Dear Bunmi,

My husband is a bully and the kids and I are scared of him to the point that I can no longer bear it. He beats the kids often and has threatened to deal with me if I leave. 

The only thing is that I don’t have anyone to turn to. My mother lives in our hometown and I’ve lost contact with all my friends.

Please help.

Uju, by e-mail.

Dear Uju,

I receive loads of letters from abused women all the time and they almost always say that they have “no one to turn to.”  This is because as part of the abuse, the man has cut off his partner’s contact with other people. 

The first thing you need to do urgently is to get to know other people. Keep in touch with your mom and make friends with people around you. With outside help, you would get your  confidence back enough to cope with your marriage.

I’m not saying you should not take your husband’s threat seriously. But with support, you’ll get more confidence. If need be, alert the police, who could ask him to keep the peace. In the end, to keep your sanity, you might have to leave. 

This might even be a wake-up call for your husband to want to save the marriage. 

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