GENDER RELATIONS

Divorce better than enduring violence

Battered women are often told to pray and persevere

In Summary

• Staying in an abusive union because of children may do more harm than good

Image: PEXELS

If a woman experiencing domestic violence shares her concerns, chances are she will be advised to persevere. To pray for her husband and not to leave the union because “God hates divorce” and once you’re married, you should stay in your union till death do you part.

Or in some cases, you’ll hear comments like, “If you were beaten, you must have done something bad. The beating wasn’t unwarranted.” I am aware that some men also experience gender-based violence, but women are disproportionately affected.

Many who endure the suffering end up dead or, if they are lucky, minus an arm or tooth. Which begs the question, was it not better for them to leave before it got that bad? I’m not sure if God hates divorce, but I’m certain he doesn’t hate divorcees.

There isn’t a relationship that is devoid of misunderstanding. However, we ought to deal with issues in a civilised way.

Staying in an abusive union because of children may do more harm than good. They experience psychological torture every time they witness violent tendencies. Moreover, today, people can be compelled to give child support. If you believe that both parents should be present for a child’s wholesome upbringing, I doubt you want an abuser to be your children’s role model.

Domestic violence is barbaric and torturous. It should be criticised and not romanticised. There’s no glory in leaving your mother’s home in perfect wellness, only to return in a coffin because of an abusive spouse. You’d rather go back when you’re alive. So please, do so while you still can. That abusive spouse may never change. Choose to unlearn that toxic script.

This story first appeared on the digital magazine Star Sasa, accessible on Sundays for Sh10 by dialling *550*3#

Edited by T Jalio