Domestic violence victim gathers courage to leave union - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 9 December 2019

Domestic violence victim gathers courage to leave union

domestic violence
One unforgettable evening in 2014, Jane* Moraa, a mother of three, almost lost her life after being battered by a man she considered the love of her life.
Moraa, who now lives in Mombasa County, says on the fateful day, she returned home from her usual work of ferrying bricks.
Having not been paid for the day’s job, she made her family black tea for supper. That was what she could afford.
“My husband came back home drunk and he was annoyed that there was no food in the house. He refused to take the black tea and demanded food which he himself could not provide,” Moraa narrates.
Avoiding conflict, she marched to the kitchen to figure out what she could fix for dinner for her husband.
“He followed me to the kitchen. Unexpectedly, he grabbed my neck behind me and started landing blows on my head and face. My face turned to a punching bag and even the cries of our children could not stop him. He then left me for dead and fled the house and left for Nairobi, for fear of being arrested,” Moraa says.
LONG-TERM PAIN
The beating landed her in hospital where she was bed-ridden for three months with broken jaws, mouth agape, unable to speak and eat.
“I went to a hospital in Nyamira and was transferred to Kisii, Kisumu and later referred to Moi Referral in Eldoret, where I was admitted for three consecutive months.
For the three months, I only survived on milk which I took through a feeding tube. And when I recovered, I had spent more than Sh100,000 on medical bills. Even after recovering, I can only do simple tasks because to date, my jaws still ache,” she adds.
Similar to other love stories, Moraa first met her husband who had come to harvest maize at a nearby farm near her home in Nyamira County.
They courted for about a year, shared good times and finally agreed to settle down and start a family.
WHEN ROSES WITHER
The 40-year-old says the first two years of marriage were a bed of roses and deep down her heart she never thought that her husband would turn toxic.
“The first two years were good. Things started taking another direction when I got pregnant with our first child. My husband started taking too much alcohol; he became violent and even beat me twice a week,” Moraa says, adding that her husband related well with other people which made them think she was the one who provoked him.
The once hard-working woman who took up various casual jobs such as ferrying bricks and picking tea in large farms to meet her family’s basic needs can only do house chores now.
This is the aftermath of the thorough beating she received in 2014 that left her with no option but to leave her matrimonial home and return to her parents, as she continued to raise her children.
Moraa notes that she was not ready to step out of the union.
ALCOHOLISM
She says that every time they had a quarrel in the 15-year union, they sought the counsel of their parents, area chief and sub-chiefs, but two to three weeks down the line her husband would go back to his violent nature.
Moraa says her husband blamed alcoholic and claimed someone had bewitched him. Also, he questioned why there was no food in the house all the time.
“I did not know where to start or go with my three children, so I hanged onto the marriage. What bothered me is that they watched their father beat me and they cried a lot.
My children were sent home for school fees. Sometimes they were also beaten, their school uniforms and books burnt. So every time we fought, they ran away,” she adds.
After recovering, Moraa says she lost hope in the marriage and decided to live alone and give her best to her three children.
BETTER ALTERNATIVE
She reported the matter to a nearby police station but her family told her to forgive.
“My family gave up even before beginning the case and said I should forgive my husband and concentrate on bettering the life of my children. I first thought I was going to die, but given another chance to live by God, I want to ensure that I live my best life. Also, I allow my children to visit my in-laws,” Moraa says.
Being a victim of violence, Moraa advises women in a similar situation to care about their lives more than the marriage.
“Marriage has its ups and downs and the couple should find a peaceful way to manoeuvre through them. If violence becomes part of the union, that is a red flag.
Take a break; sort out the issues and if the violence persists, just leave. You can die or be left with permanent scars like me,” she concludes.

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