Don’t die a Mrs. Somebody, Kathlyn Eyitemi tells abused women
Life isn’t a bed of roses. Nobody understands that cliche more than Kathlyn Eyitemi. She has walked a long thorny path to become relevant in her field as a motivational speaker and social crusader. In recent times the port Harcourt bred girl has become a woman known for her vocal support for causes. Two of such causes close to her heart are Rape of women and girls as well as domestic violence.
Early this year, Kathlyn had gone on media platforms to share her story as a rape survivor to help rape victims and influence the perception of stigmatization of rape victims. Drawing strength from her own personal experience, she has launched a Domestic violence campaign on her platform Sisters Interact Network, an interactive gender based NGO she founded four years ago to address burning social issues that affect women.
The campaign is inspired by the memory of her late mother who died from domestic violence. She recalls the bitter episode saying, ” it is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Loosing my mum in that way. I was just fifteen and I didn’t know that episode of her death would haunt me forever”. Haunted she might be but her pain is serving her and society well.
Currently her NGO has lined up several seminars in Lagos and port Harcourt for both single and married women. They are also putting banners on the streets of Lagos to create more awareness.
Kathlyn believes her timing is right for the campaign owing to the many episodes of spousal killings that are publicized on social media.
“Women have the power to make choices. Your life isn’t over because you married an abusive man. I always tell abusive women, walk away and stay alive for your children. Don’t die being Mrs somebody”.
As she emphatically maintains her organisation is not support of divorce. ” We just put the woman first because she needs to be alive so we ask her to take her kids and get to a safe distance and pray as much as she wants for her husband. I counsel women daily and I hear horrible stories. Its not okay for a man to use iron rods to beat his wife because he is angry. That woman’s life is in danger”.
When asked about the role of the church in addressing domestic violence, she says the church needs to review the way it addresses the issue. “I think the church is perpetuating domestic violence. Instead of realistically tackling the issue, a pastor will tell a woman whose life is clearly in danger to go and pray for her husband. So who will take care of her kids when she dies in that marriage”.
The church largely influences the way people in this part of the world so they should shift grounds and begin to make men understand the enormity of that singular action of wife battery.
There are pastors who beat their wives and the church is very tolerant of that. It should not be so”.