Why women stay

He says he loves her. But he also loves hearing her beg him to stop. He says he cannot live a day without her. But he also feels less powerful when he cannot dominate. He picks her up when she falls. But he also picks her up to hit her one more time.

She is quiet. She does not complain. She does not leave him.

She cooks. She cleans. She takes care of the children.

She is not strong they say. She has no voice they say. She deserves what she gets they say.

But why?

She was just a child when her mother passed away. Being brought up in a house with uncles she became closer to them with time. They were like friends. So, one day when they asked her to take off her panties, she did not fight back. When they looked under her dress she drew back but was reminded that friends keep no secrets from one another. They told her, be brave. They had shown her what they have so why shouldn’t she? She was scared but she was also 5 years old. As they climbed her they told her it was a game they played. She fought back but there were three of them.

They had left a scar that would never go.

On the night of the wedding when he touched her she closed her eyes and clenched her fists. His embrace was sickening and his kisses made her nauseous. She prayed for him to finish soon.

Sex was torture.

The first slap threw her across the bed. With burning cheeks she went up to him and slapped him back. She had had enough. The look of shock on his face lasted a second. And then came the slaps, blows and kicks. He swore and he hit her. He pulled her up and threw her against the wall. That was the longest 15 minutes of her life. As she lay on the ground his parents stood over her and laughed at their son’s ‘quick temper’.

She went back home.

This is life her aunt consoled her. Men lose their temper. They all do. It is up to women to be patient. She begged for help. She cried for her to be saved. Her aunt did the best she could.

She shared her own experiences. She told her how she was beaten up for years. She told her everything. And she said, “Be patient, do not speak up, do not argue, do not disagree, do not ask for anything, do not expect”.

But wait. No. This is not the life she had dreamt of. She wanted to study. She yearned for a career. But all that had stopped the day she started living in that house.

Do not dream, her aunt told her. This is a man’s world. A woman who dreams is a burden

So she stayed.

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