On Gender And Domestic Violence

Few days ago, social media platforms were flooded with pictures of a man whose thighs and that which hangs in between his legs were scalded by hot water. He was a victim. From seeing the pictures, one would think that the oppressors or perpetuators of the evil act were the Fulani herdsmen going around town maiming. In fact, I showed a friend the picture without a caption and he said “these Fulani herdsmen have started again”. But no, it wasn’t the Fulani herdsmen, it was his wife. You heard me right, his wife.

If you didn’t catch up with the news, I know you’d be asking what led to that evil event.
The story.
Located in Danbatta Local Government Area of Kano State, a primary school teacher, Malam Aliyu Ibrahim Fayan-fayan decided it was time he married a new wife, this he made known to his wife whom he already has ten (10) kids with. She accepted this decision with a good mind, so he thought.
In Mallam Malam Aliyu’s words :
“Since the time I told her about my plan to marry another wife, I did not see any change of attitude from her and we had been living together peacefully. In fact, she promised me that she would be among those that would buy the wedding items for the bride”

But onThursday, by 10pm, the devil became his wife. In his words :
“Last night after I returned home, I bought some meat for them. I met her boiling the water, but I had no idea what she was going to use it for.” He stated that he was relaxing after listening to a Hausa radio programme called ‘Taskar Labarai’ when his wife, Lauratu, suddenly brought the hot water and poured it on his body, around his private part.

The reaction of people on this event was one that is very funny. One would expect that the oppressor, Lauratu, be shamed, but no. She wasn’t. It was the victim, Malam Aliyu Ibrahim Fayan-fayan. Because? He was a man. “A woman is always the victim” mentality was played out. Though, Malam Aliyu should have part of the blames, a bit. But not completely all the blames.

A facebook writer also made a long write up about the incident, giving out blames to the victim and he also went as far as ridiculing the victim with jokes and a branded word for the victim’s manhood (he called it “jabulala”). The reaction from most women were also funny, it showed that most women don’t really hate domestic violence, they just hate the fact that the oppressor is not a woman. This incident isn’t the only one that has drawn such reactions, but it is the most recent one.

Domestic violence is violence, irrespective of the gender of the victim or oppressor. We live in a society where men are shamed for speaking out, if they do summon the courage to speak out, they’ll be shamed. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) says that Male domestic abuse victims are ‘suffering in silence‘. The same BBC published that 80% of domestic violence deaths were men. Another popular site, The Conversation reports that Male victims of domestic abuse face barriers to accessing support services. So, you see? Men can be victims too and when they are they shouldn’t be shamed and their oppressors shouldn’t be praised.

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