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Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? - Romance - Nairaland

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Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by 1000samu(m): 9:52am On Mar 02, 2012
It was 8 o’clock that morning and I was already dressed in my black dress, black shoes and no make-up, with my brushed hair in a pony tail. I was heading to Yaba for a friend’s funeral.
She was 35 and beautiful, a mother of two beautiful children. I really did not want to go because I was not sure of how I was going to react. I was not sure if I could pull myself together.
Anyway, I got to the church and it was filled with people who knew her and who had heard of her. As I approached the church, I was already battling with the huge lump in my throat, making sure that I could at least sit through the service. I managed to get inside, and then the ushers took me up-front to sit with the family. I saw her mother and siblings who were weeping uncontrollably, so I tried to console them while battling with that same lump in my throat. I did all I could until the kids walked into the church with the nanny. Oh my goodness, now that lump has melted into liquid, the flood gates were flung open and the tears started gushing out. It was not a very pleasant sight as the choir leader could not continue the song.
This is to give you an insight into the kind of person my friend was and the life she lived.
She was extremely intelligent, kind, simple and most of all was in love with God and His word.
Well, as I tried to calm down, he walked in —THE HUSBAND.
I am sure by now you are thinking I would run to console him since I was very close to her and he knew me. Instead, I stood up and walked to the other side of the church and sat down. That was when I knew how much respect I had for the church and the dead.
If I could, I would have locked him up in the coffin so he could go with her; after all, he put her there in the first place.
We had all begged, prayed, complained, reported, and fought, just to get him to stop beating her. I was tired of seeing the black eye, the swollen face, the bruised arms and the constant headaches. It was so bad that I had to tell him that one day he would do something really bad to his wife and end up behind bars. Little did I know that the day in question was fast approaching.
He had beaten her so much for sending her own money to her mother without telling him, and when she tried to protect herself by pushing him off her, he got infuriated and hit her head on the wall.
This time no black eye, no bruise to worry about, she just did not wake up.
When her sister called me in the middle of the night, I was not sure whether to cry or get angry or scream. My whole body was shaking and all I could say was “no… no… no… please God, no, no, no… please”.
I started to feel guilty, “maybe I should have moved her out of there” but then again who am I to move her out of her husband’s house when she herself refused to move. It really hurt, so much that even as I am writing this I am still crying.
The case was taken to court and was dismissed, because according to the courts the evidence was not enough, and so he was discharged and acquitted.
In a country where an accurate autopsy cannot be carried out, let alone thoroughly investigate a crime, what do you expect?
She is dead and gone but the killer is walking free, and as usual, he has custody of the children whom he has passed on to his new wife.
My heart has been bleeding ever since because I know that this is happening to so many women. Some are still alive today to tell their stories, some are afraid to cry out for help; some cover up when they are asked questions about their black eye; some believe that there is no justice for the abused woman because other cases they have heard of, have always favoured the man, and lastly, some are no longer alive to speak up.
As sad as this is, it is still happening even as I write.
Now it has progressed to acid baths, body mutilation, and other unthinkable things.
In anger, I stormed to the church we all attended and demanded to see the head pastor. When he came out, I screamed and yelled and people came into the church to hold me down. Please, do not think I disrespect men of God. Oh, far from it, in fact I respect them so much because without some of them who have mentored me, I would not be the person I am today.
Truth of the matter is, my late friend’s sister told me that a few days before she died, she had gone to meet the pastor in fear because she had another fight with her husband who told her that he was ready to kill her and nothing would happen to him. He kept saying in pidgin English: “na naija we dey o and when you die your dead body no go come prove to the court say na me kill you”.
My late friend then called her sister to tell her what had happened and that she was going to see the pastor.
I asked her sister: “Why pastor? Why not police?”
The sister laughed and said: “Do you know how many times she tried that? The policeman she met on duty laughed and said, ‘madam na domestic matter be dis abeg, husband and wife must fight, go beg your husband’ ”.
When her husband found out, he laughed and asked if she thought she was in America, then he beat her some more for even attempting.
So, she went to the pastor and told him everything again because that was not the first time she went to him to complain and ask for help. As usual the pastor said: “My daughter, there is nothing God cannot do. Please, prayer is what you need. Keep praying to God to touch his heart, he will not kill you and he will not harm you. Go back home and maintain peace, please; remember that God hates divorce so you cannot leave your home and children”. She left there feeling so dejected and scared, and so she called her sister and told her what the pastor had said.
I tried to think about what could have been going on in her head everyday of her life, thinking that there is no SAFE HAVEN. The man who swore to love and protect you is the one who is killing you; the parents who gave you to him in marriage will tell you not to leave your home because it is not a family trait and it will bring shame upon the family. You are too ashamed to even let people know you are going through domestic violence for fear of being stigmatized; you are not protected by law enforcement agents nor the law because some of them do the same thing to their wives; then the only place which is the house of God also tells you to go back to the place where you are being destroyed.
My heart broke and that was when I wept the most, because no one knows what she could have gone through alone.
So, I looked at this pastor and said ‘I hope you are happy now, I hope you are satisfied that she listened to you and got killed in the process’.
I am not saying I support separation or women running out of their homes, but I insist that there must be temporary measures to take the woman to a safe place until things can be resolved. She has to, at least, be alive first before any reconciliation or anything can even take place.
My question today is: what does the church do in cases like this? Is it saying that because of doctrines women should remain there and die? Is it saying that apart from prayer there is no other way to help?
I poured out my heart to the pastor and asked him a question directly without any apologies, “If your daughter came to you, bruised everyday, threatened and battered, would you tell her to go back there and pray? What if she does and gets killed? What would your reaction be? Will you be able to live with yourself?”
Then I calmed down and said God bless you pastor and thank you, I hope this means she will go to heaven.
He could not utter a word, so I walked out.
Call this ranting, lamenting, disrespectful, but one thing is for sure. We need answers, we need to shout it out loud, we need to educate women and let them know they can cry out for help.
I can’t stress this enough, if you are going through any form of violence, especially domestic violence, you can get help. Please don’t die for nothing. Make that call to Project Alert now 01-4737270, 08052004698 or send an email to projectalert@projectalertnig.org, log on to their website www.projectalertnig.org.
Enough is enough; the time to act is now. Say No To Domestic Violence.
This piece is dedicated to all the women who have lost their lives through domestic violence.
May their souls rest in peace.

