Mrs. Ogbaoso has been a victim of physical abuse for years.
She recently left her abusive husband and started her life afresh with four children.
Even though she left with her life intact, she had lost one ear and some teeth to her abusive husband of ten years.
The blows he dishes out to her daily left her deaf in her remaining ear and her face is full of scars to show how much of a survivor she was.
Mrs. Ogbaoso thought people would be happy she left a marriage full of abuse just to remain alive to raise her children.
But she was wrong. It was like she had become a plague that other married women avoid.
Her family members disowned her for bringing disgrace to them. They don’t want to have anything to do with her or her children anymore.
Her neighbours banned her from visiting them so that she doesn’t become a bad influence on them and their marriages.
Her friends deserted her. They always come up with excuses anytime she wants to meet up. They tell her that marriage is for better for worse.
Her church members murmur anytime she came to church. They judge her with their looks. She’s even told to stop ushering in church because she’s a bad example to women.
Her siblings have refused to pick her calls. They keep telling her to go back to her husband and pray for him to change.
Her business associates start withdrawing from doing business with her. Her abuse story and survival doesn’t move them.
Mrs. Ogbaoso is now confused more than ever. She doesn’t understand why her loved ones, the church and her friends want her to go back to suffering domestic abuse after losing her ear as well as her self esteem for years.
Now, she’s regretting having run for dear life. Saddled with four children to cater for, she is considering going back to her husband.
Does this anger you? It should! What are you doing to support that victim of domestic violence around you?
The next time you ask why a woman didn’t leave her abusive husband, ask yourself if you fall into any category above.
We all have a role to play to end abuse against women in Nigeria. Save a life. Don’t send a woman suffering abuse back to her abuser. She may not live to tell her story.