My wife rape me for 10 years – Man wey be victim of domestic violence

An illustration of a woman trying to open a door behind which a man is hiding

BBC

Plenti report of domestic violence dey wey women too dey guilty of. One out of three of evri woman and girl don experience physical and sexual violence for dia life, according to di UN.

E no dey common for man to tok about dia domestic violence palava.

Domestic violence against men na taboo for many societies, and di men wey be victims dey suffer dis palava alone.

One young man for Ukraine share im story wit di BBC, on condition say dem go keep im identity secret.

Na wetin im tell us be dis, plus some advice wey we collect from sabi pipo on how to recognise di signs of domestic abuse and wetin to do about an.

How e start

I no know if my friends suspect anytin. Evritin look great from di outside: smiling faces, friends, plenti moni, happiness and confidence. We dey travel half di world togeda.

I no dey fear wen we dey travel, she no go harm me wen pipo dey. My fear na to avoid to dey alone for di same place wit her.

A hand holds a mobile phone showing an image of a couple

BBC

Na recently I sabi say my ex-wife dey rape me for 10 years.

Ira na my first woman. We meet wen we dey our 20s – na she ask me out.

My parents tell me say I go need comot for house immediately I start to dey date anyone. Dis one mean say, to start relationship mean say I go give up my family and house. Inside one day, I lose everything.

E dey make my liver cut. I only fit afford relationship wen I bin don save plenty moni to live on my own.

‘I bin no get ‘liver’ (ie I get low self-esteem)’

On top of am, my mamar dey shame for me sake of how I look- I bin get very low self-esteem.

Di first time wey I bin sleep with Ira back for dat time, I want am. But, e no too dey normal. E dey painful and aggressive. Our first sex bin last for five hours and e pain me well well afta di kerewa.

She get dis craze wey be say she must to see sperm in di end. She go rub me until I reach dia. For average, e go last for one to two hours.

Pesin suppose enjoy kerewa but e no sweet me. I no get experience and I bin dey think say na like dat e suppose be but I no dey give consent.

But e no too tey I sabi to say no be she no stop and na wen e come turn to rape.

An illustration of a figure in a foetal position

BBC

‘I dey trapped’

I bin need to go overseas on long business trip. I dey fear to lose Ira, so I ask am to follow me. I even offer say I go marry her. She refuse, but she join me las-las. Na where e begin be dat.

I don dey overwork and I bin want rest, but she say she wan do kerewa. I agree one time, two times… She go say, “I want am, I need am, so go give me. I don dey wait for you for long time.” I go reply, “No, I no want to, I want rest, I don tired.”

Den she go beat me and notin wey I fit do. She go scratch my skin wit her fingernails till I start to dey bleed, she go punch me.

She no go leave any marks for my face – she go harm only place I fit cover: my chest, back, hands.

I no defend mysef becos I bin dey tink say to harm woman dey wrong. Na how my parent raised me be dat.

I be dey feel small, weak and I no fit escape. She go dey ontop of me.


I try rent anoda room for mysef for hotel once but I no dey speak dia language so dey no understand me for exception. I con end up trapped.

I con dey fear to return to di hotel after work, so I go dey waka about shopping mall until dem close. Afta dat I go dey waka di town upandan. E be season wey cold and wet and I no carry cloth for cold weather follow me.

So, I con get urinary tract infections, prostatitis, and fever. Dis ones no even shake Ira: I need to dey do wetin she want.

Na weekend worse pass. E go start from Saturday morning till Sunday night. I don count wey we go leave Ukraine. I think say dat one go break our relationship but I wrong.

A person holds their head in a treated image

Getty Images

‘I try to leave but give up’

I go back my parents house and I no wan dey in touch with Ira or even to live with her. But my try to comot for di relationship drag for years.

We go fight, I go turn off my phone and even block her for everywhere; I go hide but she go come siddon for door side. She go call and promise say everything go dey fine.

And I go go back to her every time. I dey fear to dey alone.

Wen e start, I bin wan leave am, then I late rgive up. I insist that we must marry, and we marry even though I no want am again.

Ira dey jealous everyone: my friends, my family. Wherever I go, I need to always call her. “Why I need attend those conferences?” “Why need I meet friends?” I go dey tell her.

She no fit go anywhere without me—I be play toy wey need to entertain her all di time.


Ira no get job – I provide for us, cook and even clean. We get house wey get two bedroom but she no go gree me use di main bedroom, na di one wey guest dey use I bin give. Every morning, I need wait till she wake up until wen she wake about nine or 10 o’clock or she go say I disturb her sleep.

She decide say we go dey sleep for different rooms and my room no get key. I no even fit dey alone.

When I be do something wrong, she go shout for me and even beat me. Na once a day dis kind tin dey happun or even every oda day.

Anything wey dey happun – she go blame me. She go dey tell me di kind man wey she need, wetin he suppose do. I dey powerless and I dey do everything she want so she no go vex.

I remember as I go down di stair to go sit inside di car to cry. She waka pass me and see me. Wen I reach house, she say she dey sorry but she no fit stop.

So everything go start again di next day. No matter wetin I do or how bad e do me, nothing change.

I no dey perfect. To dey avoid all dis, I use to work 10, 12, 14 hours every day, on weekends and even for holiday time. E dey easy: some pipo dey drink—oda pipo dey choose to work.


Why victims of violence no dey leave dia abusers?

An illustration from a photo of a woman holding her head in her hands

Press Association
  • Pipo wey grow up for house wey fight-fight dey happun fit reproduce di same behvior for dia own family.
  • Fear too dey alon and shame: “wetin my neighbour go tok?” “Pikin fit grow up with two parents.”
  • Di first stages – psychological abuse – dey difficult to recognise. Therefore, di person wey dem dey abuse go dey used to am and no go fit act.
  • Di person wey dey suffer di violence no get anywhere to go, e dey financially dependant on im abuser or e dey vulnerable (like pregnant woman or pikin)
  • Wen dey ask for help for authorities, and dey con hear “dis na family problems” dem go give up.

Alyona Kryvuliak, head of the La Strada-Ukraine National Hotline Department, and Olena Kochemyrovska, adviser to the UN Population Fund on prevention and counteraction of gender-caused violence, named these and other reasons.


‘I start to dey talk and I no fit stop’

When you’re inside a situation like that, you don’t realize what’s happening to you. You don’t see the way out and you don’t hear Wen you dey situation like dat, you no dey know wetin dey happun to you. You no dey see di way out and you no dey hear from anyone. You no even dey think say you get time to escape, e just dey hopeless.

I dey do think wey I no want do sake of say I don dey used to am. I dey always owe somebody something and I no even belong to mysef. I belong to my grandmother, to my parents – I bin always dey think say you need sacrifice everything sake of relationship.

And so I sacrifice my interests and myself – e look normal to me back then. So everything get even worse.

In di beginning, I no just lika am but later, like three to four years of do relationship, I bin dey get heart attack anytime she tok sex. E go happun wen Ira find am and force me.

An illustration of a person sinking into a dystopian pool

BBC

When I used to panic, I go push her away, hide, and run – run away from house, or from the room.

Ira think say we dey get sex problems because of me so she dey carry me go sex doctor every few years.