On The Day She Refused…

The moment of truth has hit us. We have decided to turn away from what they used to think we wouldn’t. We have moved from what we used to dread to standing up for what we want and for who we are. We are not the timid ones anymore. We have stood up to our oppressors, we have gained our freedom. We have moved to the next level.

When Shola walked in to my office to tell me she walked away from her oppressor, I couldn’t believe her, we had had the conversation beforehand but she couldn’t summon the courage to leave because she just couldn’t explain why she wouldn’t take the bold step of leaving the man that held her captive. He would take her salary from her, in fact, Shola’s salary was paid into his account. He would beat her and restrict her movement. Shola’s makeup was always very heavy because she’s hiding her scars. She’s had three miscarriages due to constant beating but Shola wouldn’t leave. We begged her to leave. We devised different plans on how she could leave but the fear was too heavy on her. There is something about oppressors, they are very manipulative. He would treat her like trash and come around to apologize with gifts and Shola would buy it. They have been married for four years and in four years she’d lost three babies and she’d lost herself.

Motunrayo, I have moved out. I have packed all my things. I am no longer staying there, I am free. I am free. She sat on the floor in tears. I jerked off my chair towards her and we both fell on each other landing our butts on the floor but we didn’t feel a thing. The joy and the rush of emotions was just so sweet for us to handle, especially for me. She is free. I had millions of questions in my head but I couldn’t ask because the joy was overwhelming. Motunrayo, he wanted to beat me yesterday, I screamed, I defended myself and screamed the house down and beckoned on my neighbours to break down the doors and they did. The men held him down and I beat him, Oh I beat him and packed my things and left. I took his ATM card because it’s my money that is in there, withdrew the money into my account and broke his card. Shola, I am done with that sham I called marriage that I have been stuck in for four years. That’s all I needed to hear, all I wanted to hear all these years. Shola didn’t deserve Maxwell at all, she deserved better and she’s suffered for too long. She could have died cos four years is a long time. Thankfully, she is out.

We were on the floor for over three hours, crying and holding hands. My Shola can now live life in full.

Let me share with you what Shola’s case taught me; It taught me that the grip of domestic abuse is way deeper than what we see in the physical, it is psychological. Shola’s a brilliant woman, audacious, well talented and very beautiful but she lived with a monster for four years because she just couldn’t get off the grip. The mathematics didn’t make sense to me but I realized that abuse is a scourge. I also learnt that if the victim doesn’t come to terms with freedom, they cannot be free. If the one who’s being abused cannot envisage freedom, those fighting for their freedom will only be making noise and dancing in circles. In other words, you can try your very best but if the victim doesn’t make a move, you cannot force them.

Shola is free and it feels and sounds so good! This victory is for us. This is not about Shola, this is for all of us!!!

By Onozasie

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