Domestic violence · LIFE · Nigerian life · Stories

Silent screams

Hello beautiful people, How’s your week going? I really don’t know where time is flying to, everything is just so fast-paced these days. 

This story has been in my drafts for months but I’ve been so reluctant (read: shy) to share it here. I learnt that October was domestic violence awareness month and I immediately decided to share and improve on it as I go along. October’s gone, but it’s never too late to speak up about D.V and help victims.

D.V affects both sexes but I made my main character female because it’s more relatable. This story is a combination of stories that I’ve personally witnessed or heard about.

Most of the characters speak a mixture of English and Nigerian pidgin as is often spoken by local speakers, I’ll do my best to translate. Here we go:

“Madam, no use your leg push me o.” The sharp rebuke was followed by an even sharper nudge at her side. Vera looked up at the lady beside her and adjusted without saying a word. “You cannot even say sorry” the lady said, a loud hiss accompanying her words.

Vera smiled as she heard the lady hiss, it reminded her of her three year old daughter, Miracle. She was named Miracle because she wasn’t expected to live, but she beat the odds. Prematurely born at 7 months, Vera feared for her little daughter’s life; she remembered the day of her daughter’s birth vividly. That morning, she made the mistake of telling her husband there was no food, that there was no money to buy foodstuff.

The beating was swift and merciless, her husband threw punches repeatedly, targeting her belly as that was her most vulnerable area. Her pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears and he only stopped when blood began to gush out of her. He looked truly scared then, he rushed her to the hospital and the baby had to be delivered immediately.

Everybody thought she wouldn’t survive but she was still here three years after. For a while after that, the beatings stopped but resumed again exactly two months after her daughter was born.

“Iyana Ipaja bo le o” the conductor screamed at the passengers

Vera shook off her reverie and came down from the bus, she got to a junction and was about to hail a motorcycle when a black car sped past her and sprayed muddy water all over her borrowed dress. 

Vera immediately burst into tears, her day was going terribly. First, she had to hide her kids with her friend before sneaking out to see her pastor. Then, the traffic held her up for several hours, which meant she’ll be late in preparing dinner and that will earn her a couple of slaps or more. Now, this careless motorist had splashed mud all over the dress she borrowed from her neighbour, Mama Chidera. 

She hurriedly wiped her eyes and made vain efforts to clean the dress. The owner of the car came down to apologize to her. “Madam, I’m really sorry, I wasn’t careful.” As Vera lifted her face to accept the apology, shock ran through her as she recognized the woman.


Madam no use your leg push me (Nigerian pidgin): Madam don’t push me with your legs.

Iyana Ipaja bo le o (Yoruba): A call on passengers to alight from the bus at their bus stop.

The posts will come up every Wednesday, your inputs,  suggestions,  corrections are highly welcome. Thank you.


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