ONE’S TOO MANY TIMES: Exploring Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Abuse

Domestic violence/Intimate partner abuse isn’t, and should never be limited to just one day in the calendar, physical fights, or just one celebrity who has been there.

Domestic violence can be generally defined as an action in a marriage or relationship that is done by one party with aims to intimidate, frighten, blame, harm, terrorise, manipulate and harm the other party. Persons of any age, race and gender can go through domestic violence. For women, the Global Database on Violence against Women reveals violence against women as follows:
Lifetime Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence: 40.7%Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months: 25.5%.

Humanly, we are likely to feel safer when we know it is not happening to us or our immediate friends and family. In reality, however, domestic violence and intimate partner abuse exists and continues to grow amongst us. The victims are mostly silent, and the perpetrators probably very apologetic the night after.

Being a global issue, there are several myths and misleading information that keep rising with it. These myths include associating domestic violence to only physical harm, the belief that only women with low self-esteem go through domestic violence, and that leaving is a solution.

It is easy to ask a victim to leave, and God knows how often I thought that was a solution. That part, I greatly regret.
When we ask victims the question of “Why don’t you just quit” aren’t we low-key undermining their desire and efforts to leave the relationship, and sometimes the many other factors that are significant in making this important decision. Please note that this is not to justify or ask the victims to stay.

We must start asking questions like, ‘why can’t the abuser stop? What gives them the right/entitlement to abuse? / What is stopping the abuser from leaving the victim?
What leads a person to abuse the other that they claim to love: In this case, there are several reasons. They range from psychological traumas and mental issues plus social and economic factors that I will not discuss here.

Even so, for as long as we keep asking why victims stay, we will do more damage than good to help hold perpetrators accountable for their abusive tendencies. There’s a need to examine our personal and collective biasness concerning the issue of intimate partner abuse. Most importantly, we must be willing to unlearn and learn the new changes and factors that are recurrently contributors to this social issue. By so doing, we will be able to listen to, sanely and more open-mindedly handle each victims case with the attention deserved.

Also, we should appreciate that domestic violence and abuse are not the victims’ fault, no matter how many times they go through abuse. It is no one’s fault that they go through such a thing, and there’s no shame in coming out and asking for help.
A little more kind and less judgmental language.

It would be irresponsible of us to propagate misconceptions regarding this issue and burden the whole responsibility of ending domestic violence on the victims. From that point, it will be our crucial role as advocates of domestic violence to change our language while addressing domestic violence.

Gravity is the reason I fall, and Grace catches me when I fall,
From me to all of you in love. Lots of love.
Ess❤✨

WHERE AM I SAFE: here OR (t)here?

Some days are harder than others, you’ve heard. More than ever, it feels harder and takes longer to sound like yourself. I’ve lost my voice a few times, and as a result failed to etch a few pieces of me here. For a minute I doubted my craft and questioned my muse.

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My inner child has been fearful, doubtful and a tad clueless. Just a quick one, how often have you failed to listen to your intuition?

Learning, (re)learning, and (un)learning my love languages.

Opening my arms wide. Stretching my right hand for her to hold.

She can depend on me:

When the skies are blue: sun shining and and beautiful rays lighting her way.

When the skies are closed and clouds grey: falling light and heavy.

When the flowers wither and bloom.

It is safe, She can come out and play.

My soul is echoing a new voice, literally and hypothetically. I am teaching myself to not fold.

I am grateful and honored to share my experiences with you.

Gravity, and Grace.

CALLING THE BULLIES BY NAME PART II: Dealing With a Bully Teacher

Mounting data on the rise of bullying cases at home and school is taking global attention and we can only hope that this time it is taken more seriously.

While the tormenters and mean girls are huge threats, guardians and educators who abuse their power on children they are entrusted to protect should be addressed to. There are several resources and materials all addressing kid to kid bullying. This leaves a glaring absence of information resources and statistics on adult school bullies.

There are a whole lot of theories and suggestions when a child bullies a child bullies a fellow child; ignore them and they’ll stop, report to the class teacher, ask for help from your parents and any teachers. But what do they do when the bully is an adult in charge? Ignore the teacher? Fight back?  Or other options that are seldom viable and often than not, get them into more trouble. In most cases, reporting to the Dean or principal becomes tricky.

When the bullying takes physical forms, such as corporal punishment, most parents’ first instinct would be reporting. What of verbal and emotional bullying? Parents/Guardians are most likely caught in dilemma. This is because they are in fear of making things worse for the child when they report. Whilst this is a valid concern, keeping quite/ ignoring bullying complaints from your child might just make it worse for them.

So in that case, what are some of the ways parents and guardians can handle a bully teacher?

Talk with your child: Reassure ad Support

For any person, bullying is not easy. It is therefore your responsibility as a parent to talk to your child and show that you care. Make them feel loved and cared for. Showing them you care will make them even more open about the happenings at school and how they really feel. Be open even as you decide on your next step.

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Document all the bullying instances.

Whenever your child reports a teacher that constantly targets and bullies, document it. The date, the witnesses, the time etc. This will come in handy when you report to the school as no one can ignore clear evidence.

Follow the chain of command

Teaching is a noble profession. In fact most teachers are well trained and skilled to handle children and do it so well. However, there are other who do not handle their responsibilities well and in some cases end up bullying innocent children. Before reporting any cases to higher authorities, as a parent, ensure you have explored all possible resolutions at lower levels first. For example, you can start with the class teacher. Then from there you can meet with the teacher and express your concerns.

Unfortunately for some schools, school heads let bully teacher cases go unchallenged. The consequences of zero action have adverse effects on the child. This is because the teacher is more likely to bully the child more. If this happens to you, file a formal complaint and do not forget to keep records of all the communications, including messages and phone calls.

