I tried to steer clear of this topic as its so sensitive but it takes up 80+% of the work I do both here in Nigeria, and back in the UK. I’m a Anti-Domestic Violence advocate in the UK and work with victims to access justice from the courts by imposing injunctions on the perpetrators. In Nigeria, I am fortunate to be working with an organisation that is breaking ground in delivering access to justice to marginalised women in Nigeria.
Blazer : ASOS | Dashiki : gifted from NigeriaDomestic violence is unfortunately a universal issue. Class, race, gender, disability aside, all humans are vulnerable to DV. It is clear from the statistics (although there is an increase in abuse perpetrated by women against men), DV victims are most likely to be the women in the home. Working in Lagos state, I was thrilled to learn that a new DV law was implemented recently. Commendably, this legislation takes into account the context in which it is working with, and encompasses most relationships within the Nigerian home, house-girl included. The issue now is awareness and whether these girls and women in such situations can pull the wool from over their eyes & see their reality for what it truly is.
Unfortunately, Nigeria is still very much a patriarchial society, with majority male leadership both in society and in the home. As a result, the norms are still dictated by men, with women being viewed as subordinate. Women are respected for the name following the Mrs, rather than the achievements she made in her own right. In light of the issue of DV, what this means for a woman is that she fears fleeing the home because of the stigma attached to being a Miss again. There are cases involving women who have dropped cases against dangerously abusive husbands because they never intended to punish him to the point of serving jail time and still depend on him financially.
Bag : Moschino | Watch : Guess | Heels : ZARAAlthough the game is changing with public figures like Okonjo Iweala or Folorunsho Alakija, the reality for many women in Nigeria is to suffer in silence. Beat her. Rape her. Mane her. Yet, he can do no wrong? Wrong. Women need to be empowered to see there is light beyond that dark tunnel. I am not advocating divorce or a western mindset of leaving when the going gets tough, just challenging women to see themselves as worthy of respect and love. Not only do women here endure verbal and physical abuse, but the common-day emotional abuse endured by many faithful wives whose husbands who frolick on endless business-trips with countless mistresses has also been roped into this legislation. But its one thing to state something as theory and another to put it into practice. The security is there, now its in the hands of these women and the judges alike to stare in the eyes of injustice & take active steps to beat it back, cold blue.
Onyxsta says...BLEURGH!! Time for the men who beat women black & blue to face the justice from the men in black (Judges) and blue (police).