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To say I Do or I Die?

It’s always enchanting to attend weddings and see couples exchange vows tying themselves to each other for better or worse and till death do them part. But with generational changes and advancement in society, that line which is used, recited and held on to so dearly by those betrothed, ought to either be abolished or changed.

Recently, headlines have hit the mainstream and social media showcasing dead or assaulted women, proving that we live in a broken society that has more needs unmet.

It’s even worse that there are unmarried women out here being battered by their partners but have been unable to leave because one, they have nowhere to go, two, keep using children as the tying factor to a toxic relationship and or three because they love their men.

Femicide is a real thing in Kenya and should not just be a fight left for and to be fought by feminists in Kenya. I heard someone say, ‘feminists are now coming out to attack marriages, don’t women know how to respect their husbands these days?’ I questioned myself on how respect and lack of it for this matter ever guaranteed someone’s right to live.

We have normalized certain things and made excuses for certain behaviours in our society hence why, when a woman’s death hits the headlines, we hear things like, ‘she was a prostitute, what was she expecting?’, ‘men are angry and are stressed, sometimes wives do not know when to talk and when not to’, or this line that gets me so irked, ‘the economy is so bad, people are frustrated and so they are now turning to killing their partners.’

I just saw pictures of a woman assaulted and left for dead in Kindu Bay and someone wants to tell me that those are merely exertions of frustrated men? In my path as a journalist, I have seen women who believe that being slapped, punched and beaten up is a sign of love and a strong marriage, but what people do not realize is that with each day, your body normalizes the pain and someday he will part your brain cells with a machete.

I have also seen parents who encourage their children to go back to their unbearable and violent marriages while patting them on the back saying, ‘ndoa nikuvumiliana’ not knowing that each time one sends their child back to be assaulted, they are reducing her days on earth. There’s no shame in having your daughter separated or divorced. In any case, you’d rather have a divorced child than a dead child.

Most men, if not all men cheat and that’s the sad reality we have to accept in this generation. I loathe it when someone says, why is it that our parents and their parents never saw high number of deaths reported. Well child, back then technology wasn’t as advanced to let you know what was happening in Thika town within seconds while you’re taking your tea and rabuon in Nyalenda.

Secondly, back then, men had the decency to bring the other woman out and introduce her to the wife. These days, men just wanna party and when the main host finds out about the party, the man either removes her out of the picture or the other woman gets rid of her for him. How dumb and inhuman.

I am a staunch Christian but I am against pastors who tell couples to go back home and pray against the devil attacking their marriages. It’s even worse that some of these pastors who do counselling are the leading adulterers and assaulters. Create a realistic safe space for men and women going through battering and let them know that sometimes walking away is what will save their lives.

Lastly, I am not advocating for people to up and leave their unions. There are things like therapy sessions and professional counselling. But when you have said everything and done all you could to make it work, please salvage the remaining breath that you have and walk away. You are more than a statistic.

Featured Image: Valarie Wendo Masibo who was allegedly assaulted by her husband Naftali Shamo Luzuli in 2018 in Kipkaren Estate in Eldoret. PHOTO CREDITS | JARED NYATAYA | BATION MEDIA GROUP 

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