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Quincy Iwediokpulu: Why Do Victims of Abuse Stay?



When I learnt about Messha’s death a year ago (for those who don’t know her, she was a fashion designer), I was in shock for like an hour. I had that my rechargeable torch-like kind of eye that was plotting to explode in tears. The truth is, the kind of electrical shock that went through me that day eh, PHCN would have wanted to use me immediately for their laboratory research as an alternative source of power if they had known; because never had it occurred to me in my wildest dream, that someone as vibrant and sensational as Messha could pass away so suddenly and in such a horrid manner.

Yet, that was precisely what happened o.

It was like an Indian film without English subtitle.

I got into my office one day, turned on my PC, logged on to Facebook and then gboah!-Gory pictures of her, dead (two shots to her head).

As in, just like that.

But there was also a picture of the man who did it.

Her Ex-boyfriend.

Apparently (from the gist I gathered) Bobo had been physically abusing Aunty Messha for like so many years and it even started with a pinch (this is perhaps the reason I keep telling people: Not every pinch is foreplay material o. So please, be inspecting the pinches you receive).  From pinch, Oga graduated to all those Comot-for-here-kind of slap and I-was-just-joking-with-you-na kind of push. Then, to How-could-you-do-this-gboah kind of slap. Then to the unadulterated kind of punch, then to the gbisah-kind of kick and soon, the in-no-particular-order kind of beating followed.

And then, Aunty fled.

One would think that should have been the end of the whole ordeal, at least she had fled, but Oga could not imagine his life without Aunty. As far as he was concerned, he loved her too much to let her go. If he couldn’t have her, no one else could and so he went searching for her. He found the address of her new residence and while Aunty slept, dreaming of the potato chips she was going to make for her kids for breakfast, Oga shot her twice in the head.

A very sad ending.

But then we all know that this may perhaps rank least of the worst case scenarios we’ve seen or heard of. As a matter of fact, the newspapers/internet these days, are bombarded with different headlines about domestic violence and abuses, ranging from “he poured me acid” to “She cut off my pee-pee” to “He drove us off the bridge. I barely suffered”

Now personally, I get why anyone married to an abusive partner would be slightly afraid of walkaing-away despite the rough-handling (but then I don’t think there is any reason ghen-gheneous enough for that kind of lifestyle abeg. Jesus did not die on the cross of cavalry only for me to come and be enjoying battery. Hian no o!). There are the kids to consider, societal stigmatization attached to failed marriages, family, emotional and financial blackmail. However the part of this whole wahala that I I don’t understand is when Uncle has not married Sister yet and she is there taking backhand slap and uppercut from him.

Na to just call T.B Joshua o! For deliverance abeg.

Which one is “I luff him, he is nice and you don’t understand” kind of lamentation is that?

Biko, na to just bundle you o, throw you inside a pickup van and drive you all the way to Yabba-left and after like three months of their craze-medicine, you go begin see well.

Abi no be so?

Because frankly, I have no idea why anyone would want to remain in an abusive relationship where you and I know that the door is wide open and you could leave at any time.

Don’t get me wrong, I know and perfectly understand what the word ‘commitment’ means in a relationship. It’s honorable to be committed, but when your life is at stake and in danger, biko, na to pick race o! luff can wait abeg.

“He threatened to kill me” A friend of mine had said to me one day and I had stood, dumbfounded.

“He said if I ever leave, he is going to kill me”

“My God!” I exclaimed, finally finding my tongue.

“I swear, I don’t know what to do”

“Report to the police na. Hian! My darling, Report as in osiso and then, run for your dear life” I replied still flabbergasted

“I did my dear. I told the police but you know our police Na…they refused to take me seriously. So I dropped it”


Then, it occurred to me  that even when we try our possible best to make the necessary complaints, our security agencies don’t take it and/ us seriously. They prefer to rather wait for us to kpemen first so that they would now-nah come and be writing police report.

Hian o! God forbid abeg! May that never be our portion in Jesus’ name.

However I would still like to use this medium to beg them-our security agencies especially the Nigerian Police:

In Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon’s voice:

Our ogas, we know you people are incredulously efficacious in your devoir ….to…accord Magnificoes… in the propaganda of… dubious vagabonds in the societal splendor. So take care, to ameliorate your lackadaisicalness in in-toto towards the safety and barricading of the masses…. Thank you

In other words, biko you people should just protect us abeg.

