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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 3

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The look on Barry’s face scared me. I knew something terrible awaited me in the living room. I wondered if it was the police or worse still Samsudeen. I wondered if whatever lay ahead would signal the end of the fairytale life I lived. I wondered if Barry would stick with me regardless of what he had heard or was gonna hear. His silence was deafening.

“I love you Barry”
It was a silent, gut-wrenching plea. It was a desperate affirmation of what we shared and a subtle reminder of the vows we took.

Barry held me hand and squeezed it softly without saying a word and then I opened the door and walked into the living room with a deep breath suspended in my lungs…

Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. I let out the air in my lungs in a loud whoosh as I ran to Siki’s side.

“OMG, Siki were you in an accident? Are you alright? Is that a hand print on your face? Who did this to you? Oh God!”

Siki had been battered. Her face was red and there was a distinct hand print on her cheek. Her clothes were torn and she had cuts and bruises in several places. She groaned in pain, unable to answer my barrage of questions. Her eyes were wet with tears and filled with regret.

“Babe let’s take her to the clinic. That’s why I needed you to dress up”.

I was startled by Barry’s voice. I had forgotten he was behind me. No wonder he had looked so grim when he walked into the bedroom. This was obviously domestic violence and Siki’s husband was his very respected boss. I guess Barry couldn’t fathom how a man so cultured could batter his wife but I knew many men were two faced monsters. I felt really bad for Siki.

Barry and I had to carry Siki to the car. She had no strength left in her. At the hospital Barry called Siki’s husband and the doctor informed us that Siki had three fractured ribs and would be admitted. I quickly called Amaka and Zainab. I didn’t call Mamus, I figured Azeez would still be at her house and didn’t wanna risk seeing him again. Siki’s husband arrived at the hospital very alarmed and making a whole lot of fuss. If I hadn’t already found him guilty in my head, I would have believed he was innocent. He made quite a show and some of the nurses began to sympathize with him. An older matron walked up to me and whispered that many wife batterers were good actors. I guess she saw the confusion in my eyes. She eyed him coldly and walked off.

Siki’s husband walked up to us and shook Barry’s hand thanking him for bringing his wife to the hospital. Barry asked him what had happened with the last shred of civility he had. I knew Barry was protective about my friends and anti-domestic violence. Siki’s husband sensing the accusation in the air, swore that he had just gotten home when he got Barry’s call. As we were talking, Siki was wheeled past us on a stretcher enroute the theater. Apparently the doctors needed to perform a procedure and as she saw her husband her eyes widened with fear. He ran after her but the matron who had spoken to me earlier blocked him and asked him to take a seat.

Three hours later, we were still there and Barry and Siki’s husband were struggling to keep their eyes open. I told Barry to go home that I would stay here till Siki was stable and suggested that Siki’s husband take him home and get some rest himself. The men protested but I told Barry that the wine I had drunk earlier in the evening had me very alert and that I would be fine and besides both of them had work the next day. They finally agreed howbeit reluctantly. I had other motives for wanting to be alone with Siki. I needed to hear the truth. Just then Amaka called and said she and Zainab were on their way and that they had had to pick up Mamus hence the long delay.

Siki finally came out, weak but alive and she was bandaged up in so many places that if I could find the humor within I would have likened her to an Egyptian mummy. How did we women get ourselves into such situations? I wondered if this was the first time her husband was beating her. I wondered if she knew of his violent streak prior to marriage. I reckoned she did, these days it was all for the money. I held her hand and she opened her eyes and gave me a painful smile.

“Siki who did this to you?”

There was a long pause and she turned her head slowly to see if there was anyone else in the room.

“My husband”

“I knew it, that evil son of a…Na God go punish him. Ah! Men can be so wicked…”

Siki raised her hand as if to say no;

“My first husband”

I opened my mouth and closed it and opened it again. No words came out. What was Siki saying?

….to be continued

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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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7 Ways to Survive an Abusive Relationship!

