I was able to catch up with Ayo Sonoiki’s Thinking Aloud With Ayo-Love Doesnt Hurt episode on Domestic Violence. She interviewed Mary Akangbe, author of Gifts, Roses and Bruises and a survivor of a domestic violence.
I liked the episode so much, I decided to write reasons why I think some women remain in abusive relationships. I have known women who have had abusive partners over the years. My counsel had been for them to leave the home and the relationship.They have moved on from those relationships, but it took a while. For one, it took years to finally leave the relationship.
Domestic abuse takes different forms: it could be verbal, physical, financial and emotional. Most times, it hides under a camouflage of love. This weekend, I visited a friend up North and what was meant to be a nice afternoon bbq turned out to be rather sad. For the first time, she divulged details of verbal abuse she was enduring in her relationship. She told of her private tears and her anguish, her frustrations and mental torture at what her life had become. Frankly, you would never know!
It is not always easy to counsel your friend to leave her man.They live in a beautiful home, they drive fancy cars, on the surface, they have a lot going for them……… I did what I did best: listened and gave her a hug or two. She had some major decisions she needed to make. I couldn’t make them for her.
Domestic abuse is a reality within all communities especially black ones. A lot of the constraints women face are cultural. ‘I must be respectful’.’God can change the man’, ‘ I can bear all things’, when you are in that situation, the obvious solution is unclear as one remains falsely optimistic that the aggressor will change or that the abuse will stop. It never does. Men who hit their wives, who abuse and batter their women never, ever change. Their brutality only gets worse.
What I offer here are 5 reasons or snapshots why some women found it hard to leave abusive relationships.
1. There was a pattern of low self esteem. A woman stays in a relationship where she allows only the man to validate her. A woman who lacks self confidence in her own abilities will find it hard to walk away from the abuser in a relationship if she is wrapped in the bubble of his words. It also may well be that over a period of time, the man’s words have eroded her confidence.
2. Many women think they cannot find love ever again aside from their abusive partners. Most will love again if they exercise due patience. Some women find that they are indebted to their partners for whatever reasons, they spend the rest of their lives in servitude.
3. Financial reasons tie some women down especially if the man is the bread winner or if the woman has low earning power. It can also work the other way where the man takes out loans and credit cards in the name of his wife (who is more financially stable) and refuses to pay it back. I have seen African men act as bullies financially to their wives. I have seen some men refuse to pay their rent, bills and so on knowing fully well, that the woman is unable to pay because she is looking after the children. These men are just wicked.
4. A woman may have been brought up with the idea that marriage lasts for ever and that it is for ever or for worse. Along side this is the compulsion to remain because ‘he is the father of my children’. I know women who stayed in abusive relationships for years only to leave after decades of tolerating the abuse. If you would eventually leave, why not leave now? No woman should endure emotional, financial, sexual and physical abuse. A man who is violent emotionally, sexually, verbally is not setting the right example for his children. No child should remain in an abusive home, abuse on the mother damages children and in many cases, irreparably.
5. Many women stay because they are afraid. The unknown may be traumatic for whatever reasons.
There are many more reasons. Like I have said, when I first wrote the piece, I was inspired by Ayo’s episode, but this weekend’s bbq showed me that not all marriages are well, not all men are sane and not every woman would leave her bully/abuser husband.
Published in TELL.
She is the best selling Author of the book ‘The Giant Within Us’. Interview coming soon!
To be honest, when we see, hear or get to know what others around us are doing, we can be a part of that process by helping them get the word out. I choose too anyways. It takes a lot for any one to be somebody. It takes even more in our post religion, post family, post God world to find a group of young people who are making a difference in their communities. These young people have chosen to over come their limitations and challenges by exploring a side of them, they are passionate about. We all face limitations anyway, it is not peculiar to any one group. The most important thing is how we shine through inspite of all.
I have only recently discovered the talent in the young man/visionary Samson Sammy-shoots Falodun. Samson amongst many other things, is able to do wonders with cameras. I have seen a couple of the things he can do and I like them. I can do things as well, I do not think, I have it yet on cameras and videos. His baby is Faculty Uk : a web based show created to promote talent in acting, raping, singing, acting and anything creative pretty much. His shows have respective view numbers as well.
I haven’t spoken to Samson, but I will soon on my radio show, so watch this space. Already, I know I am going to be bowled over by what Samson wants to achieve with his life. I love where he is now and I want to help him get more work if that is what he needs. I just to let the world know that there is an amazing producer out there, who can work magic with pictures and photos.
I have also taken the liberty to take Samson’s photos from his Facebook page. I am sure he wont mind:)
The name of his website is: Big Circle Media.
I have just seen this video directed and edited by Samson Falodun and it excites me! He is a young man in his early 20’s, holding down a job and doing this. Take a look at the quality of his videos. I feel so inspired that I am writing a post about his first video production. Have a watch and tell me what you think. It is not all about job seekers allowance, getting girls pregnant or getting into drugs and crimes, here is a young black man doing something creative. I want to salute that. A big up then to Faculty UK!
Episode 1: FacultyUK
Presenter: Lola Michelle
I have a new blog on Trumpet Newspapers as part of my work to focus on the lives and times of women of African origin living in the UK.
I write a column for TELL Magazine which compares life in the UK with Nigeria. This new blog is important though because I have felt for a long time though that African women need a voice. This is that voice. It looks at life in the UK for us black women with a fresh set of eyes.
Hope you enjoy reading. Watch this space for the first column.