Monday, 26 May 2014


By: Ada Oyiboka
A few weeks ago, my darling friend Bisi came visiting; although I was a little bit surprised but I was happy that my boring weekend was going to be interesting. Immediately she saw me, she gave me a big hug but her big mouth was simply uncontrollable. Ada what’s up; na wa for you sef, person no dey see you again! You are just making all the money and forgetting all your close friends. My dear it’s really not my fault its work. I have been really busy, my schedule has drastically changed and the worst part is that I do not have an assistant.

You are joking, how is that possible? You work in a big firm so you should have an assistant at your level! Now I guess you totally understand. My dear I do. So Bisi how are you doing? Abeg give me full gist, you know it’s been a while we last saw; before I forget how is Femi. Ada he is alright. Babe what do you mean alright, are you both still together. Yes we are but you know how my relationship is. I really don’t want to talk about it.

I was totally shocked when she said that. So you mean he still abuses you verbally and physically? Yes he does, it has even become worse. So what are you still doing with him? Ada you know age is no longer on my side, besides that we have been dating for over 5 years. He knows my parents and I visit his parents regularly. So!!! What kind of rubbish are you telling me Bisi? Would you prefer to be found dead than having a broken relationship and being single?

 If he is doing all these mean things to you know how you think it would be when you both eventually get married. I think this is by far the most ridiculous thing you have told me today.
I was so sad and angry with all the things she had told me but what I can’t understand is why women stay in abusive relationships or remain silent. "Why can’t a lady leave if it's that bad?" I guess only those who are being abused can understand why they stay. 

However Bisi, I probably think these are the reasons why some ladies don't leave their abusive partners:

1.       Fear: The number one reason for not leaving is fear. Our fears are not unfounded given the fact that battered women are most at risk during leaving or after having left an abusive relationship. It is very important that our expression of fear not be minimized.

If a decision to leave has been made, a safety plan must be put in place if you have reason to be afraid for your life. Don't take any chances if your partner threatened to kill you. When you're dead.. you're dead... that's it.

2.       Lack of Resources: Since one of the major components of abuse is isolation, we often lack a support system. Our family ties and friendships have been destroyed, leaving us psychologically and financially dependent on our abusive partner.

3.       Lack of Finances and Economic Reality: The economic reality for women [particularly those with children] is often a bleak one. Perhaps economic dependence on the abuser is a very real reason for remaining in the relationship. Public assistance programs have been drastically reduced and those that remain provide inadequate benefits.

4.       Children: Being a single parent is a strenuous experience under the best of circumstances, and for most women, conditions are often far from fair and just when it comes to receiving either equal custodial access or full custody of their children from the court system.

The enormous responsibility of raising children alone can be overwhelming. Often, our abuser may threaten to take the children away from us if we make attempts to leave.

5.       Feelings of Guilt: Sometimes we may believe that our partner is "sick" and/or needs our help; the idea of leaving can thus produce feelings of guilt.

6.       Promises of Reform: Our abuser promises it will never happen again; we want to believe this is true.

7.       Sex-role Conditioning: Most women are still taught to be the family care-giver and care-taker. To leave is to abandon them and therefore admit failure.
8.       Religious Beliefs and Values: Religious beliefs reinforce the commitment to marriage. Many faiths hold that the wife is responsible for the welfare of her family. This may be a powerful reason for staying in a destructive relationship.
9.       Societal Disbelief Concerning Battered Women: Many people turn a "deaf ear" to marital violence and believe that what goes on behind closed doors is a "private matter."

The observance of a burglary, child abuse, or even cruelty to animals in the neighbourhood might quickly be reported; whereas, an assault on a wife or significant other may not and often is not reported.
10.    Love for Spouse: Most people enter a relationship for love, and that emotion does not simply disappear easily or in the face of difficulty. After a battering, our abuser is often extremely penitent.

Because our self-esteem is so low following the incident, the apologies and promises of reform are often perceived as the end of the abuse.

Bisi, I wish you the very best in any decision you decide to take but I would rather see you single and happy than living a life of fear that might eventually lead to you death.

No comments: