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When To Walk Away From An Abusive Marriage

When To Walk Away From An Abusive Marriage

On the BBC news, it was announced that the couple, who murdered their 17 year old daughter because she was too "westernised" 7 years before, have finally been convicted.

The details of the news show that the parents acted normally after her death and even covered up. Their other children were at home on the day of the event.

It was finally one of the other daughters who spoke up. I wonder how on earth a parent could justify murdering their own daughter? How can a mother live with murdering her own child in the name of a culture that forces their children into marriage? What a horrible culture I say to myself, thank God we (Nigerians) do not do that … right?

All morning those thoughts go through my head. I start to think of my culture and how we deal with issues, issues like marriage.

On another occasion, Nkechi brings up the topic again, her friend argues with her “he is a nice guy, listen, all men misbehave, grow up and marry him”, Nkechi's friend says. The day Nkechi announces she is getting married to the same guy, oh how much help she suddenly gets! She probably has never seen people rally around her so quickly!  There is help to make her wedding dress; there is help with the bridesmaids' dresses.  She has volunteers to cook for her! Even the venue is fully paid for by her Uncle Anayo. 

Her Uncle Okoye pays for her wedding to be featured in Ovation magazine.  People say good things about her “oh, what a good girl she is.”  The support is amazing!

The marriage starts, his ‘misbehaviour’ escalates!  He is violent, she asks for help again, no one responds! She goes to her aunty who says to her “if you knew what my husband did to me!  But look at us now” and Nkechi soldiers on.

A family meeting is called at which Nkechi's husband swears not to hit her again but she has to go back to her husband because “it is a shameful thing for a woman who does not last in marriage, very shameful, it just isn't our culture!”

So Nkechi obeys and goes back. But her husband does not stop!  Nkechi goes to the police “madame, go back to your husband, we do not attend to domestics”.  Nkechi goes to her Pastor who says “what God has put together, let no one put asunder. Pray, sister Nkechi, prayer is the key.” Finally, Nkechi knows she has to grow up; marriage is hard, so on and so on...

Even the venue is fully paid for by Uncle Anayo, her obituary announcement is in the national paper fully paid for by Uncle Okoye again. People say good things “Oh what a good wife she was.”

At least we don’t kill our children in the name of culture... right?

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