While women are often believed to be the only victims of domestic violence, Moses Onome, in this interview, opens up on how he suffered domestic violence at the hands of his ex-wife. Excerpt:
Can you tell us about your domestic violence experience?
My name is Moses Onome. Unfortunately, I am a victim of domestic violence in my home. My now ex-wife was abusive towards me.
Abusive in what way?
Physical abuse. She has this raging temper and most times when we get into arguments, she gets very aggressive and starts destroying things or destroying properties. When I try to hold her or get her to stop all that, she transfers that aggression to me physically using things to throw at me, hit me or cut me with them.
Did you ever feel like retaliating at some point?
Yes, I’m only human. We all have our pain thresholds – mentally, physically, emotionally. So, there were moments when I felt like really hitting her back or using items she uses to hit me so she can feel what I feel or feel the pain she was inflicting on me. It was quite a lot to be able to hold back and restrain myself from hitting her.
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How long did it go on for? How long were you in that marriage that you were able to endure this?
Well, the marriage lasted for about 9 months, but we had been together for about 3 years. Prior to getting married, I had noticed this anger and abuse from either when she dealt with friends or colleagues but she never got physical with them. I noticed the raging anger when we were dating, but she never did anything physical with me till we got married. Before we got married, she could get angry and just walk out or go to her place and then we would get to settle after some days, but being at home after marriage, I guess she was now confined in a place, and so got physical with me.
And how did this make you feel?
I know myself; I am a gentleman and it was a lot experiencing such a dreadful thing. She is someone I love and have always loved so it was quite sad being in that situation. I tried to take her for counselling and we tried to work things out several times. She does it and gets apologetic and then it happens again and again, so it was not something I was able to take anymore.
So, were you able to speak up and tell people or did you feel like it was a thing of shame because you are a man so you can’t tell people?
Well, when you say people, most of my neighbours were aware of it because it gets very loud and everybody gets to see it because we could find ourselves outside or it gets very noisy, so I think most of my neighbours already knew what was going on. I couldn’t tell any of my friends or my family. It is not something you go about telling or announcing to people that ‘oh, my wife beats me at home’ or ‘my wife gets violent with me’ so it’s not something I was proud of or something I could tell people. It doesn’t exactly have anything to do with being a ‘man’.
So what’s your advice to men who are going through such and don’t know how to speak up or get out of such situation?
Well, for men in physically abusive relationships, the best approach would be to get yourself out of the relationship because there is only so much you can take. If she gets to a point where she starts to attempt to kill you, you won’t be able to continue life. You’d die.