But what is your take on this my people? Why do you think victims of domestic abuse still remain with their partners especially in a relationship? Is it really out of love or just a clear case of low esteem? Why would they think people who hit them still or actually do love them?

I would really love to know your thoughts.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Rui Vale De Sousa

Quincy Iwediokpulu is an Upcoming writer, fashion designer and an Accountant by profession. she owns and manage a blog called “The Q EFFECTZ” @ where she teaches interested individuals how to make cloth patterns, D.I.Ys and also likes to gist about life issues


  1. honey

    November 14, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    I love the write up. Had me reeling in laughter.

    • Carey

      November 16, 2015 at 5:29 am

      I thought it was unnecessarily flippant for a serious issue as domestic abuse. Ridiculous

    • Fashionista

      November 16, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      I have to agree.

  2. Jay

    November 14, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    They stay especially if they are married because they can’t imagine starting all over again. Some even hide the battery because to them it’s shameful. When children are involved it becomes harder. They become pawns in the game. Some men threaten to bar their wives from having access to the kids if they decide to leave or withdraw financial support if they decide to leave with the kids and this is hard especially for those that are home makers.
    Here in Nigeria it’s even harder because there are not that many support groups and the religious institutions that are supposed to provide succour will tell you divorce isn’t supported,your contract is till death do you part.
    Leaving isn’t impossible but it is a hard and treacherous road to ply. I know women who did it and survived, one is in Canada with 3 kids as we speak after leaving a beast that almost blinded her in one eye. It took the support of family and friends when she eventually came out of her shell to reveal the hell he was putting her through.
    It’s sad that things like this happen.i look at my two girls,treasures bestowed upon me by God and I can’t imagine one crazy mofo treating them like crap,God forbid. By His grace my children will be treated like the queens they are just like their dad treats their mum and I will raise my son to treat any woman he comes across like queens so he could get treated like a king too.

  3. Still hurting

    November 14, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I recently got engaged but got the shock of my life few weeks back over a silly argument, of why I was on the phone and didn’t respond to his questions. ( mind you, I didn’t hear him as I was on international phone with my parents over a family emergency). Dude hit me, almost choked me to death.. Well I called off the engagement. The silly part is that friends and siblings are telling me to accept him back as he has cried and begged.

    • Colour Purple

      November 14, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      He hit you and almost choked you to death because you didn’t respond when he was talking!! Really? Those people begging you to take him back are wicked and do not care about you. Please don’t be a learner, stay away from him, the next time you may not be so lucky to walk away alive.

    • Natu

      November 14, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      @stillhurting When someone shows you who they are, please believe them.

    • jennietobbie

      November 15, 2015 at 5:54 am

      the FIRST time. Useless making excuses for them to change.!!!

    • It will only get worse

      November 15, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Run for your precious life.He will continue to remind you of the worst beating he ever gave you anytime he feels like he is not getting his way .#storyofmylife …..and guess what the abuse will continue.For them that is the only way they get heard and obeyed.My fiancee beat me three times during my pregnancy five years ago.I stayed because I was depending on him for my stay here and financially.He even came to the hospital to threaten violence if I did not have CS because he was tired of making trips to and from the hospital .Baby was two weeks past due date.That was when I decided to move on with my life and not even care about his papers..I said NO he hit me .I asked the nurse if there was a place where abused women and children go to and she gave me a list.That was the last time I saw him as I put a restraining order on him.I heard he is in prison for violence .I lived in a shelter for about six months while seriously searching the Internet for love and I found it and got married.

  4. Cindy

    November 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I stopped feeling pity when a friend of my justified receiving a slap for not washing plate for a week. She said if she is the man, she would slap the female too. Not washing plate is unthinkable and is a good enpugh reason for battery. Where I wan start to dey help that one? Mind you, she was backed by other friends and I was the outsider in the argument. Most of these victims have low self esteem o jare. Only they can help themselves.