Bully teachers battle is one that our kids can’t fight on their own. As a parent or guardian, never assume that bullying will end after some time. It will not go away without intervention. Additionally, leaving your child in a bullying environment is the worst you can do your child’s mental health. Do everything possible and if nothing changes, transferring your kid to another school. They don’t get over it with time.

Has your child ever encountered a bully teacher? What did you do?

CALLING THE BULLIES BY NAME PART I: Me, again.


If I ever agreed with you that adulthood is a scam, Sorry. I LIED. It has been my freedom. Other than paying bills, responsibilities, and being accountable, what else do you hate about adulthood? Answer me.
Do I miss being young? You can tell my answer from the first line of this post. Now back to basics. There is a video of some girls publicly humiliating another girl going viral, and it’s beautiful how all other girls and boys are uniting to loathe bullying. A few of these boys and girls posting I know from a WhatsApp group in September 2014. They humiliated me. They added me back when I tried to exit, I got tired, and so I uninstalled the app and cried.

PS: The girl in the video has committed suicide. She left behind a note to make it clear that her soul won’t rest in peace.

Time flies you know, and certain things just catch up with you. The year is 2016, I am in my final high school year. One visiting day evening, nobody visits me. However, school routine goes on with or without me. So like every boarding school that does not allow students to have snacks and other foodstuffs, an inspection is done on that evening. FYI, I am not even friends with the boarding mistress.

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As a matter of fact, I’m her least favorite prefect. If the rumors are anything to go by, she has a spy in another stream, three classrooms away from mine.
From inspection, we head straight to the classroom section, find girls all armed with canes and stones. It had drizzled. One girl comes up to me and tells me I am the one they are about to punish. She then calls me a snitch bitch. That doesn’t hurt, I was a prefect and I had been called worse. The bell rings and the battalion is forced to class. The same day, 10pm, end of preps. A few minutes before the bell my friend comes up to my class and tells me I can’t go outside alone. Reasons, the girls have planned to beat me.
Crime: Snitched to the boarding mistress. I wasn’t visited, which makes it obvious that I wasn’t happy.

Makes me the perfect criminal. We quickly leave and head to the Chemistry laboratory. That had always been my favorite place, for study, for rest, for anything. The bell goes and one girl throws two stones, I miss both. For that whole week, my friend and I went to the dormitories accompanied by the deputy principal. Thank you, ma’am.
I look at all of them now going about their lives. To be very honest, I don’t know if I forgave them, or just let it slide, for peace.
Being in school for me always felt like a prison. 2014 and 2016 don’t feel so far away because kids still go through such and the bullies are always the first to post the dangers of bullying. Whether it is calling each other names, ganging up on someone in class or at the playground, bullying takes many forms. No matter the type, bullying is VERY WRONG.

Posting more Rest in Peace posters for the latest bullying victim will not restore order. More often than not, parents assume their children independently learn compassion, respect, and love. Let us raise children with such conversations.

Can we save ourselves from each other?

REBUILDING THE WALLS

We are all at capacity and I have seen several posts of people unwinding and leaving 2020 already. We are a few more weeks to go, but everyone seems to have had enough. I almost left too, but I’m back here for the other bunch of sheep that are still taking it a step to the next. Still breathing and silently waiting.

The world today is heavy on mental wellness, toxicity, rape and a whole lot of similar vices. My only worry, rather greatest concern is that millions of women have their lives whirled into Category 5 Hurricane but are left behind in these discussions. Millions of victims who badly need to be part of these stories are absent in their own stories.

“There’s always the beginning Ess” She says handing me a card dated 14h February, 1993. I look at it and marvel at its beauty. There are a few words, neatly written in blue ink. Dear X, Keep my love No matter what.

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‘Can you imagine living like this for the rest of your life? I’m scared. If this is the case, I wish to die first and fast. I’m so scared, yunnow. She continues.

Just a minute. If there’s was anything as clear as the blue skies I wrote in my primary school compositions, I swear upon my blood and muse, it is the fear. Her fear. The fear more than the pain of public insults and punches.

So how do you tell your tell a woman to quit? How do you tell a mother to leave her 5 children’s father after 30 years? Of what? Gagged mouth. Punches and bruises, Scars and wounds, broken ribs and…and things I don’t know.

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‘You’re still a kid, there are some things that you would understand even if I told you.’

There’s a language you can’t speak to people in abusive relationships and marriages. This is the ‘You deserve better’ language. This is a language I’m still learning to be gentle with because of the victims mental/ headspaces.

I have (wo)men that are literally scared of marriage and their respective opposite gender. I remember overhearing a conversation on how hard it is to date people with ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’ issues. It is easier to call them names, and no matter the pain and traumas we survive nobody really cares to acknowledge the damage.

To digress a bit, I see every day the expectations we put on men and women, fathers and mothers, daughters and sons that I’ve interacted with. After surviving 18/20/25+ years in broken families, abusive marriages etc. We expect them to bounce back and roll. Bounce back and have a normal life.

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Is it ever really about the how long really? Isn’t it more about the things we saw when curtains closed and parties were over? About the many times your mother publicly humiliated your dad and he sobbed silently under a tree. About the many times your father slapped your mother, or hit her with the tea cup when she brought breakfast? The number of times they openly quarreled about that mistress he said was in all ways better than your mother?

We can go through 2020 all over again and tell people how extra and bitter they are becoming, but can your feet fit in those shoes? It might be years later, when we are all grown and independent of toxic and abusive environments but, but certain things you can’t unsee. Certain pains you can’t unfeel. Certain words and phrases you can’t unhear.

Gravity🍃, and Grace✨

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