A TALE OF TWO…A CRY FOR HELP!

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BIMPE

Too many sensations assailed her senses. The feel of flesh pounding on flesh,a sound like a deep animal-like howl of pain, the pungent smell and taste of blood mixed with warm sweat and salty tears. After a while, her body lost its valiant attempts to stay awake as it fell into an unconscious heap.  But…was this how it was in the beginning? Tunde had been a gentleman. Tall,broad shouldered and oh so very handsome. He was also very soft spoken. She would never forget the day he had spoken to her for the first time. She was very quiet and quite reserved and not one of the usual “flashy” girls in church. So it was to her utter amazement and joy when this Adonis walked  up to her with a smile and asked for her name and phone number. He called her later that evening and that was the beginning of a beautiful and whirlwind romance.One she had only dreamt of but never experienced. Tunde was everything she had ever wished for and more.

“But he was still human”, she thought, when she had first seen his flash of rage. Tunde had seen her talking and giggling with Emeka,her friend and colleague at work. She had excitedly introduced Emeka to him. However, with his mouth clamped tight shut like a sledge hammer, Tunde had turned his face away and said nothing. Later that evening, he gave her a resounding slap and warned her severely never to “embarrass” him like that in public,never again. She could not believe her eyes and ears. She left with a vow never to talk to him again. But like the prodigal son, Tunde had come weeping and begging. He loved her so much,that was why he did it. He would never do it again. His tears moved her icy heart and with tears in her eyes,she took him back…Four years later,two children together,here she was; beaten and bruised within an inch of her life….A victim enabling her tormentor.

DAVID

He sighed deeply as he cleaned the blood coming out from the deep gash on his forehead. His wife,Kimberly,had struck again. What she lacked in height,she amply made up for in strength and viciousness. A cute,petite woman with a smile that seemed to light up the room and a bright vivacious personality, Kim was everything Dave had always wanted in a woman. However,like a double edged sword,Kim’s vivacious personality was matched with an equal measure of short temper and aggressiveness. Her tongue was quick and her nails were even quicker. When angry, she would lash out venom from her tongue and every physical object in sight would be used hurt the object of her rage,usually him.

Normally,after their numerous fights,Kim would more than compensate him with rounds and rounds of make up sex. But now, David was clearly unhappy and confused. Apparently, he wasn’t nearly as masochistic as he thought he was. As a gentleman he had been taught never to hit a woman but he had not been taught what to do when a woman hits him.He knew he must do something quick or else, he would remain a victim;an unreported statistic.

Domestic violence is a phenomenon prevalent in the world in general and Nigeria in particular. It occurs in an intimate relationship or marriage and usually involves a pattern of physical,verbal or psychological abuse where the abuser uses threats,intimidation,physical violence etc to exert control,manipulate and dominate the abused. Most times, the abuser would ensure that his victim is dependent on him emotionally,physically,financially or even spiritually. This would in turn reduce the ability of the victim to resist this abuse. In most cases, the abuser usually seems like a responsible person in the society thus it may be very difficult or even impossible to know one from outside.

The abused on the other hand,acquires a sense of learned helplessness after suffering for so long.Thus, they may feel entitled to and even responsible for the abuse received. The sense of guilt and shame they feel,may hold them under for so long that after a while,it becomes easier for them to remain silent and sink into the shadows rather than open up and get help..

Domestic violence does not discriminate and anyone can be a victim. Though in most cases,the victims of domestic violence are female,statistics have shown that a lot of men suffer domestic violence also. A research conducted by the Mankind Initiative(A centre for abused men to seek help) showed that a whooping 38% of domestic abuse victims are male. The research also showed that when compared to their female counterparts,male victims are twice as likely to never tell anyone about their attacks. This probably occurs because culture and biology teaches that a man is always stronger than a woman. It is hardly believable that a grown man can be abused by a woman. Thus many victims,men and women alike would prefer to remain silent rather than suffer the cultural and social stigmatization which they may receive if they speak out.

Is there a way out? I like to think so. Being such a huge phenomenon enabled by culture and twisted religion,it may be quite difficult to be completely eradicated but it definitely can be reduced. Firstly,the victim should know that he/she is not at fault. They may not have the power to change the behaviour of the abuser but they have the power and responsibility to stop being victims. The second thing is to break the silence. Victims should try to talk to TRUSTED family and friends. Talking to religious leaders may also be helpful . The whole aim is to have a very strong support unit for the victim to rely on.Thirdly,the victim should have a “safety place” ie a safe environment for them and their dependents which would be inaccessible to the abuser. It could be the house of trusted friends or family. The state can also provide protection. In Nigeria, there is the Mirabel Centre which is a safe haven for domestic and sexual abuse victims.

These solutions are not in any way exhaustive but it is always up to the victim to determine whether or not to remain in that condition or to come out of it. There is always a way out. You may have a friend or family going through this ordeal. Encourage such a person to get help. You can be a listening ear or a ready shoulder to lean on. There are various institutions where you can encourage victims to get help. Just do something today.

