What Entered Nte's Trap...

If Blogsville was Twitter, Domestic Violence woulda been a TT Trending Topic. Inspired by the story of the gruesome murder of Titi, a mother-of-one by her 30 year old husband a few weeks back, many bloggers, and society for that matter, have publicly expressed their distaste for domestic abuse. Who could blame them? No woman should be emotionally or verbally or worse yet, physically abused by a man who claims to love her, a man to whom she was cleaved to by a priest, in the presence of God.
In this day and age where women are a lot less mousy, a little more outspoken and mostly financially independent, one wonders: Does domestic violence still happen? To that stupid question, i answer, Heck YES. In fact, a woman is being slapped around by her partner somewhere in the world, this very minute. The big question is: Why Does She choose to stay In an Abusive Relationship/Marriage?
Financial dependence: As long as she cannot conveniently afford life as she’s already used to in her marital home, nothing is gonna make her leave. Women are materialistic beings...I say this confidently. Many a woman will rather chop slaps and beatings from the man that would pay her bills than be left to her devices, finance-wise.
Peer pressure: The day we stop comparing ourselves to others will be the day of our liberation. Do this little exercise with me: Look at those five fingers on your left hand. Do you see any two fingers of equal length? You do? Surely, YOU MUST BE AN ALIEN...and i ask that you kindly vamoose from my blog. Just kidding. Seriously though, no two fingers are equal, regardless of the fact that they are on the same hand. Likewise, no two relationships are same. Quit comparing...
Shame: The thought of how she would tell the world her relationship isn’t perfect, how her family and friends would look at her with pity and sympathy, how people would judge her could keep a sister in an abusive relationship. Dear sister, it is not your fault...unless of course you told your abuser you relish that sorta treatment!! And frankly, people will always talk whether you give them reason to do so or not.
Shame however brings me to what i really want to blog about today.
 As a mother, my worst nightmare would be if something awfully terrible happened to my kids. As the mother of a little girl, the most terrible would be finding out my daughter has been sexually molested. I would be totally totally devastated. The challenge however lies in whether the daughter would confide in the mother at that time T. Its not the easiest thing to speak out about, considering that most of these molesters are usually trusted family members or family friends. I should know...i nearly happened to me.
I look back now and i laugh. It is hilarious now. Then, it was not remotely funny. The man my sibs and I called Uncle, the man that was my mother’s prayer partner, the man my parents trusted with our welfare, the man who nearly betrayed his friend’s trust.
At first, he was all concerns, acting like he really wanted to know how my-16-year-old-self was coping in the university. It was the holiday after my first semester exams. I remember he specifically asked whether my professors were making passes at me and i answered no, rolling my eyes and thinking, “Midget me? Why would professors make passes at me?”. Then he was touching my laps and asking, “Nobody does this to you?” and i was still innocently answering, “No, nobody does”. He was a trusted family friend; a trusted man of God. I had no reason whatsoever to think him otherwise. But when he squeezed my breasts, still asking, “You mean none of your lecturers have done this to you?”, my brain, the brain that read Every Woman at age 8 realised that something was fundamentally wrong with that set-up. Before i could even voice my disapproval, a kiss landed smack on my lips! O_O. I skipped from that sitting room, ran into the bedroom and locked the door. I didn’t come out until i heard he’s left and of course, i didn’t tell Momma...it really could’ve been a figment of my imagination.
It wasn’t the end. On days when he knew nobody would be at home except me, he’ll just show. I remember this day he knocked and knocked, on doors, on the windows, all the time saying, “I know you are in there” in such threatening manner, i was scared for my virginity. I laid down on the bathroom floor, as quiet as a drugged mouse and waited him out. Scary ass moment, i swear. I still didn’t tell nobody. Infact, if i was even thinking of telling my parents, he beat me to it. He told my mom i was possessed and needed deliverance. A couple of days later, my mom, with my best interest at heart, sent me off for deliverance...TO HIM!!!! Hahahahahaha!!!! Did i mention he was married? With kids? Oh yes, he was a “happily” married man and momma sent me to his flat for deliverance. I swear, i laughed so hard as i walked into his place...so disrespectful of me. It was inevitable really, that i would have zero regard for a man who would stoop so low as to use the excuse of spiritual liberation to cop a feel of budding breasts, man of God or not!
...and this sudden show of insolence is what mothers should always be on the lookout for. When your girls that hitherto loved and respected some male family members or family friends starts distancing themselves from them or are just jumpy around them, please ask questions. It is important.
I also remember the morning we got the news that my cousin’s dad died. Mom was overwhelmed. She knew she had to go comfort her sister but she wanted to put her own house in order first. So she sent me ahead of her. I asked her for transport money and she told me i need not worry about it, that Uncle G was going my way. I swallowed the lump that suddenly gathered in my throat. My fear was not baseless. Half way through the journey, i quietly demanded to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere. O gini? I would rather walk the rest of the way than be subjected to them roving paws! And each time i moved to stop him, he would swat my hands away and irately demand to know why i was behaving like a small child.
This story is not unfamiliar. It happens to thousands of kids worldwide, everyday and they would hug the experience to themselves. Some are molested by their fathers; some their brothers or step fathers or uncles. The fact remains that 80% of this evil act is perpetrated by men these kids trust. Some of these kids would be lucky and escape with their hymens, health and psyche intact. Some others would not be so lucky. In my case, I refused to be intimidated. I was old enough to nip it in the bud before it could fester. Till date, Momma still doesn’t know...at least i didn’t tell her.
 A mother should, therefore
v  Not wait until she is told or until she hears that her child has been molested before she moves to act.
v  Not be quick to judge if and when the daughter confides in her. She already blames herself...she doesn’t need confirmation of her supposed culpability from any other person least of all her mother.
v  Make herself easily accessible to her kids so they won’t ever hesitate to confide in her.
v  Watch out for the telltale signs. It’s always there {would blog them at a later date}
v  Most importantly, pray. Never ever underestimate the power of prayers, especially those said on the children’s behalf. If God does not watch a city, in vain do the watchers watch.
God help us all! Shout out to new followers...and those that faithfully comment. God bless your hustles, always...x


