Gender Based Violence Stories
The following are stories shared by people who are either victims of gender based violence or perpetrators of it.
When I was young, I watch my mother always raining insults and profane words on my dad. When my dad at times tried to leave the house, she will lock the door and hold the keys. I never saw my dad raised a hand on her. So, when I saw it, I thought that’s how relationships work but when I tried with my man, I got the lashing of my life.
Bih, 30years old
My father used to pounce on my mother like a football, she will cry and still stay there. When I got a little older and asked her why she stayed despite the beatings, she said he beats her because he loves. She said when you love something, you take care of it and sometimes you will have to do crazy things just to prove your love. So, I grew up knowing beating a woman is showing her how much you love her.
Festus, 45 years old
When my dad left my mother, all hell break loose on me. Whenever she looked at me, it was like she was seeing my dad. So, at any slightest instance, she will pounce on me while using the statement “you fit better pass ya papa, useless pikin.” Though I didn’t like it, I interpreted her acts as acts of love. So I decided to show love to my spouse the same way she did for me. How wrong I was.
When I saw how my mom used to insult and even beat up my dad, I vowed to never let it happen to me. I knew the best form of defense is to attack. So, I will always make sure I beat up my wife for little or no reason. I called it love, to me it is like foreplay
Kpwei, 42 years old
I thought love was about enduring. I thought it was about sacrificing, I thought it was about giving, I knew it does not hurt. So, the day he just threatened to beat me up, the relationship ended that same day. I don’t care what I did or said, If you can threaten to beat me up, then someday you will do it. So, make we just leave am fo here so.
Cordelia, 26 years old
When mama left papa, its like his aggression, his anger, his agony shifted to me, anything I did was never enough for him. He will beat, kick, slap, insult me all at the same time. All the time this was his phrase he used on me “Na ya mami e fashion you don carry am all.” So, I decided to run away when I was old enough.
Nchang, 28 years old
Boy, mimbo na bad thing. You see da ma quiet ngah so, when a do drunk me, a no no wetti di come over me. A di just di knack am me even when e nova do anything. A no say e no fine but boy na mimbo
Noel, 38 years old
When he did it the first time, I thought it will never happen again. Then came a second time, then a third time. Then I knew it was time for me to leave. I loved him but I love me too much to let him treat me less of a human. After all If I am dead, he will get another wife but my family will never be able to replace me.
Nunyonga, 40 years old
We bring you this poetry piece “Bruises”. Bruises tells the story of Bih, Festus, Njei, Kpwei, Cordelia, Nchang, Noel and Nunyonga. Explaining how some of us are victims of gender-based violence because we either grow up seeing it being done so often and to us it became the norm or it being perpetrated on us and we want to get back to others as a means of venting out our pain.
Listen to Bruises here