The story doing the rounds on Facebook is that a woman fatally stabbed her husband following news that he had fathered a child outside of marriage. From what I hear, she had attacked him the night before in a domestic violence rage upon hearing the news, slashing a deep gore on his left shoulder. The couple had been counselled by a spiritual leader (a pastor, I believe – more on that later), and all seemed to be well, but he didn’t rise the next morning, dying from a deep stab wound to the neck.
Since this story went round, there have been all sorts of accounts: some say she was mentally unstable, others say she had previously suffered years of abuse from the husband and had simply snapped, and yet others try to justify it in the mind-fuckery known as “Let’s see how the men like it now the table is turned on them!”
There have been many stories on social media concerning rape, abuse, paedophilia and all sorts that we here at Viva Naija simply do not cover because this is neither a platform for salacious gossip nor mindless rumours just for the sake of entertainment.
This is different though because the facts here do not matter: I really do not care who, what, where, why or how. Someone is no longer with us through the act of violence and we have to address – YET AGAIN – the dangers of domestic violence and more importantly, people’s mindset towards it.
- It is NEVER right or justified. Ever. He or she annoys you? Go for a walk. If it is deeper or pathological with you that you cannot keep your hands to yourself, seek help for your anger and control issues. There is no explanation or justification for it.
- Domestic violence is as dangerous and as tragic for men as it is for women. Do not live your life in fear, humiliation or pain. Make steps to getting out.
- Getting out is not always as simple as walking out the door. Take the steps required to ensure permanent safety: a diary of abuse, money, a safe refuge,a new phone…
- If your life is ever in danger, forget #3 and LEAVE. Dressed, naked, a place to stay or not. Just LEAVE. Please.
- Pastors, imams, rabbis and Jenny from accounting are not trained counsellors. Seek the kind of help that will prolong your life and well-being.
- If you ever hear of someone experiencing domestic violence, Be. A. Friend. A friend is someone who isn’t in a hurry to attend a funeral. A friend supports the person until they can find their way out of the dark place themselves. A friend does NOT quote bible at a hurting person. That’s being a dick, not a friend, and nobody likes a dick.
- There are resources. If you are ever strong enough to stretch out a hand, there is help everywhere you turn. If you live in the UK, please do check out domesticviolenceuk.org. If you are in Nigeria, Domestic Violence Nigeria is an amazing first port of call.
I did not want to write about this, but the bias and ignorance raging on social media needs balance. We need to address this from time to time, but even this short piece has worn me out.
Please do not be a statistic – neither for the mortuary nor for the cell. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay alive.
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