Sisi Yemmie ™ said...

this happened to me so often and i told noone about it.it brings tears to my eyes nowww

Lili said...

this is so true and am sure happened to almost everyone.
thanks for reminding me of this signs to watch out for.
nice one babes.

HoneyDame said...

Oh LORD Hazel, I swear u couldn't be righter! I am having a moment here and I am inspired to tell some stories pertaining to this. Not sure if I will but Iknow for a fact that you know what you are writing about!

poshbug said...

this is inspiring..i wish everyone could read it

enjaykay said...

hmmm now am scared for my daughter. God Help Us...

jubekee said...

This happened to me too,never told anyone except my husband.for some they were not so lucky,the men probably went all the way.now that I have a daughter i'm scared to think that something like that might happen and she wouldn't tell me.i want to be that parent that my kids are able to tell me anything.its prayer,cos all indications it happend to a lot of us,that uncle,or that older cousin,or neighbor.its scary .meanwhoos,just found your blog ,reading back issues all night, I like,jisie ike

jubekee said...

This happened to me too,never told anyone except my husband.for some they were not so lucky,the men probably went all the way.now that I have a daughter i'm scared to think that something like that might happen and she wouldn't tell me.i want to be that parent that my kids are able to tell me anything.its prayer,cos all indications it happend to a lot of us,that uncle,or that older cousin,or neighbor.its scary .meanwhoos,just found your blog ,reading back issues all night, I like,jisie ike

Ijeoma Akwukwaegbu said...

My dear,its crazy. This thing called shame can kill us all. I had an encounter like this,only the man in question was my late dad's friend and classmate, and i was fifteen and skinny as a rake,seriously,no curves to speak of! For God's sake! Of course,I didnt tell anyone,I just made absolutely sure to stay out of his way. Somehow,mumsie 'sensed' something was wrong, and 'banned' I and my little sis from going to his house. It was 6yrs later, that I had the courage to tell mumsie,guess her reply:" of course,i noticed something was wrong,i dont trust that man!" So I was lucky she noticed,what if she had trusted him,or didnt notice something was up? I guess its up to us mothers to hammer it down our kids throat that such behavior from 'uncles' is abnormal and should be reported asap. God save us all,amen.

lady_mo said...

I've come to realize that things like this happen a lot. Had my fare share too- the adult driver who's right hand always traveled from the steering wheel to my lap whenever he was driving only me anywhere, the family friend who tried to expend his teenage testosterone curiosities on me, etc.
I was also skinny as hell and practically a tomboy but i'd also read Everywoman and it helped me know i wasn't safe with them.
Of course, this is my first time of telling anyone (if you consider this telling). I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone then because i thought it was happening to me alone and it must've been because of something i was doing wrong. I can't imagine what i'd have done if any of them had raped me *shivers*
Parents (not just mothers), you can't be too careful. May God help us all.