[The Sexuality Blog] There is nothing a woman can do that justifies her being beaten to death

Every few weeks, a story like the one that broke last weekend pops up on the Nigerian corner of the Internet. The story is generally the same, a woman either battered beyond what she can possibly hide from her immediate or extended family or outrightly killed by violence by an intimate partner. There are so many instances of stories like this that it has almost become a cycle; story breaks, we outrage, nothing happens, we grow tired and move on.

The most recent case happened to Engineer Chinyere Sylvia Akaleme, who was beaten to death by her husband while literally hours away from delivering her first child. Akaleme had been married to her husband for five years and as a result of his violence and repeated unprovoked beatings had four miscarriages, including an 8 month old pregnancy. Akaleme had had to move to her parent’s house for the 9 months her most recent pregnancy lasted and was only picked up from her parent’s house by her husband the day she died.

While people went through all the expected feelings upon the news of the circumstances of her death, a Twitter user thought this was an appropriate thing to say in response.

When it was pointed out to him that a woman and her unborn child and what she ‘did’ to provoke her husband’s violence is irrelevant in the obvious face of her untimely death. This is what he had to say.

He continued to defend this frankly indefensible stance, going as far as suggesting that perhaps, the wife, who had spent 9 months with her parents and had just been picked up by her husband for a hospital visit the morning of her death had somehow conspired to ‘poison’ her husband, warranting his violence and that he beat her to death in ‘self defense’. No, he actually typed this and probably congratulated himself for coming to such a poignant extrapolation.

I wish I was naive enough to believe that this was an isolated incident and he is the only Nigerian man who thinks like this. But he is not, and the majority of Nigerian men think violence against women is justified provided there was some kind of ‘provocation’. That if the woman maybe tried to poison the husband or some far fetched reason, then maybe the husband was ‘defending’ himself by beating her to death.

There is none, nothing, nada, no reason what so ever to touch a woman without her consent. Read it again, digest it. You have no reason to touch a woman if she doesn’t give you express permission to do so. You have right, no obligation, no moral or legal standing to touch her. Nothing. You have no reason to beat her, either as revenge or for ‘correction’, you have no right to punch her until she loses consciousness.

It is that simple. There is no justification, no excuse, nothing that justifies you hitting a woman. Nothing.

We will repeat this as long we need to, until you understand this, till you get tired of seeing it, until you learn.

If you want to hit someone, hit your thieving policitians and your corrupt policeman. Channel that useless anger towards something that actually benefits us as a nation.

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