Monday, 30 January 2017

"I Was Hospitalised & Mother-in-Law Came To Hospital WIth My Divorce Letter--Victim of Domestic Violence(3)

Zainab Mai Pampo, was married to an oil magnate in the north, Abdulsamad. Now separated, she delivers her experience  of domestic violence suffered in the hands of her husband:

"I must have looked like a mad woman, my hair was uncovered and my blouse was torn, revealing my bra, my face was swollen and my right eye was purple. 

People stared me and no one wanted to say anything to me. People just stared. I ran as far as I could. I had no destination, I was just running. I wanted to die and end it all. I just wanted to be free of Abdul. So I kept running. I got to the gate of a hospital and I fainted. Hours later, I was in a hospital bed, I had lost my baby. I was devastated. I had lost my child because I wanted to ‘manage’ my husband, how foolish of me! 

Abdul was a monster and that was the honest truth. There was no managing a monster. He would continue to beat me and he would eventually get away with it. The worst part was he would get away with it. No one would blame him. Everybody would blame his wife for ‘provoking’ her husband! Is it not foolish that the same man that seeks your pleasure at night will beat you like an animal? And we accept it because we accept everything a man does as right.
I was in that hospital for 10 days and my husband did not show up. His mother visited me on the 7th day and gave me my divorce letter. He had issued one divorce. 

He wrote:
“I have divorced you one time, for refusing to come back to your matrimonial despite leaving it without my permission. Notwithstanding, I am prepared to take you back if you show remorse and ask for my forgiveness and that of my mother.”

Wallahi I almost laughed out loud when I read that last sentence. Can you imagine?

His mother paid my hospital fees and gave me some money to board a vehicle back to damaturu. I went back home and faced my parents. My parents also felt that I was partly to blame for his violence. My mother still gave me lectures on how to manage my husband. After about 8 months at home with no sign of Abdul or his family, my parents eventually realised a lot of things. They started to agree with me that Abdul was a monster, and finally they believed me. Till today Abdul has not been able to face my parents.

I still face all sorts of discrimination and demeaning comments from family members because of my status as a divorcee. A Ce Na qi Zama in ci arziqi. What is the use of arziqi (wealth) when you are in bondage? How is that a life? Just imagine the way our people think.
I still have my scars. Every day they remind me of how far I have become. They say patience is a virtue but so also is courage. 

I am grateful to Allah for leading me out of that marriage, leaving that marriage was the ultimate relief. If any woman is reading this and she is in that kind of situation, I just want to use this medium to tell her that she has to save herself. By allowing a man to beat you up at any slight provocation you are lessening yourself and your worth. He will not respect you and he will not stop. It is better to be alive, healthy and divorced than dying slowly as a punching bag.

Take a look at my life now, I would have been able to complete my education by now. I would have been a graduate. But because I thought leaving school would make me a successful wife, now I am starting all over again. have I not cheated myself? Why do we women always sacrifice so much to keep the peace and yet it is not appreciated?

Thank you for reading my story. I really hope it will touch a woman who is in the shoes I used to be in somewhere. I hope it will touch our parents to start investigating potential spouses for us. I wish our parents will give us listening ears and not force us to stay in dangerous situations. I really hope our parents will reflect on my story and stop this practice of tribalism in marriage. A good person is a good person, regardless of tribe. I also hope it will touch a wife beater somewhere to change his ways or seek help. 

May God help us all."