The free helplines for Domestic and Rape Victims are listed below:

Rape Treatment Centre – 08056268573

Office of the Public Defender- 07080601080

Police-07032165181

Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation-08085754226

Mirabel Centre- LASUTH Ikeja

*THE PERMISSION OF THE DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE RESPONSE TEAM WAS OBTAINED BEFORE THIS INFORMATION WAS STATED.

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STRINGS FROM MY HEART

Hi everyone,

So here I am again, pouring out my heart to you . I wrote a poem about love. I have to warn you though, I have minimal experience in this area, so everything I have written here are just opinions coming from  limited experience. It may not be exactly accurate or explicit. So for us who have truly experienced true love, I would love to read about your experience in the comments section.  Alright…here we go.

  • What is love?

Is it a feeling? Is it a choice?

Do you have control over it? Is there a balance of power?

Can you keep your heart in check when it greatly cries out for something?

Can you fill that void with something else?

What is love?

Is it that deep , intense emotion which tears your heart apart when you don’t hear from Him?

Or is it that intense feeling of joy you get when you finally talk to her?

Is it that feeling of completeness you have when you are with him?

When it seems like with her, you can do anything.

 –

Is love that hollow feeling you have when you don’t feel His presence?

Is it that heavy heart you have when it seems like  he has drifted?

Or is it that acute feeling of relief you get when she finally calls your name?

Is it the peace you have when she is with you?

What is love?

It has been spoken about, sung about, written about

Man’s greatest need; His greatest hunger

Man’s greatest gift yet his greatest weakness

Nothing physical, yet its absence is total emptiness.

It can never be adequately described

Can never be sufficiently expressed

It can only be experienced

And when you do, you will know

What is love?

Love is vulnerability; Love is pain

Love is sacrifice; giving up of yourself

Love is indescribable; Love is unreasonable

Love is irrational yet so pure

What is love?

Love is where there seem to be better options,

There seem to be other alternatives,

Plenty of reasons why you should leave,

But like a leech, you are stuck on this one.

Love is trust; Love is believing

Love is being vulnerable even at the risk of a broken heart

Love is acceptance even before repentance

Love is kindness even when hurt

Love is leaving all you have in search of one.

Love is inexhaustible; Its the greatest power in the world

An oasis of peace for all mankind

And what joy! How happy is the one

Who truly rests in the bosom of true love.

Continue reading “STRINGS FROM MY HEART”

Sense and Sensibility ( Just Change The Channel!)

Okay…

So here I was watching a music video on television. Of course, it was the usual booty-shaking, hips-gyrating, women objectifying concept used in the video.While watching, I let out this really long, malicious hiss and went into a lengthy diatribe about how every Tom,Dick,Bisi,Joan want to sing in Nigeria and how watching these videos have destroyed the brain cells of our Nigerian youths. I was really in my element as I criticized everything from the video quality to the hairstyle of the musician. Funny enough,I kept watching the video even while I was ranting. As I kept going on and feeling like some sort of movie critic, a small voice whispered from inside “why don’t you just change the channel? its simply sense and sensibility…”

So i googled ‘sense’ and ‘sensibility’ and here is what I got. Sense: Any of the faculties by which stimuli from inside or outside the body are received and felt such as the faculties of hearing,sight,smell,touch,taste and equilibrium(dictionary.reference.com). Sensibility on the other hand refers to an acute perception, responsiveness towards something usually an information received by the senses(Wikipedia.org).

While mulling over this definitions, I came to a weird but seemingly true conclusion that negative information is very entertaining. In fact, It is a well known fact/cliche that bad news sell quickly. Humans have a weird penchant for negative information. The issue however is that after the initial entertainment is over,one is left with a negative feeling like some sort of bitter aftertaste. The feelings may come in different forms such as revulsion,worry,anger or sadness etc; it may even take a while to accumulate but those feelings will surely come. This is why,though it was quite entertaining to watch, that music video left me feeling angry,disgusted and sad. Watching several beautiful women objectified by a teenage musician never produces a good feeling. This information however  gave me a sense of power as I now knew that I could control my feelings by choosing the information I receive with my senses.

It is true that you are what you think. Even the bible says that. The information which you receive with your senses make up your thoughts which then spurs you to take action which will determine your course in life. So,we have the power and responsibility to choose the information to receive with our senses. For example, as a young graduate, I have a choice to either listen to people who have been successful in their various careers and businesses and learn from their success stories or I can listen to the general populace whine about how there are no jobs in Nigeria. As a single lady, I also have a choice to either listen to people who have had successful marriages or I can join in the “All Men Are Dogs” chant. The choice is up to me.

Frankly,negative information is quite entertaining and is always readily available. Sometimes it seems like one cannot run away from it.I mean,you don’t have to search far. Just go online or turn on the television and you are bombarded with all sorts. But in order to be the best we can be, getting the right information is essential. Yes, we may have to go out of your way to get  the right resources but it will always be worth it. It just takes a little discipline to stay off the wrong stuff but nothing good ever comes easy.

“Remember that while it may be easier to be like the crowd,it is far more rewarding to be your own person” -Orji Uchechukwu,2015. (lol…feeling like one orator sha.).