The 34th International Women’s Day is only three days away. In the build up to the celebrations, many fora have been created to discuss women-related issues.One of the issues of great concern to the international community is violence against women.
Women expirience violence in various forms. Many do not even realise that they are being tortured.
The stories are many, some are so gross while others simply vexing.
“He comes from France”
Mr Jean (real names withheld ) is a learned Cameroonian from France. He is placed in an advantaged position socially because many young ladies caress the feeling of ‘dating a man from France’. His house is accessed by just any beautiful woman in the neighborhood. But he’s not a bachelor.
At 1:00am one fateful morning, he screams “Move out of my house, out of my house now! The young woman who mistook the passive relationship for a lifetime engagement witnesses the worst. She lashes out “a prostitute gets me out of my house at 100:am”.
Mr Jean was basking in the arms of another woman.
The young woman became disillusioned “all that glitters is not gold”
“I given you everything, so stay out of my extramarital affairs”
Mr Francois( real names withheld) is a Cameroonian unskilled worker in France. He is a landlord and runs many businesses in Cameroon.
The father of seven girls, has numerous mistresses. Three of his daughters each have separate mums.
At the slightest misunderstanding with his wife for the last 17 years, he boasts;
” I have given you everything, a house, car, house help and all. You are obliged to overlook my extramarital affairs.
If you move out of the house, I’ll have another woman replace you”.
Mme Flore is constrained to stay. Her relationship is very abusive but she believes she has no where else to go.
” He will kill me”
Fadimatou ( real names withheld) a young Muslim girl is betrothed to Ali ( real names withheld) , a high school student .
Ali confines the young woman at home for as long as he stays in school. When leaving home, Ali locks the door and fits a broom stick into the keyhole.
Whenever Fadimatou’s mum comes visiting, their discussions takes place through the window.
Upon return and the broom stick is not in place, Ali interpretes it to mean his wife either went out or attempted to go out of the house. In the minutes that follow, the entire neighborhood will be alerted by Fadimatou ‘s screams
“He will kill me, he will kill me”. This went on for many years. She endured the frequent battery and physchological torture because her family wanted her to stay. Fadimatou later passed away.
The sad tales of violence are as many as the relationships. Experts and policy makers have been in synergy to caution. The ultimate message is ” STOP Violence against Women”. But, the main challenge is to have the victims realise what violence really means.
However, understanding what violence is, should begin by building the victims’ self-esteem.
Kathy Neba Sina