Francis ewherido, House of horror
Francis Ewherido

By Francis Ewherido

In the last few weeks, our sensibilities have been bruised and assaulted by a eries of cases of domestic violence. The most salient are violence by spouses against their other halves, and supposed guardians maltreating minors (is there a word like househelp?).

Much as I wish all newlyweds a happy married life, spousal violence has made me cynical each time I see wedding photos of very happy newlyweds in the media. These men and women chopping off their spouses’ manhood, stabbing their spouses to death and beating their spouses to a point where they become unrecognisable, were also very happy on their wedding day.

Marriage is good and sweet, but it is also a minefield. Two people from different backgrounds come together and decide to live under the same roof, most times sharing the same bed and bedroom. This closeness has an underbelly, a dark side, which many couples struggle to deal with.

Even siblings brought up under the same roof quarrel, fight and even kill one another. Couples have to learn to manage their differences, they have to tolerate and be patient with each other. As the days go by, they find new traits in their spouses that they have to learn to deal with, in addition to the traits they are already struggling to deal with.

Money matters will come. Who earns what and who gets what? What is the investment philosophy (if any) of each spouse? What are their financial plans, money for upkeep and children’s education? These are just a few of the financial issues spouses have to deal with. What about the number of children, the spacing between the children, the sexes of the children, how they should be raised, schools they should attend, among many other issues? Then you come to grievous issues like infidelity and breach of trust.

Married people have a lot to deal with. Inevitably, spouses offend each other and sometimes cross the red line. When that happens, you have only two options: forgive and continue with your marriage, or walk away from the marriage. Killing, chopping off sex organs and any other form of domestic violence is not acceptable.

Even if you catch your spouse in bed with another person, which is a horrendous experience, violence is not an option. You either forgive or you leave the marriage. Resorting to violent is against the law. This is very tough for married people, especially men, to take, but would you rather go to jail for killing or maiming your wife after finding her in bed or finding out that she is in a relationship with another man? That will be adding salt to injury, if you ask me.

Domestic violence is now unisex. In the last one month, a woman chopped off her husband’s manhood – the same manhood she has been enjoying – because she suspected that the man was having affairs. Let us assume that she is not convicted, what happens now that the husband cannot have sex with her or get her pregnant again?

Will she stay faithful to the man and suffer the consequences of her action, or she will go out and do the same thing she accused her husband of doing? Another woman stabbed her husband to death for the same reason. I hope she will not have sex or remarry again before she dies. That is if she escapes the hangman and comes out of prison alive.

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On the reverse, I watched a video of a man, who caught his wife pants down with another man. In the video, the husband completely ignored the man, who was naked. He descended on his wife, beating her and following her as she ran into the streets stark naked. The mother of your children? That was tough for me to take. I guess that marriage is over, but it could also have ended without the beating. I can imagine his pains, but I say no to violence in marriages.

In another video, a man beat his wife until she became unrecognisable. I could hear voices in the background admonishing her to leave the marriage before she loses her life. Apparently, the violence has been ongoing for a while. And during the week, a man poured hot water on his wife, a nursing mother, in Enugu. Enugu is becoming notorious for domestic violence.

Married people must learn to tame their anger, pain and ego. You have no right to harm or kill your spouse over domestic issues. Marriage is meant to be enjoyed. If you are not enjoying it and you cannot endure, leave rather than resort to violence. Violence is not part of marriage.

My resolute belief in the indissolubility of marriage notwithstanding, divorce and separation are better than abusive and violent marriages. If you have a son/daughter/relative in any violent marriage, go and rescue him/her before it ends in death.

As if adult-on-adult violence and abuse are not bad enough, we have been witnessing many cases of violence against minors recently. I grew up to hear of guardians who abused minors put in their custody, but the cases are growing worse. In the recent cases, people who called themselves guardians, plugged an electric iron and when hot used it on a fellow human being, a minor, as if they were ironing clothes. Guardians put knives on fire and used the knives on the skin of minors in their custody.

In a horrendous case, a hot object was inserted into minor’s vagina and pepper and salt were pushed into the same vagina by someone who claims to be a church leader and a guardian. These acts are being committed by animals we call humans. No, they are sub-animals. I watch wildlife a lot and I have seen unbelievable love and kindness among animals.

Thank God these people were caught. They should not go scot free. They should be tried, and, if found guilty, sent to jail. Their ‘golden’ children will then go and live with relatives or guardians. While in jail, let the thought that their children might be going through what they put other people’s children through torment them.

I have said it many times, using children under 18 years as domestic staff is illegal and morally wrong. But if you take under-aged children of relatives under your roof, you must treat them well. A guardian means “a person legally responsible for a minor…assuming the place or position of a parent.” It is a huge responsibility and it means you should treat the minor like your own child. If that is too much to ask of you, at least treat them like fellow human beings.

If you cannot do that, do not take another person’s child under your care, even if the parents are putting pressure on you to do so. Many of these minors are from poor homes and poverty has robbed some parents of their sense of reasoning. They feel helpless and just push these minors into uncertain future. But even where the parents are poor and ignorant to fight the abusive guardians, there are guardian angels who fight their battles for them. Treat every child right.




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