Culled from http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2012/02/29/stella-damasus-when-is-it-enough/
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Dyt(f): 9:59am On Mar 02, 2012
na by force 2 stay husband house?
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Tosinville(m): 10:12am On Mar 02, 2012
^No be d tin wey una pastor tell am b4 she was send to d grave?
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Mynd44: 10:14am On Mar 02, 2012
For some reason, I don't believe this story. You are telling us the guy killed his wife and walked away? Even after the wife had reported home once please we might live in Nigeria but we have brains.for God's sake, wife battering is a crime here
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by InkedNerd(f): 10:16am On Mar 02, 2012
@OP: Sadly, we live in a society where religious figures are prime enablers  when it comes to things like this, especially in countries where there is a strong religious presence.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Scash(f): 10:33am On Mar 02, 2012
*singin* this is super storyyyyy
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Tosinville(m): 10:37am On Mar 02, 2012
^it happens.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by freecocoa(f): 10:42am On Mar 02, 2012
Abeg somebody summary the story for me,I've not had breakfast and my eye dey turn me,i can't fit read all that now.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by 1000samu(m): 10:46am On Mar 02, 2012
It is really painful to know that several Nigerian women are suffering silently without any stringent Nigerian law to protect them from their husband. Is it a Nigerian factor or an African mentality that it is a man's world. When a man beats his wife, it is not an issue, but when a woman beats up her husband in Nigeria, then all hell is let loose. So sad.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by InkedNerd(f): 10:49am On Mar 02, 2012
1000samu:

It is really painful to know that several Nigerian women are suffering silently without any stringent Nigerian law to protect them from their husband. Is it a Nigerian factor or an African mentality that it is a man's world. When a man beats his wife, it is not an issue, but when a woman beats up her husband in Nigeria, then all hell is let loose. So sad.

Unfortunately, this is an issue that goes beyond the shores of Nigeria and affects people of various socioeconomic backgrounds.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Tosinville(m): 10:51am On Mar 02, 2012
freecocoa:
Abeg somebody summary the
story for me,I've not had
breakfast and my eye dey turn
me,i can't fit read all that now.



madam, go eat eba first & come back to read ur story, no summarize bot on NL.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by freecocoa(f): 11:00am On Mar 02, 2012
^^Cant even help the needy,not nice.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by slimyem: 11:05am On Mar 02, 2012
Dyt:

