Domestic abuse is one of the common abuses that most women face in marriages. Reports of women being severely beaten or even murdered by their spouses filter in almost on a daily basis.
Young women and girls in Nigeria suffer a great deal of physical domestic abuse and in most cases, the men face little or no consequence for their crimes.
On June 2nd, a man identified as Okhiria allegedly shot his wife over an argument at the Ekae community in the New Etete area, GRA, Benin.
The said man had an argument with his wife for not preparing his meal on time. He then went ahead to pick up his gun and fired at her with the bullet hitting her left hand at close range.
The act led to the amputation of her victim’s left hand. Life would never be the same for Tina, her children, and the people around her again.
The incident was then reported at the New Etete Police Division on June 3.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, said “On June 3, the police received a complaint from some elders of the Ekae community with Joanki Okhiria, aged nine years, that on the same day, Joanki Okhiria’s father argued with his wife, Tina Okhiria.
“In the process, Okhiria shot Tina with his double barrel gun on the left hand, and the victim was taken to hospital for treatment. The affected hand has been amputated.”
Oftentimes, women like Tina chose to remain in abusive marriages because of the children the union had produced. This, in most times, ends in horrible situations like this.
According to Tina’s mother, her son-in-law had on several occasions thrown her daughter out of his house but she still returns to the house after little pleas by her abuser.
“Her husband, many times, moved out her belongings, forcing her to move to the house of her elder sister.
“But he would later come to beg and pick up the items, and my daughter would return to his house, preferring to remain in the abusive marriage, claiming that it was for the sake of her children.”
On that fateful day, the mother of two was trying to please her husband, little did she know that that act of kindness would lead to the loss of her left arm.
She narrated what happened in her hospital bed. “My husband returned home drunk and lay on the floor of our living room. I politely asked him to move into the bedroom.
“But before he reluctantly agreed to go into the bedroom, he told me to warm some rice for him so he could eat.
“I went into the kitchen, warmed the rice, and took the requested food to him, but he was already asleep. I then covered the food and put it on the table.
“I felt that by the time he woke up, he might ask for a different food. Hence I took his Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card and withdrew N7,500 from his account.
“I gave the money to the wife of our security guard to help me buy some items so I could prepare a special meal for my husband.
“As I was preparing the food, my husband woke up and I heard him asking my son of my whereabouts.
“My son told him that I was in the kitchen, and he started screaming that I was always preparing rice for him, forgetting that he was the one that had earlier asked me to warm rice for him, but I later used my discretion to prepare another meal for him.
“My husband then came out of the room and rushed to meet me in the kitchen, and I gently explained that I was cooking something different from the rice he had requested.
“Surprisingly, he pushed me aside, rushed towards the refrigerator, and collected a bottle of coke. He opened it and emptied the content on my head.
“I rushed to meet his bosom friend in the neighbourhood and told him what his friend had done to me.
“His friend asked me to calm down while my husband continued to scream. He held my throat and was trying to strangle me.
“His friend told him to stop in order not to kill me and he left me. But as I made to go inside our apartment, he blocked me.
“His friend closed our apartment’s front door but my husband went through the back door, and before I knew what was happening, I saw him with a gun. He shot me in my left arm at close range and I passed out. I did not know how I got to the hospital.”
This is one of the many stories of abuse in Nigeria. Men like Okhiria face little consequences which leaves room for other abusers to engage in the act.
Stringent measures must be put in place by the Nigerian government to serve as a deterrent for other abusers, men and women alike.
Author: Kangmwa Gofwen
Lagos Bureau Chief, Nigeria