Most times, abusers do not come as abusers else no one would be with them. But they project themselves to be very loving, caring, giving and nice. Such that on the outside people are envious of the man or woman with whom they are in a relationship, not knowing that these people are going through mental and emotional stress and hell on earth.
This goes to show that looks and acts of kindness could be deceptive. Knowing and studying people critically before committing to a relationship with them is very essential and could be lifesaving in the long run.
Though women are more culpable when it comes to judging an ‘ideal man’ by how they feel and how he treats them early on in the relationship, most abusers actually make their victims feel good in the beginning and that is why when they begin to show their true colours, the victim’s brain cannot put the two together…
On the other hand, in most cases, abusers know they are abusers and they understand what they do. it is either they enjoy it or derive some sort of control from it while some of them use abuse as a means of revenge for long-held bitterness of some wrong done to them when they were young which must have left a hole in their own concept of self.
Since this problem is no respecter of nationality, I assume that so many societies around the world are faced with this evil and I am very happy about the steps that the Lagos state government is taking to see to it that this evolving norm is stifled and not given any breathing space at all.
But there is little that the government can do without the support of all citizens. The truth is that domestic violence affects all of us in one way or another and when we directly or indirectly keep quiet about it or act indifferently about it, we are inadvertently saying that it is okay. But it is not okay. Your beloved daughter or son could be a potential domestic violence victim.
Everyone is a dignified being, irrespective of race or status and should be treated as such. We are our own brothers’ keepers.
So why then do we blame victims on social media when they come up to say their stories? Why hit someone who’s already down?
The legal system in Nigeria is weak. This might be a statement that is audacious but true. Abusers who are released come out in the open without any remorse and go for the next victim with some show of victory and we believe that nature has to take its course.
I stand with every victim of abuse reading this in one way or the other. You are valuable, you stand sure and what your partner or abuser does or does not do is separate from who you are. You do not deserve any of what you are going through and I am certain that you have it within you—- the strength to say it is enough and also stand up for others going through same or similar situations. Report to relevant authorities and never allow your mind and your innermost core to be broken. Get help and know that whatever it is, this phase shall pass.
By Oludara Ogunbowale