Domestic violence, the gradual killer
Fellow women wished to be her; little did they know that Esther’s happy family was only a mirage. To Esther, slaps were regarded as ‘welcome home’, punches could be mistaken for dinner, rants and insults were always the goodnight greetings. Physical and emotional abuse was the order of the day at home, but a fake smile outside the home does the magic of hiding it from everyone. The desire of not wanting her children to grow up in a divided home, and the need to maintain the perception of a wonderful family to outsiders, made her stay strong; but a fateful day when she felt she came too close to death, spurred her to narrate her ordeal to a Life Coach.
Not many people get a chance to speak up and get out of an abusive and life threatening situation like Esther. For so many, before they get the courage to speak out, it is too late. In our society, we tend to trivialise certain behaviour; people tend to overlook or see a normalcy when a woman is being hit by her husband. The truth is, there is no rationality when an adult beats another adult.
Domestic violence destroys from within, the effect may not be seen immediately, but over the years, it destroys the victim’s self-worth, it withers the soul. It is high time the society stopped seeing women who aren’t married as incomplete. This mentality is one of the factors that make women afraid to speak up when they are being abused by their husbands; because they feel they are incomplete or nothing without a man.
There are 3 victims of Domestic Violence
1) The Abuser
2) The Abused
3) The Witnesses
Some Types of Abuse
1) Physical Abuse – An intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person or animal by way of bodily contact
2) Emotional Abuse – includes non-physical behaviours such as threats, insults, constant monitoring
3) Psychological Abuse – A form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting, or exposing, another person to behaviour that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Examples include: Isolating you from family and friends, Making threats against you, controlling what you do, who you talk to, and where you go. Attacking your vulnerabilities, like religious and cultural beliefs, physical appearance and more.
4) Financial Abuse – Preventing you from having or keeping a job, making you beg for money, not including you in financial decisions, taking your money and controlling your accounts, etc.
5) Verbal Abuse – Non-physical form of abuse such as ddegrading you in front of friends and family, Telling hurtful “jokes” despite your requests to stop, taking your statements out of context, name calling, yelling, accusations and insults.
6) Sexual Abuse – is usually undesired sexual behaviour by one person upon another. E.g: Unwanted touching, Demanding sex, Forcing sex, Name-calling with sexual epithets, Forcing you to have sex with others besides your partner, Insisting on anything sexual that frightens or hurts you, Refusing to use safe sex practices, Withholding sex as a form of control and more.
7) Academic Abuse – Preventing you from furthering your education, belittling your academic achievements, guilt-tripping you for studying etc.
Domestic violence is awful especially the emotional aspect of it, because there is no physical sign such as scars, for another person to suspect that you are being abused. This is why it is always advisable that before marriage, women, and even men, should watch out for traits or behaviour exhibited by their partners that could portray them as being violent.
When one is being abused, there is always a feeling of anxiety especially when the abuser is around the abused. The abused then becomes defensive and sometimes aggressive either verbally or physically to people who they are able to unleash their frustrations on.
A REAL and RESPONSIBLE man will always create a comfortable environment for his woman and would never make physical and emotional abuse an option. There is nothing a woman does that justifies her to be abused emotionally, physically, psychologically and even financially. Effective characteristics to prevent abuse include:
Fear of God
Seeing your wife as a partner and not a servant
Learn to walk away when provoked.
Always surround yourself with positive people
Men who are victims of Domestic Violence are encouraged to speak up! Do not die in silence because you feel as a man, you will be mocked when you open up.
Over the years, the significant effects that emanates from Domestic Violence include:
Low self esteem
Loss of self-worth and identity.
Accolade goes to the Lagos State Government for making Domestic Violence a crime. All other states should endeavour to follow suit as this will help tackle the issue of Domestic Violence in our country.
Any woman in Lagos State being abused should not hesitate to call the domestic violence toll free number – 0800-7273-2255; as serious punishment will be doled out for offenders. Emotional, verbal, psychological abuse needs to be eliminated! If you want to live, then let others live. Maturity, at the end of the day is the name of the game.
*** This article is a summary from The Uncensored Talk, a radio show hosted by Lanre Olusola on LagosTalks 91.3 Thursdays at 9.30pm. Is your life is spiralling out of control, are being abused? Do you want to stop being an abuser? Contact us today and let us help you – 08077077000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow The Catalyst on social media – @lanreolusola