So today is another November 25th and the whole world is celebrating a day marked for the “Elimination of Violence against Women” and we here at Dishusbandmata are not left out. C.A.D.A is actually one of the means by which we seek to help to ensure healthy relationships, raising awareness of Domestic abuse in churches.
In honour of this day, throughout this month, our focus has been on Domestic abuse, the various forms, being able to recognize it, ways to prevent it and the need to seek help sometimes.
If there is anything I know from listening and observing people, nothing devastates a woman more than not having peace in her home. When a place where she is meant to feel safe and be taken care of turns to a den of terror, she is left sometimes with no choice but to flee. The sad thing is sometimes she does not just do any externally fleeing but internal withdrawal and before we know it, her essential being has disappeared. Covered with several layers of pain and disappointment, she decides to hide her true self, her needs and begin to identify with falsehood. She begins to tell herself, maybe it doesn’t really matter, maybe it is my fault, If only I could be more submissive and slowly she begins to accept what is happening to the detrimental of her whole being.
I still remember on an Easter Sunday in 2014 while I was waiting for a bus at the bus stop. While I was waiting there, a taxi parked in front of the house opposite me. I was not envious but wished also that I could afford a taxi rather than waiting endlessly for a bus. It was not long before a lady who was nicely dressed in African attire came out of the door. It was obvious she was the one who ordered the taxi.
Immediately she came out I knew something was wrong. There was a man following closely behind her. He appeared very angry and I noticed he was shouting angrily at her, moving his fists in the air in what appeared to be an unfinished fight. She got into the taxi but this did not deter him. He was giving punches and almost ripping her headgear apart. He was also leaning against the taxi making it difficult for the taxi driver to make an escape with the lady . It was horrendous . At one point, he managed to take a breath and as he leaned off slightly from the passenger window, the taxi driver sped off with the woman .
Obviously the quarrel must have begun at home. She was going to church and I thought if he could publicly beat her like this, what else would he be doing in the house. I felt sorry for the woman. I wondered if as she got to the church, the ushers would be able to sense that she was beaten on her way to church. Some people would say it was the Sunday morning demons at work who were always doing extra duties on Sunday morning so that by the time people reached the church premises, they were too angry and hurt to even concentrate. As a bystander watching, I was angry. To be honest, I was mad. How could he? What gave him the right to beat the woman? It was foreign to my experience and it broke my heart when I discovered that it was more rampant than I thought.
Fast forward to almost three years later. A friend wanted me to send him some stuff in another city. The only issue was we needed an intermediary to pick up the things from my place and take it to his city. This problem was solved as my friend eventually told me a nice friend of his would visit his city from mine and as such, he could pick up the things.
An appointment was fixed and when the guy appeared at my doorstep, he was the man I had seen years ago beating his wife publicly.
I was too shocked for words. He acted so nice . I knew but I double-checked and mentioned to him that his face looked familiar. I enquired and he confirmed he lived in one of those houses. I did not need any confirmation though. The horror and pain I saw inflicted on the woman’s face made it difficult to forget his face.
She must have re-applied her make-up that day before she finally got to church that day.
And it is sad, quite a shame that some of our women are still coming into the church like that. Having been beaten by the men who said they will love and cherish. Don’t get me wrong, I know of some women also who are violent against their husbands but today, our focus is on ending Violence against Women .
Let us all join the fight and respond rightly and biblically as C,A.DA says .
I look forward to a world where women can feel safe because violence against them is alien.
Happy Novemeber 25th
Happy International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women.