Earlier this morning, I received an email from an audience who wishes to remain anonymous. The content of her message got me thinking and I got her permission to put this here for everyone to read and possibly learn from.
Dear Franca, I am a 22 years old lady from Lagos, Nigeria. I read one of your articles on relationship, so I decided to write this email to you. I need help. I really need your advice. I can’t talk to my family about this because I would look stupid. I celebrated my 22nd birthday last week Friday and I have been in a relationship with this man since I was 17. He is currently 26. We started having sex when I was 18, though he once attempted to rape me when I was 17 but he was interrupted by a neighbour who came to borrow matches. I forgave him then because he told me he loved and wanted me so much he couldn’t wait. Since we started having sex when I was 18, I noticed that he was an aggressive lover. Always wanting to dominate and in the process inflicting one pain or the order. I didn’t complain because the pain was not that much. But it worsened when I clocked 20, he started telling me to try every sex style whether possible or impossible, he would Google out impossible positions that I cannot do and if I tell him I cannot do it, he would beat the hell out of me, force himself on me and sometimes tie me down, because of these i no longer complain when he introduced new styles. But recently, after sex, he would stand up, take a funny looking cane and whip me in the ass till I bleed, he gets an erection when he sees the blood. Then he would lick the blood off, have sex with me again in pains. I cannot sit down properly, my rear end is filled with bruises. Just last week again, he said he wanted me to have sex with two of his friends while he watches. I told him no and narrowly escaped the beating. I sent him a a message that I was leaving him, but he said if I do that, he would commit suicide. What should I do?
Seriously when I read this narrative, my first reaction was an ephemeral blind anger, then a long lasting sympathy. It’s very hard for me to put myself in her shoes because I can’t imagine going through all these.
The underlaying points are that no woman should persevere or tolerate an abusive relationship, no one has the right to force anyone to do what they do not want to do and no man has the right to turn a woman into a punching box. For crying out loud! This animalistic and perverted sadism should stop. Sadism should be accompanied by masochism. If your partner do not like the caveman tactics, do not force their indulgence.
You should have called the relationship quit that instant he attempted to rape you when you were 17, but that’s bygone, and this is now.
First, I would want you to know that you are not the problem, he is. This type of man cannot change, he did not change when you were 18, he cannot change now that you are 22 so do not think of sticking around to change him. Do not let him trick you and force you to stay. You need to be strong because you are a strong woman and you want out of the relationship that was why you sent that message to me. You definitely knew I would not tell you to stay. You wanted that push, now I am giving you a very big push.
You need to confide on someone, someone who can fight alongside you and counsel you. Sooner or later, you will have to let your family know about what you are passing through. They are the one who can give you the most supportive system. I am sure your family knows about him, you have been in a relationship with him for 5yrs, you must have introduced him to your family, so it’s okay to let your family know what you are passing through. Also, you have to report to the authority. This is a case of rape, sexual violence and perverse sexual act. You also need the protection of the authority in case he turns out to be a violent obsessive stalker. If possible, move far away from him and block his number! Though he is a selfish and inconsiderate man who needs to be locked away, we do not want him to commit suicide, so he also needs the protection of the authority. He should also be encouraged to visit a psychiatrist, something might be wrong somewhere because a sane man would not lick human blood (inhumane ritual). Don’t let anyone turn you into mashed potatoes. You are a strong young woman who will overcome.
To everyone, being in a relationship is good, something’s very sweet buy it’s not a do or die affair when you are being maltreated by your spouse. If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to get out now! He will not change. She will not change. Yes, it’s not easy, but need to take baby steps out of that relationship till you become a treading giant. It becomes domestic violence when you get married to an abusive partner. No man has the right to beat a woman and vice versa. We shouldn’t be subjugated to archaic cultural philosophies that center on perverse punishment.
Say no to rape, say no to sexual violence; say no to sexual abuse