'The Kenyan woman always stays in an abusive relationship'
05 September 2014, 15:07
Nairobi - I
once read something interesting on Tumblr that went along the lines of… " in a
fit of anger, you take a plate and smash it into a wall, your anger dissipates,
then you realize you have just damaged something costly. All of a sudden you
are really sorry you did it and you pick the pieces up. You tell the plate
sorry, and take some really strong and “effective” superglue and piece it all
together. You are gladdened by the
results, as all the pieces fit and stick together. BUT… you can never hide the
cracks no matter what you do, paint it, put another pretty piece on top of it
to try and cover it, the cracks will always still be there…" It becomes something that sticks with you
used this as an intro because it just hits the nail on the head for me, I am
not talking about married couples here but “dating relationships”.
are strong, at least most are, it is a fact of life that we cannot dispute
against. So when this person you trust, I am going to assume you do so, since
you are in a relationship with them, raises their strength against you for the
first time, it shocks you. It is not something you expected. So it will not be
like, " I am packing my bags and leaving right now…" That is rule 101 for women
when signs of violence arise and there will be signs because it never just
happens. As a clever woman you will always be able to tell.
Linda* 25 has been in a relationship for 7
years with this man, older than her. It is a Kenyan old school kind of
relationship. I call it that because she started dating him in her last year of
high school, and when a Kenyan relationship graduates past three years we all
know you are getting married. So all through University, they have been dating,
on her final year, Tommy* 29 moves out of his parents’ house and gets his own
apartment. At first she goes to see him bit by bit, some effects are left
behind until she eventually has her own closet there. Weekend visits turn into
week long visits and soon enough she practically lives there. Linda has liberal
parents, so not much trouble there. When two people live apart and move in
together you can be assured that 70-80% of the time, paradise will be
short-lived. Linda is not stupid enough to tell me that she did not see it
coming, like I said, if you are a clever woman you will always be able to see
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is just in shock most of the time that it happened, and it was not a slap in
the face but a real ‘ngumi’ in the face, like a boxing match, only that her as
the other party was not aware it was happening. Even before she moved in, the
relationship had not been doing all too well, so in an effort to improve it,
she moved in. But things went downhill all too fast. Her first sign were his
displays of anger, if making a point, he would throw his hands around in very
aggravated gestures, and Tommy, does not like being ignored so her thinking
that if she kept quiet, it would end, he got angrier. First incident before the
hit, he just threw her breakfast on the floor on her birthday since she did not
answer his nitpicking. His rebuttal was, " I bought the food so I can throw it
if I want…" . At the back of her head she knew something was not right but she
stayed on. She confided in her friends about it, she could not talk to her
mother as they are not too close. Another reason why a lot of domestic violence
never gets reported or acknowledged here in Kenya, is because the victims do
not have the right confidant to tell them how to go about it. Most of our
mothers are so old school that we grew up seeing them experience it, such that when
it eventually happens to you, you do not know what to do or who to turn to.
So when the hit came, Linda had a swollen jaw
for almost a week, the guy never even took her to hospital, she was not
employed so no people to closely scrutinize you and ask, she never even told
her mother. But when she did, her mother’s first reaction was,’…kwaniulifanya
nini..?’ After that, she even regretted telling her about it.
least she is not sitting there feeling sorry for herself, the one thing she
realized from that incident is never to trust a man or anyone for that matter,
just be dependent on yourself. Because when all is said and done, it will be
you with the swollen jaw, no job prospects, no money to take yourself to the
hospital and living in some man’s house- she does feel stupid though. You
rarely can go back and ask your parents because in most cases our parents are
just clueless in some matters, they still live in the old ages.
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a young woman you need to realize, no one should be hitting you, you are not
anyone’s property for them to keep changing the commandments on how they should
treat you. Someone has not even married you, has not done the rites, even when
he does, you have just got to walk away. Because, once someone uses the
strength they should have been protecting you with to hurt you, a form of trust
is broken and it can never be pieced together, no matter how hard you try.
Truth is, you may end up being too broken and can never be pieced together,
next time it will not be a swollen jaw but a punctured brain which you may
never wake from. In the end, you just get a different view of the person you
are with you respect them less. This makes them the person not meant for you, you
need to be able to respect your spouse. Some people just bring out the worst in
another person as opposed to the best. What may surprise you is that this
person may be completely different with someone else, hence, for every man
there is a woman and vice versa. That hogwash about seven women for one man, I
am sure was made up by some Western Kenyan man who wanted to his 100 cakes like
Akuku Danger and eat them all to exhaustion.
facts on domestic violence, courtesy ‘www.safehorizon.org’
'The Victims…..One in 4 women will experience domestic
violence during her lifetime.
more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and
men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
Women are more
likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men,
Women ages 20 to
24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
Every year, 1 in
3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former
to World Health Organization, 40% of all murders of women worldwide, are
carried out by an intimate partner.
on the other hand, is one of those countries that still has no provisions that
can outlaw domestic violence.
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