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By Oluwatoyin Adeleye

Nollywood veteran, Joke Silva has advised women and men who find themselves in domestic violence situations to create a distance as soon as it starts.

Joke, who spoke with The Daily Times, says she is happy that the topic of domestic violence is gaining more popularity.

She says: “I’m very happy more women are coming out to talk about it. It is important. Once the violence starts, give yourself space! I think it is the most spirit destroying action one can put on their lover. And it doesn’t only happen to women. It happens to men as well. I think it is sad that any relationship gets to that point where you need to break the spirit.”

However, she acknowledged the point of provocation, noting that emotional violence is more dangerous than physical violence.

“I think in relationships especially when we are angry with each other, I think lovers go for the jugular when they are angry. I know I do. (Laughs). I think it’s important to understand when you are getting to that point where you understand that you’ve gotten to the thresh hold. Like sometimes when I counsel young people, I say there is a role that you recognize, that if I push anything further, we’re going to be in trouble. When you hear that, when you feel it, it’s in the eyes, you can’t hide it. Each person, waka! There is also the violence that people don’t associate to domestic violence and that is the emotional violence. Emotional violence is the violence that is so deadly because you don’t see it. It damages the person psychologically; I think the onus is on those who love the person. To let them see it and be aware of it. Marriage is not do or die affair,” she said.

Speaking about her own marriage, Joke notes that she calls her husband by his pet name, ‘Omo Boy’, which makes him feel fulfilled and happy.

However, whenever he calls her by her own name, Joke, she says it means she is in big trouble.

“When there is Omoboy and then I say “Olu”, that’s Wahala (laughs). And then same is with me when he says “Iya”, that’s my pet name and when he says “Joke!” I know am in trouble,” she said.

Speaking about the increasing rate of broken homes, Joke Silva credited both the husband and wife’s responsibilities in building their homes.

She said:

“I think it’s important for people to know what their thresh hold of pain is, what their thresh hold of acceptability is, I think sometimes in this society we tend to say “Oh, you must stay in the marriage no matter what he does to you”, to the individuals who have stayed in the marriage. You will hear of some women who have stayed with their husband right throughout the difficulty and when the husband dies, you hear them, they’re so bitter because it seems as if they wasted their life and this is something that the younger generation doesn’t want to go through. With that being said, I think also that there is a little need for both sides to see each other as human beings. There is a tendency for us to have the wrath of a man, our boys are raised from when they’re babies, and they’re saying “ehh! Wo! O ma sawonbirin leshe” (he will deal with these women) (claps)… so when a woman all of a sudden, say that this man should become responsible, should become accepting, should be able to take a leadership position, where he is a servant leader, how?  He was never brought up to be a servant leader. He was brought up to be the king of kings and lord of lords! (Claps…). So, it’s a shift thing in mindset. It’s difficult but it’s something we have to do and that is why we are seeing what we’re seeing. That is why the marriages are not making it. The woman are like, “excuse me, I’ve gone to school, I do my share in this house” you know? Let me give you an example; I remember I had a brief conversation with someone where I said “Oh! WOW! Your house is beautiful. Ah! Well done to you and your wife.” He said “What did she contribute? It was me. I built it.” And I said “Sweetie, the fact that she wasn’t asking you for the money and she was making sure it was possible for you to build the house, if she did not give you a dime towards the house, her support to you building the house is her share in the house. Do you understand? But you know, they weren’t built up to think like that so you find that  a lot of mothers will say; when you are building your house, if it’s only the roof, if it’s only a few tiles you can buy, you should buy it so that you’ll have a claim of the house.”

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