LOUD WHISPERS: Changing The Story

Mabel is a 42 year old woman. She has a job she loves and is very good at. She is respected by all her colleagues and peers. She has three adorable children, who are all doing well in their respective schools. She is very active in her church, she is a member of two professional associations and is considering a run for the Presidency of one of these associations. Every day, wherever she is at 5pm, her heart begins to beat a little bit faster. As her driver moves slowly through the traffic on her way home, she does not pay any attention to the usual noise and drama commuters encounter on their way home after work. Her mind is fixed on home. She does not know what mood her husband will be in tonight. Two nights ago he was unhappy with her because she informed him she had to travel to a meeting in Abuja next week. He showed his displeasure by choking her. The week before, he kicked her hard in the ribs. Maybe that is why the nagging pain in her side won’t go away. She found herself hoping that whatever he did, it should not be her face this time. There is only so much make-up can cover. Not my face, she kept thinking to herself. She looked at the file on her lap, wondering if having to stay up late tonight to finish writing would incur his wrath again. Mabel is a High Court Judge.

I could tell you more stories. Gender based violence is no respecter of age, class or education. Whilst education and social standing might give women more choices, the huge burden of cultural and societal expectations continues to wear women down. Conventional statistics put victims of violence at 1 out of 3 women. Why should we care about Violence against Women? We should care because it destroys women’s lives. It leaves women scarred and scared for the rest of their lives.  It diminishes the capacity of women to fulfill their full potential. It destroys families and communities. It affects our economy. It increases HIV/AIDS rates, transmission of STDs, and numbers of people suffering from mental health disorders. Women who are victims of violent sexual crimes are afraid to report for fear of stigma, blame and rejection. As in many other parts of the world, when the cases are reported, it takes so much effort to get a conviction, the process leaves the victims feeling assaulted all over again. When there is no justice, they do not get closure and the healing process takes so much longer.

Full Reading in Loud Whispers cover final

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

 

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6 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: Changing The Story

  1. Olakunle Olajide November 30, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Sincerely.. I can sense the pain the writer went through while penning this piece down. Like what i listened to last week; the above whispers talk on WFM 91.7. This violence starts from the family and society. Imagine if all families could teach self respect and self esteem to all their wards. I grew up seeing married women beaten by their husbands and the society does nothing. Imagine if my mum didn’t teach me not to raise my hands in ladies, i might actually be a culprit as well. Let the sensitization start from the family. I do the little i can with younger ones that i give advice to. We must stop this Gender based Violence and it starts with each individual.

    Reply
  2. Gloria Ogunbadejo November 30, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Brother, your recognition that there is a problem and that you are committed to playing your part in making it better are the exact intentions we need to change the story…Bless you!
    Keep reading AW…your voice is heard, your sensitivity recognised
    and validated!

    Reply
  3. Olakunle Olajide December 2, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Yes ma’am. I have learnt a lot and still learning. Thank you ma.

    Reply
  4. Femi Diipo December 3, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Yes, boys when growing up need sensitization and proper home training on how to treat women and be real men in their eventual families. Violence against women really must stop

    Reply
  5. D'apoet December 3, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I am of the opinion that a man raising his hand on a woman isn’t actually a display of strength but of weakness. Strength is making others feel safe and peaceful not giving them scars and instilling fear in them. All men must know this, and let’s keep saying this till the message of stop violence against women reaches every man

    Reply
  6. D'apoet December 3, 2016 at 10:10 am

    I am of the opinion that a man rising his hand on a woman isn’t actually a display of strength but of weakness. Strength is making others feel safe and peaceful not giving them scars and instilling fear in them. All men must know this, and let’s keep saying this till the message of stop violence against women reaches every man

    Reply

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