The trend of domestic violence in relationships, is becoming alarming, in worst cases it may lead to the death of a spouse. While women commonly suffer domestic violence, there are instances when a man may be a victim as well. Case in point, is the Lagos Lawyer who was brutally castrated and stabbed to death by his violent wife.
Another case of domestic violence which shocked many and led to the death of a spouse, was the strangulation death of Nigerian singer, Zainab Alizee Nielsen and her three-year-old daughter, Petra, by her Danish husband, Peter Nielsen, at their Banana Island residence in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Indeed domestic violence is the bane of most marriages and stricter laws to deal with erring partners before the death of a loved one, is advised. While domestic violence is a reality in our society, it is the mindset of most Nigerian women that is quite shocking.
In a recent interview, Ex beauty queen Istifanus unwittingly revealed the mindset of most Nigerian women and men to the menace of domestic violence in relationships.
In the rather controversial interview, Istifanus inferred that a reason most women get beaten within an inch of their lives, is because, they had dared to contest their inferior position as wives, therefore to avoid your partner’s fist, it is important for women to embrace their position of servitude and inferiority.
What I find disturbing is not just her narrow minded opinion about marriage, but the fact so many Nigerians actually align with her way of thinking.
Then we ask a rather pertinent question, did the Lagos lawyer who was stabbed by his wife forget to be submissive? How does a person deserve to be beaten like a thief because they do not whole heartedly accept servitude? Is it a marriage or an institution of bondage?
This also exposes the sordid underbelly of most Nigerian marriages, where it is a union between a slave master (husband) and husband’s slave (wife). Where one party has no right to an opinion. It is an institution devoid of mutual respect, compromise and flexibility.
Therefore it is important that couples who are not compatible have the option of a separation. It is not normal to beat or get beaten in a marriage.
Women who stay in abusive marriages, stay for diverse reasons, the stigma of being a divorcee, financial constraints or family pressure. But it is important that victims of domestic violence must walk away, because staying alive is more important than keeping up appearances, that is not likely to matter in the grave.
Quite worrying what the Nigerian version of marriage has become.