na by force 2 stay husband house?
my sister,i wonder!
Being divorced or separated is no crime for chrissakes.
When will people start to understand that?
Ugh!
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by aglomar: 12:08pm On Mar 02, 2012
Just as soön as it degenerates from verbal to physical assault. Anything could happen from here.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by karpentar: 12:20pm On Mar 02, 2012
To God be the glory, lights out. Watch out for part two of this movie. Nice script.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by sandiyke(f): 12:23pm On Mar 02, 2012
dis so real. i hav a friend passin tru such beatins but cnt leave cos of ha mum in particular. she left once bt d man came and spoke to members of ha extended family cos ha dad is late nd dey forced ha to go back against ha wish nd d beatin has doubled wit no where to run to.Ma heart bleeds as i read dis so she dnt end up lik dis.GOD FORBID
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Dyt(f): 12:26pm On Mar 02, 2012
^ wat?
infact give me er nos
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by idmoore(m): 12:39pm On Mar 02, 2012
it so unfortunate that precious people falls into the wrong sides of life, we live in a society that renders people helpness and the only hope of the people which is the church and various places of worship doesnt help matters, or proffer solutions to issues.
Anyways i really felt for the deceased and i blamed the pastor who should av put some temporary measures to reduce the situation and as a pastor he should av gotten the insight of likely scenairo of where the domestic violence can lead to, so he just stood like a ordinary person who is not in spiritual realm and let the woman be killed. Once again i really felt for the deceased, and sympathsize with her children, the poster and the family, but i think the husband be dealth with.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by shumno(f): 12:39pm On Mar 02, 2012
Sad, sad, sad.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by angelz(f): 12:52pm On Mar 02, 2012
This is Nigeria, d pple wu r suppose 2 help r dos wu wil advice u 2 stay n
endure d hell.
this may sound like a script but am sure most of us know abt d banker
wu was often battered by her husband till she was kill,l think 4 ritual by d same man.
the case is stil in court often reported by Punch
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by MrsChima1(f): 1:03pm On Mar 02, 2012
Domestic violence is everywhere and I understand those who kill their abusers.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by livapul86(m): 1:07pm On Mar 02, 2012
@OP: As unfortunate as it is, this scenario plays out in most homes. But what has been equally pathetic on this thread is the way some of the ladies that have responded so far make mockery of such a grievous and endemic problem in our society today. @ Scash and Freecocoa, this is NO JOKE. Its pertinent Nigerian ladies truly STAND UP NOW, only then would a viable mechanism for tackling such issues can be evolved.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Emperoh(m): 1:29pm On Mar 02, 2012
Women go talk their own. . . what of the men being 'battered' by their wife?
Who go treat their case?
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by jeron1(m): 1:33pm On Mar 02, 2012
God!!! Dis made mi remb ma late aunty, exactly samething her husband did to her and when we told her to pack out she refused and the police no dey help matters, i wish something can be done about dis wicked husbands someday
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Jemibee: 1:33pm On Mar 02, 2012
Unfortunately, in Africa, women from broken homes are looked down upon not knowing the reasons behind their actions. No normal person would opt out of a promising marriage only if her life is at risk, that of her children or she finds it nomore healthy.

We should learn to respect peoples decisions and see beyound their societal flaws. See what staying in an unhealthy marriage has caused this victim, the ultimate price. Her kids will never get to see her again. Even if the husband is dealt with, does it undo the harm??
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by bebe4u(f): 1:45pm On Mar 02, 2012
So sad, but people forget so fast the rule of the thumb, if he beats you once, no matter the apology, he will certainly beat you over and over again. even if he hasn't beaten you before, there are still violet signs everyone in a relation should watch out for, this things dont just pop out from the blues in such a dimension.

I have a very good friend who the boyfriend has been beating if she dare spend more than a minute talking to a male stranger. when i confronted her of the danger, she told me he apologizes and never meant to beat her, only that he lost control at that time. They are engaged to be married now. i pray for her everyday as i dont have the guts to tell her to back off.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by LEXYLOV: 1:53pm On Mar 02, 2012
Any man beating woman is a slowpoke. Though women full of wahala but as a noble gentle man you can avoid beating or maltreated them. If the story is true the hubby need to be tried.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by ichidodo(m): 1:56pm On Mar 02, 2012
A woman i married properly according to igbo traditional rites is tooo precious to b roughd up. Ndigbo biko, especially umuokorobia, igba nkwu dey expensive diz days. It is only a mad man dat wil hit his woman. Igbo kwe zuo nu!
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by Nobody: 2:03pm On Mar 02, 2012
I cannot believe that people in this day and age still think divorce is a sin. LADIES, THE HOLY BIBLE SAYS YOU ARE ALLOWED TO DIVORCE YOUR HUSBAND AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT REMARRY, AND IF YOU DIVORCE HIM FOR CHEATING YOU CAN REMARRY. The problem is that PEOPLE DO NOT READ THEIR BIBLES but base their Christainity on some Pastor's teaching. However having said all of this, Divorce should not be encouraged.

Please read 1 Corinthains 7: 10 - 14
Matthew 19: 8 - 9
Mark 10: 1 - 12
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by MrsChima1(f): 2:34pm On Mar 02, 2012
The bible also said THOU SHALL NOT KILL.

"Beating/hitting leads to death".

If we are going to use the Bible in our arguments we need to use all of it contents and not pick what suits our argument.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by 1000samu(m): 2:42pm On Mar 02, 2012
Is it in the Bible that husbands are allowed to beat their wives, even to the point of death? I think our religious leaders should concentrate more energy in preaching against domestic violence than prosperity. Violence at home is a seed that can be sown in the minds and hearts of the children, which may /may not shape their future relationships.
Re: Stella Damasus: Domestic Violence, When Is It Enough? by MrsChima1(f): 3:46pm On Mar 02, 2012
1000samu:

Is it in the Bible that husbands are allowed to beat their wives, even to the point of death? I 

God isn't an author of confusion, Satan/we are.  It doesn't make sense that God will tell husbands to beat their wives to death and then say it is against the commandment to kill. 

In the book of Ephesian, it speaks that husbands should love their wives and beating to death in my book isn't love. 

It is important that people read things with the discernment of the HOLY SPIRIT and not with the understanding of MAN. 

I do not put pastors or religious leaders on a pedestal.  I view them as human beings with faults.  It saddens me to hear people refer their religious leaders as the CHOSEN ONE

People change religions as often as they change their panties assuming that it will bring them closer to the Creator.  Religious itself isn't going to save anyone, but salvation and grace will.

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