel and vile things to someone as my ex partner said to me. Sometimes those words still ring in my head and bring instant tears to my eyes.

    The emotional abuse broke down my defences till it one day a stinging insult turned to a slap across the face because a platonic male friend had sent me a text to check on how I was. I stayed with my ex partner after that slap and it just started getting worse and worse. I have a scar on my leg from the time he kicked me and i have a scar on my forearm from being pushed into the shower door.

    To me though, the worst scar that I have is the knowledge that I let someone treat me worse than the scum at the bottom of ones shoe. I now realise that at the time I had no respect for myself staying with a person like that. I left him (or rather fled from him) many times but I always went back coz convinced he would change and that the last time was the last time (yeah right).

    I finally left in February of this year and it has been an uphill battle just to be ok and feel safe but every day I am making progress and I have never been happier or healthier. I will never go back to that monster. He insulted and beat whatever love I had for him out of me. I now love myself and respect myself way too much to ever be with a person like that ever again!

    P.S If you are in an abusive relationship, get out now. He does not love or respect you and dont be fooled by the sweet talk, he will never ever change. EVER!

  52. Ezi

    July 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

    This is indeed a very deep topic. It’s amazing how much we put up with all in the name of ‘love’. There is also another form of abuse which is barely spoken about – emotional abuse. In this one, the person does not need to lay a hand on you to hurt you. I just did a post on my blog about it. People need to talk about these things so that there can be solutions.
    http://heysista.wordpress.com

  53. Timma

    July 4, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Really, i agree with Ola, domestic violence is part of Nigeria but we all need to stop it now! When i was about to get married, i was asked by my Priest, what can make you leave your husband and I said it to his face, in front of my Priest and all those in marriage preparatory class, the day he as much as shove me or lays a finger on me in anger! And i have stood my ground cos after growing up in a home where wife beating was a norm till after our graduating from the University, when we were fully home and would stop him from doing such, I made a vow not to let my children go through such and Thank God, my hubby is more of a “keep quiet and at most take a walk until she cools down type”, I will say I have been blessed, Please, walk out of that abusive relationship so you don’t have to pay with your life like Titi(skye bank staff) did.May her soul, Rest in peace,Amen

  54. Alake

    July 4, 2011 at 11:10 am

    why am i not suprised at ‘anonymous’ comment???
    it is very obvious you are either in an abusive relationship and in the school of thots called ‘BATTERY IS A LESSON’ or a BEAST( an abuser).
    whatever category you fall in,start loving urself,quit refering to those that are asking you to leave or stop beating as intrusive(or amebos) bcos they truely love you.
    Most importantly QUIT that relationship before you end up in a mortuary (or worst still a living dead) or quit beating that woman before you end up in jail(unfortunately he only ends up in jail right).

    Maybe we need a bill passed to this effect,but unfortunately the people who we depend on to pass the bill are in the majority men and very likely guilty.

  55. my day

    July 4, 2011 at 11:42 am

    ‘Manhoods severed in anger’, o boi…beta park ur things after collecting your “severance package” because marriage don finish o!

  56. zizim

    July 4, 2011 at 11:44 am

    i think it’s time we all stood up as women and take a stand, lets train our children that no form of abuse is right..emotional or physical.
    lets train our daughters the meaning of self esteem, self worth..tell them that no other person defines you, so if by some “mistake” you end up with an abusive man, get the hell out.
    tell our sons that “real men walk, they don’t stab”
    Titi[may her soul rest in peace] would have endured some serious beatings before the mad man that she married finally killed her] yet she stayed and what breaks my heart so much, even though i do not know her is that the guy wasn’t even providing money for her meaning that she didn’t need him for anything, yet she chose to stay? why? why? it’s so painful..she didn’t need the mofu for anything eyt she stayed all just because she was scared of what society would think and she would have heard stories encouraging ehr to stay and “manage” and things would get better.
    things don’t get better like that, even if you decide to pray for such a person, do it when you have moved out cos the demons operating in such a person are way more than you can comprehend.
    may God continually give us wisdom and protect us in all that we do…
    RIP Titi..may God avenge your death…

  57. Cynthia Njoku

    July 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I just left such a relationship and the ex wont let me be. i am scared for my life and dont know what to do or who to turn to…. should i get thugs to beat him or get the police involved.

  58. igbofille

    July 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, but one guy while trying to tell me about himself included that he is a hot tempered person in his resume. I was like have you ever beaten your ex before and he goes yes, in the public and I’m like what the heck. I never let that relationship be. Yet another gentle guy I met too, I cunningly asked if he has ever beaten a woman and he said yes that ladies need it sometimes so that they can respect their man. I gave him a red card immediately coupled with the fact that he was asking for sex when we have not even gone on our first date. Too many kurukere guys on suit in this Lagos.

  59. faith

    July 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    @waleadeniji…dont b so hash…its not easy for dis women to just opt out n leave….is not easy atall…

  60. OginiKwa?

    July 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    @WaleAdeniji. Out of curiosity,what sort of sentence would have the man have gotten?

