How do we minimize the spate of domestic violence threatening the survival of most contemporary families? This was the thrust of an awareness conference organised by members of the Inclusive Women International at Berkley Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking at the event, popular Nollywood actress Bukky Wright, urged women battling with domestic abuse to seek professional help and not “die in silence.”
The Nollywood ace, who has battled series of broken marriages, said women are often disadvantaged in the home front, adding that societal stigma is reason why most women suffer in silence.
“Most of the time, the women are made to go through things, and society has a way of making you look like the devil when problems come,” she said.
“Marriage is meant to be enjoyed by both partners. But why would women have to endure it (marriage) rather than enjoy it?”
She narrated how she had had to make difficult choices between her would-be partner and her acting career, urging young women not to give up their dreams in the name of marriage.
“Most women remain in abusive marriages because of fear of the unknown. African or no African values, women are human beings with blood running in their veins. We must learn to speak up and not die in silence all in the name of tradition,” she said.
Explaining how the group assists women in overcoming domestic abuse, harassment, bullying, stalking and other related issues, women empowerment advocate and Executive Referral Team Lead of the group, Mrs. Omotola Bamigbaye-Elatuyi, said peaceful co-habitation between partners is the objective of the group.
“This group does not encourage women to leave their relationships; peaceful cohabitation is what we preach. For us, our goal is to create a platform that allows victims of domestic violence to speak out,” she said.
In 1993, the United Nations enacted a declaration on elimination of violence against women. But it remains worrisome that almost 23 years after, one in three women still experiences physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner.