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A Letter to My Valentine

To my dear Valentine,

Greetings. It is now one week since we had a romantic family dinner together in a long time. Thanks for the gifts you bought us on valentines. It really made me happy you know. In fact for a moment, i thought you had changed. . Changed from the uncouth, barbaric ways you had been treating me ever since we got married. I had sighed with relief especially after you treated me unconditionally that day. For once, i thought you had come to your senses and realized that i am a woman, a dignified woman, a human being who deserves the best. A living being with feelings, who can also feel pain, fatique, and above all, a person who is entitled to everything good in the society.

But no! How wrong! The special treatment and the moments were shortlived. Before i could open my gifts the following day, your old you had already been revived, shouting, already reminding me that i am a woman. Already trashing me, telling me to shut up because according to you, what good can come of a woman?

Because you had already gone back to your cheuvinistic ways, barely a few hours after you intoxicated me with your sweet-nothings. Dear, you know you hurt me so much especially when you shouted at me that day together with my three daughters, saying you had no one to discuss serious family matters with. Reason? What can a bunch of four women combined say? Nothing! Nothing?

Remember the day i forgave you for wanting to marry off my 12-year-old daughter, at the expense of her education? Remember? Because to you, there is nothing much you could make out of a woman. She won't go far, she was only wasting your money, rather that being constructive and generating wealth (dowry) for you. I forgave you and endured the beatings for 'standing on your way' to serious societal matters. No, i could not allow that.

But dear, don't you think it is taking you longer to realize that i have suddenly developed strong shock absorbers, that nothing will deter me from bagging my highest goals? Perhaps not. But just for your have lost. My inner strength will keep us going (my daughters and I). We refuse to be cowed in to submission. we will only give in if we know that it is good for us.


Note: I chose this form of communication because you could not allow me enough time to convey this message. This was the best for me, to tell you everything, because you have always reminded me that i have no ground to discuss with you anything serious, including family matters. Please, i am sorry for eating away in to your time.

Sincerely yours,


jadefrank's picture



Whether this letter is from you to your husband, or it represents women in Kenya and women worldwide who are dealing with abusive husbands, I was moved by your letter. Thank you for sharing - if only more women could stand up to their husbands to protect themselves and their children. And the greater hope - if only men would stop oppressing their wives in this way.

Warm regards,

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