  61. AnotherIfy

    July 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    About seeking help from NGOs etc,I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it is the wrong move. How do I know? I know because I went to the Welfare Office in Surulere when 2 years into my marriage to my very violent husband tried to take my son away. Now,I was 25 with no street smarts and noone to help me. I ran to them and made my report only for the man to start treating me like a hostile witness during the talk. Imagine my shock as I watched my husband and him drive off for drinks at the end of one such mediation and another time he was thanking my husband for crediting either his phone or account,not sure which. Needless to say I never went back and he closed the case cos I was not credible.
    I had also run to Census police and was told “madam,we don’t get involved in family matter.Go home and be a good wife” even though I was bleeding and clutching my wailing 18 monthold son.
    My 2cents? NOBODY will come to your aid. So start saving in a secret account now(if unemployed).Pack an emergency bag with some cash,ATM card,kids basic needs,documents,spare key and cellphone with credit. Stash it somewhere easily accessible eg kitchen.I already have these things and I’m just waiting for my acc. balance to get to a certain point. God help me and my kids.

  62. AnotherIfy

    July 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention that I went to my pastor AND his wife and was told to renounce my sins and pray the fervent prayer of the righteous that availeth much. My mom said to tough it out till the kids finished Uni. I spoke to a million lawyers who told me that I would definitely lose custody of my kids cos he’s a banker with a bigger,steadier income source than job-seeking me.Also, that the Nigerian Judicial System is unashamedly Patrilineal for the most part. There
    were many other places I went to and with each rejection,I got more desolate such that I contemplated suicide. It’s just the thought of my kids that prevents me ending it all (6 years later). Just reinforcing my point that NOBODY but you can save you. Make the decision and quietly start putting plans in place.

  63. Kayma

    July 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Been in an abusive relationship is the worst thing that can happen to anyone. Getting out of it for good is the best thing that happen to you and those you would be inspiring….

  64. Lola X

    July 6, 2011 at 9:58 am

    LOL @ first person and person who asked if there’s a prize for it. Hehehe!!! Great article though! Nice read!

    Lola x, London
    http://lola-x.blogspot.com

  65. tmtmtmte

    July 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    This is my take: d batterer and the battred are both with the kind of dysfunctional psyches that get enabled by the other dysfunctional psyche.
    A batterer has no sense of self worth and only feels in control by abusing and hitting something/one he perceives as weak or helpless, the battered as well as little or no self-worth and needs to be validated by the ‘ attention’ she’s getting from the batterer. Just like a shark is drawn to blood they will always find eachother.

    The above however,is not the case for every coupe even though I still cannot fathom any good enough reason to stay in abusive relationship after all I won’t intentionally take a cocktail of arsenic,strychnine and cyanide.

    Since we all know that individuals ‘ in love’ are not exactly the most rational, I think we should cry for help on their behalf. Call me amebo if you like,but if you are my friend and I see you with panda eyes,swollen lips,sprained wrist more than 1ce, imma tell your ma or ur pa.If I see you with a fracture even 1ce I will so sing,you will think I’m VOA.
    If you are not my friend I will only sympathise and empathise with you.
    I don talk my own

  66. toby

    July 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    seriously i really cnt seem to understand why a woman will stay in a relationship where a man claims to love and he BEATS u.its very amazing what other proof do women need to know that these men dnt love them nt an even an iota of love. ask urself dis questions r u a bunching bag? so why shuld u stay in relationship like dat.the best way out is to leave that man and get closer to God.Getting closer to God for urself will get u d right man u hv bin lookn for and u can be sure he is nt a woman beater.

  67. thelma

    July 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    note, for every abusive relationship have in mind you cannot and should not under any circumstance stay for your children, two. no man i mean no man who hit’s you love’s you.God defines love to us and he didn’t say that love demands beating to show love or abusive words to show love. any guy who hits you doesn’t have resspect for you and a man who does not respect you would never see you for who you really are.just have it in mind that any a man that treats you the way Jesus would treat you, truly loves you and trust me he is out there some where. may the lord guild you.

  68. aisha

    October 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    yes ohhhh

  69. aBEg

    December 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Any Man who hit’s a woman is not sure of his position………word!!!

  70. zeebabe

    July 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Nice writeup. I strongly believe in the view that domestic violence is a vicious cycle. handed down from low self esteemed fathers to their wicked sons. Yes! i agree dat we must be strong voices for these victims. But are they all victims ….? My neighbour’s bf beats her blue black ( thank God, SHE SUPER BLACK IN COMPLEXION to hide bruises). He comes everyday, locks her in d house and seriously, brushes ds babe. I moved into d compound recently and was horrified the first tym i witnessed d beatings. i banged on the door until he opened it. he came out all innocent accusing her of screaming without reason. Then, realised it was an everyday thingy. I talked to her several tyms to dump his broke jobless arse but shes still cooking special 3 Course delicacies for him after every beating. Nowadays, as soon as, i hear her scream , i just shout from my room, ” well done ooo. i can hear you” . Me, i cannot go out or advise her again, lialia! make dem no go beat me join.

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