Madam, e beat you abi, but na you provoke am – Joy Ehonwa

Madam, e beat you abi, but na you provoke am – Joy Ehonwa

In the past one year I have had to support more abused wives than ever before.

In this time, I have learnt that one of the hardest things to do is get a woman to remove herself from an abusive marriage before she is killed.
I remember in 2011 there was a walk against domestic violence sponsored by Skye Bank on the heels of the murder of Titi Arowolo. Until her death at the hands of her husband Akolade Arowolo who stabbed her 76 times, Titi was a staff of Skye Bank and mother of a little girl. In February 2014, three years after Titi’s death, Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Ikeja High Court sentenced Akolade to death, but it is a hollow victory because it will not bring Titi back to life.


She is gone. The most painful part of it all for me was that she had previously tried to leave the marriage and her loved ones encouraged her to go back. Why? A husband’s house is the ultimate thing for every woman. If you’re not in a husband’s house you are “less than” in some way.

Domestic violence kills people. It is not a joke, neither is it something to be “managed” or “endured”. People DIE at the hands of intimate partners who are violent. Yet it is shocking how hard it is for wives in this situation to leave, and just how much society and even many churches often press them to stay. It is shameful. It is horrible. It is disgusting.

He slaps her around, twists her arm, beats her, burns her clothes, holds her neck in a choke hold while their toddler stares on, and when she starts to tell someone about leaving what do they say?

1. If you leave, another woman will come and take over your home and you wouldn’t want that.
Okay, let me get this straight. This place where she is being bruised and battered is Burj Khalifa? This is life she is living? This “home” where she is not even safe is a Fortune 500 company she should be afraid of someone else “taking over”? Please, that someone should come and take over. As one of my sisters once pointed out, she will come and meet the honey that is here, plus the bees. Welcome!

2. You must be provoking him in some way.
What point are you trying to prove? That he is an animal who must attack when provoked? I know men who have assaulted their wives because “she hissed.” If all it takes is a woman rolling her eyes to turn you into a monster, you need treatment. People get provoked every day. We don’t go about hitting other people because of it. The sad thing is most men who do these things cannot even raise their hand to other men outside; na woman their power reach. No o, I didn’t provoke him in any way. He just woke up and started beating me. Because, mental case. Mschew.

3. Just endure, God will change him.
Actually, no He won’t. If you remain there and keep cooking for him, cleaning up after him, sexing him and enduring his beatings, you are being a bad wife because you’re rewarding bad behaviour, and you are working against God instead of with Him. You want to be a good wife? Leave that house. Then you need to stay separated so that he can get the help he needs in order to change, and God can work on him. If you are so keen on praying for him you can do that from afar. There is no distance in the spirit.

As a friend commented recently after someone close to her — a woman who was 9 months pregnant— was nearly beaten to death by her husband, mmadu ga adi ndu furst before marriage. The marriage you’re struggling for actually requires you to be alive in the first place. It is not a do-or-die affair. Last year a sweet friend of mine finally got the courage to leave her abusive husband after the last beating landed her in the emergency room. She asks, okwa onye di ndu na ekpe ikpe marriage? Shebi it is someone that is alive that can be doing marriage?
We must remember that each of us is given life and placed on earth for a purpose, and that purpose is more important to our Creator than marital status. Life is precious. Nobody will thank you if you allow a violent partner maim or kill you. If you are being abused you owe it to yourself and your Maker to remove yourself from that situation.

You don’t gain anything by remaining in an abusive marriage. You are simply risking your life.

And God is not impressed.

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