  5. Hashva

    November 14, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    For a moment I thought I was reading a write up from Isio, same writing style, the humor was on point. Now on the issue of battery it starts with the little things that test your boundaries and if they are not quickly put to right, th boundaries just keep shifting especially in marriage; I remember earlier in my marriage when my husband hit my finger cos I was pointing at him during an argument, I simply paused and looked him in the eye while saying “if you ever get it into your head to touch me aggressively again, just make sure you never eat in this house again cos I promise you a painful death”…believe me that was the one and only time he did.

    • FasholasLover

      November 15, 2015 at 5:32 am

      First time right babe! ??

  6. purpliciousbabe

    November 14, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Nooooooo..walk away…just stay prayed up that the guy doesnt pour acid or bring a gun etc Tell people around and your parents/police,

    Dont ever meet up with him.. Stay safe.

    Run if you notice anything weird.Follow your instinct.

    Finally, when leaving a violent partner, maximum security is paramount. You cant predict

    • purpliciousbabe

      November 14, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      Watch this video too. x

  7. Degree

    November 15, 2015 at 12:23 am

    This article right here reminds me of my cousin’s question to me after i recounted my child abuse experience. “If you were abused by her, y did u stay? “If u were not gaining anything, y didnt u leave? Did anyone tie you there? The questions struck me as insensitive. Of course now i know better but then i was a helpless child with no place and nobody to run to. Yes i was weak and someone exploited it. Pls bellanaija I want us to also look into the issue of child abuse. This is happening a lot in our society but everybody tends to ignore it. I was seriously abused as a child and teenager. Till today I feel so bitter and murderous about the whole experience. I feel vengeful towards those that abused me. This is the feeling that fosters terrorism and psychopathy. No day passes without my remembering the painful experience. How I was used, exploited and enslaved. Till now I can’t still answer that question but all I can say is that no human has the right to abuse another human whether physically, emotionally or otherwise. I wish we have a good social and legal systems that can fight for the weak and poor and discourage unjust treatments of these categories of ppl.

  8. Anonymous

    November 15, 2015 at 7:59 am

    @Degree…this is easier said than done but time does make it better. For me the anger has melted away only rears its head when I hear of other victims like you. Now you have control of your like, use that control make the best out of who you are. One day hopefully you meet someone who gets it. The past will not define us. Good luck and stay strong.

  9. Tosin

    November 15, 2015 at 8:24 am

    a terrific page. great article, wonderful comments.

  10. Dee

    November 15, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Maybe I am just a stuck up idiot, but I sort of cringed throughout this article. The tone was too playful for a topic so serious, but maybe it will be better reading for some.

    • zara

      November 15, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Ohh yeah I felt the same way…it is NOT a joke..

    • asake

      November 15, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      pls delete d idiot…I felt same way…2much humour for such a very delicate issue. sure I am not a stuck up idiot+

  11. jay

    November 15, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Meesha, not Messha. Great article by the way

  12. Olofofo

    November 15, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    This article is too funny and weak for a problem as serious as domestic violence #MyOpinion

  13. Nahum

    November 15, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Very nice article. We should also look at other types of abuse. I have found that a lot of men use this our culture of submission to abuse their wives. For example; if you are a submissive wife, you will do as I say, don’t question me onwhere I am going or what I’m doing, you are too skinny/fat, how many pieces of meat did you and the children eat today (yea, some men actually count meat in the pot), take 2000 naira and go to the market, a smart wife will manage with it, I cheat on you because you are(…fill in the blanks )..ladies if your husband gives you “advice” or is making “suggestions” and it hurts you or makes you feel bad and to make it worse, you can’t talk because he will turn around and call you a bad wife for arguing with him……its abuse!!

  14. poko

    November 15, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    My aunt; Oluchi has refused to leave an abusive marriage since like forever. Even when a human right group got involved in her case after she was found unconscious after she was beaten to stupor my her husband and his friend. She was tied to a chair. A neighbour took a pics of her battered face for evidence to show to the press and family. It was very serious. To cut the long story short, my aunt is still married to the mofo of a husband. She has 5 kids the oldest is 10. She’s like a baby machine for the man. It seems the reason she wouldn’t walk out of the marriage is that whenever such battering and emotional abuse take place her husband comes back with a gift like a new car or something expensive to beg for forgiveness. They now live in PH city. Away from the area..away from the church and family members who know about her abusive marriage. I just pray she is fine wherever she is. My heart goes to her almost everyday.