7 Ways to Survive an Abusive Relationship!

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Many women are in abusive relationships behind closed doors and suffer in silence because they are afraid or have too much to lose if they walk away. If you are one of these women then this is for you. I know sometimes a man may threaten to take your kids or kill you if you leave him. You may even be stuck in the mud because you care too deeply about him to leave or care too much about the financial security or social standing that comes with being this person’s partner but self-preservation is key and many times abuse has escalated to manslaughter with the woman being the victim. Even if he doesn’t kill you, what happens to your self-respect, your peace of mind and your health? The scars he leaves are not always concealed with some makeup and clothing, many of them are emotional and linger far longer than the painful memories which you hasten to erase. I know, you know the best thing to do is leave him, to run away as fast as you can and never look back but sometimes it’s not as easy as it looks and I can understand that. Sometimes there’s no escape and I get that. But all hope is not lost. Here are 7 things that will help you survive an abusive relationship and I do hope at least one of them is able to give you hope and more importantly a plan!

1. Financial Freedom: In my line of work, I have met dozens of abused women and it’s sad that most of these women were old timers. It wasn’t their first time in a hospital but when I asked why they still stayed, they’d hang their heads and say they had no means of taking care of themselves or their kids if they left. If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to plan an escape and realistically we know you ain’t going anywhere if you don’t have any money so how do you get some if you are a housewife with no sustenable income? 3 things:
– Save
– Sell
– Borrow
Save a little of any money that enters your hand. Cut down the grocery shopping or any shopping you do. Even if you save a little at a time, as the little pile increases so will your hope for freedom and if there is nothing to save cos some men give no allowances for you to hide some money away then sell something valuable that you possess. The opportunity cost isn’t hard to deduce after all your grand mother’s necklace is of no use to you if you are dead! And if you have nothing of value, find someone who can give you a loan or just spare some cash. You never know how helpful people can be till you ask.

2. Admit & Confide: This is perhaps one of the hardest things to do but you need to admit to yourself that you deserve better than this and actually see your relationship for what it really is. You need to stop feeling sorry for your man (he isn’t the one getting pulverised is he?) or defending his actions and most of all you need to work up the nerve to confide in someone. It could be a member of the family, a good friend or colleague or just someone you trust and most importantly I’d suggest it was someone who could give some practical help and not just sympathize.

3. Fight Back: Men who abuse women are essentially cowards. You need to learn to fight back. You could learn boxing or karate which teach techniques that can help you overpower someone who is physically stronger than you or attend a self-defence class where you can learn about the sensitive points on a man’s body that have maximum impact when hit and if all else fails, a kick to the balls may stall him enough for you to escape his angry fists but I must warn you that there’s a thin line between subduing and aggravating him and if you choose to fight back your technique has to be good enough to scare the hell out of him or else he’ll come after you like an infuriated beast.

4. Dig up Dirt: Everybody has secrets, find one about him that compels him to behave. You could warn him that if he ever hits you again, you would expose his secret and makesure the evidence is somewhere beyond his reach and in the hands of someone who will make it public if she suddenly stops hearing from you (lest he murder you). Blackmail in any form is underhanded and not to be encouraged but this is a desperate situation and I am sure we can make an exception.

5. Gather Evidence: Most wife beaters keep a calm, cool exterior far removed from their actual personality and many times when news of his abuse becomes public, it’s easy for him to deny it or just blame the woman for pushing him too far which is why you need evidence. This is the era of smart phones and other electronic devices and if you can hide a cam to make a sex video surely you can hide one to make an abuse video. Women who have lived with abusive men will tell you that they know just when he is going to hit them or what would surely trigger the abuse so rather than cowering in fear waiting for your man to come home and beat you up because you bashed the car, set a video camera in place. Being forced to watch a video of him hitting you along with the rest of the world might just be the cure he needs (YouTube is your friend!)

6. The 3rd Party: Most men will not abuse a woman if there’s someone else present so it would be a good idea to invite your mother in law or a relation to stay with you. You could hint that you don’t want the person letting your husband know it was your idea but that you would really appreciate the company. It would also be a good idea to pick a respected relative or one from his side of the family.

7. Pray Until Something Happens (P.U.S.H): God does answer prayers and while you are at it, go for some counselling sessions. These are surprisingly helpful and some men might even agree to come along. The Bible says that a gentle answer turneth away wrath. Avoid getting into arguments anyway you can. Sometimes to see the change we desire, the change must begin with us.

I know many women would rather suffer in silence than leave their marriages and yes there are others who saw the signs before they got married but hoped he would change. If you do choose to stay, remember that your life, health and happiness are a priority. There is no shame in seeking refuge!

Have a great day Chutzpah fam!

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Relationships

 

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