A Love Letter
P.O.Box 18444, Garki,
Abuja, Nigeria 01/12/2013
As the birds are singing and the trees are dancing to glorify the name of the Lord, I pick up my golden pen from the basket of love and caring to write you this lovely letter. It is my hope that this letter be a source of joy and succour to you.
Dear Cynthia, i got your earlier message about the psychological trauma and suffering you are going through in the hands of your husband during this time that you are pregnant. I read your message over and over again, I’m so sorry and it’s so sad to know that you are in an abusive marital relationship. I kept on pondering on these issues that you shared with me. First of all you talked about your husband constantly hitting you and threatening to leave you even though you are 5 months pregnant. Cynthia, do you know that what you are passing through is domestic violence and even on pregnant woman? My dear friend, Domestic violence among women is a global issue and a serious human right concern, it is defined by the United Nations declaration on the elimination of violence against women as “any act of gender based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering of women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in private or public life’’. Domestic violence among pregnant women is an emerging global public health concern which is grossly under reported especially in developing countries and wife-battering during pregnancy is a focused attack that puts not just you but two lives at risk, you and your unborn foetus. This can lead to far reaching physical and psychological consequences. It has also been found that physical violence against pregnant women increases the risk of low birth infant, preterm delivery and neonatal death. Sadly Domestic violence during pregnancy is categorized as an abusive behaviour towards pregnant woman, where the pattern of abuse can often change in terms of severity and frequency of violence. Are you aware that Violence during pregnancy
occurs more frequently than some routinely screened obstetric complications such as pre-eclaampsia and gestational diabetes? This is how serious the abuse is.
Cynthia, at this point I must tell you that I applaud your courage in taking the immediate measures u did by leaving the house for a moment and staying away from your abuser in order to protect yourself. I just want to encourage you and to let you know that you are not alone in this. There are many other women out there who are going through similar or worse situation than you and they are dying in silence. I must congratulate you by taking the bold step of speaking it out, at least to a trusted friend and I appreciate your sharing with me. There are also so many women out there who spoke about the gender violence they were going through, and I tell you today they are survivors because they spoke it out and they got help. So, don’t worry, again I say, I understand exactly how you feel and every other woman out there who had once walked this ugly path knows exactly how you feel. My dear friend, from your letter you shared that you do not know where else to go from where you are at the moment and you stated you might not feel safe staying with any of us your friends whom your husband know. In view of that I will like to suggest you locate a domestic violence shelter home, and I can help send you addresses of some that I know.
A domestic violence shelter or women’s shelter is a building or set of apartments where victims of domestic violence can go to seek refuge from their abusers. The location of the shelter is kept confidential in order to keep your abuser from finding you.
The domestic violence shelter will provide for all your basic living needs, including food and child care. Shelters generally have room for both mothers and their children. The length of time you can stay at the shelter is limited, but most shelters also help victims find permanent homes, jobs, and other things they need to start a new life. For you I’m very sure it will be a great place to stay in while you put to bed and get a new life or return to your husband after he must have realized his mistakes and has passed through confidential counseling and rehabilitation and have shown great improvement, willingness and desire to so treat you as the special wife that you are.
My dear friend, I know very well what it feels to deal with the trauma of domestic abuse, the scars of domestic violence and abuse run deep. The trauma of what you’ve been through can stay with you long after you’ve escaped the abusive situation. But counselling, therapy, and support groups for domestic abuse survivors can help you process what you’ve been through and learn how to build new and healthy relationships.
It’s sad that you had to go through all you’ve been through. But you don’t have to feel bad and sorry for yourself, you don’t have to lose your self-esteem or self-image. You are still valuable and very precious. Finally, I want to assure you there are so many women out there wanting to extend hands of love and warm hugs to you to let you know you are loved and cherished, you are a woman with worth and high value. As soon as you get to the shelter home, focus on your mind and be happy, for the sake of the baby too, focus also on self-development and as soon as you get your feet again with a new life, I would want you to join us in this campaign, ending violence against women. Violence during pregnancy is a public health problem requiring more awareness and education of spouses considering the outcome of the violence on both the woman and the unborn child. I wish you a safe delivery and I look forward to hearing from you soonest and also the next time I meet with you I want to see you full of life and full of smiles. I love you Cynthia and all the women and men in the campaign from all over the world-ending violence against women love you so dearly too. Bye for now.
Your sweet friend and sister,