    • The real D

      November 16, 2015 at 8:08 am

      @ Poko, it appears to me that your aunt values material things more than her life. For someone like that their greed is unable to make them leave and as such not worthy of your sympathy. I am certain dude knows it too.

  15. jane(the real jane)

    November 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Kill him before he kills u.

  16. jane(the real jane)

    November 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Ok dnt kill any1. That’s a sin. But run for your life. Run! Run! Run, but if he stil hunts you, always have a weapon reaady. Because who naija police don help?

  17. Open Sesame

    November 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    @Dee, I was exactly the same as you. The tone of the article was so inappropriate for a topic as serious as this…especially considering the example of someone being murdered.

    People who stay in abusive relationships stay because the very nature of abuse is to disempower the victim such that they don’t think they can leave.

    They are made to believe that the abuser has total control of them & that they can’t break free. How the abuser chooses to do this is up to them – physical, sexual, emotional abuse, manipulation…whatever! The effects are the same.

    As one watching from outside it’s easy to say ‘But (s)he’s an adult,, why won’t (s)he just walk out?’
    The truth is the power dynamic at play here is one of an adult & a child (abuser-victim)…so age is irrelevant. Until a victim breaks free mentally (usually due to outside intervention), (s)he will never walk out.

    Victims of abuse need sympathy and care because of the emotional and psychological toll abuse takes on them…for many abuse is their normal because that’s what they saw growing up and it’ll take some time for them to see the situation for what it is.

    • asake

      November 15, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      I almost fell in love with you!…your comment depicts my exact thought!

  18. reqe

    November 15, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    When I heard of meesha’s death, it hurt like I actually knew her. She used to talk about her husband, her kids, her family life with so much love that it was unthinkable that he could do that to her. Some women justify abuse, some think it’s normal. Someone once told me, if your man doesn’t beat you at least once, he doesn’t love you. Where do you start with that? Rip Meesha and to those hurting in their relationship/marriages, please find the courage to speak up and get help. You are of more use to your family/kids alive than dead

    • Diuto

      November 16, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Did we read the same article. I believe her ex boyfriend tracked her and killed her. Anyways it didn’t say if he was the father of her kids though

  19. Alof

    November 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Thank God you were smart enough to do the right thing even though it might have been extremely difficult! Stay strong. Sending prayers and hugs

  20. dupsy

    November 15, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Do you really want to know why many abused victims in the Nigerian society don’t seek help? Look no further it is me and you and the majority of everyone reading this article and more with in our society. Have you ever had a problem and told any married woman or the average Naija woman? They will turn around and put the blame on your head. They always want to make it look like you are not up to the standard of your husband. Some I know will even take sides with the man killing you and tell you it is because you are not submissive enough, you don’t take the time to understand the crazy man, cook without making the meat too soft or hard or salty or even too sweet, you allow the children to cry and disturb him when he is watching television, etc. the list is endless.
    The worst ones are the women who flaunt their husbands gifts in front of your eyes even though they bought these things by themselves 90 percent of the time. They make you feel inadequate and if you are experiencing abuse at the ends of your husband, you will prefer to keep such to yourself until the worst happens! God help all abused victims!

  21. Shola Bassey

    November 15, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    the code-mixing and code-switching contributes immensely to the humour of this piece brilliantly but not neglecting the gist of the article. Domestic Violence or whatever name given to it is devastating and the fear in the victims is just sad. i might advice a reply of violence with violence like learning some serious self defense skills. you know. However, I can’t be myopic to the fact that two wrongs can never make a right.

  22. Notsure

    November 16, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Abuse doesn’t need to be physical. it can also be emotional. i have suffered from that, still suffering. He runs a group which fights against domestic violence but he is emotionally abusive and when i pointed it out to him last week he told me he knows. i am wondering why i am still here.

    • Diuto

      November 16, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Please leave before its too late. From emotional abuse it can become physical

  23. serene

    November 16, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Not every pinch is foreplay material o….babes, na serious talk you talk o. na from clap e dey take enter dance!

  24. Butch

    May 12, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Fantastic writer. I enjoyed the write-up. Good delivery.

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