Yesterday, in a hospital in the outskirt of Lagos, a wonderful DPA doctor alerted us in the following message:
“A patient of mine just came with bruises all over her body. Beaten by her husband. …I will send the pictures. She accosted him after she saw his phone ringing and the caller was stored as “wife” she wondered who might be his wife different from him
She picked the call and informed the caller she is the wife. She also discovered her own number was no longer stored as wife but with a different name from her. She complained of discovering that he sent about 60k to another lady while she and too children are in hunger.”
With that message started a chain of events. The doctor is a wonderful professional. He followed the global best practice in providing treatment to this victim of domestic violence.
Today, before the lady was discharged from the hospital, I made contact with her. We discussed her safety going forward. We discussed her fears about going home to the husband that beat her so badly. DPA had wished that her discharge was delayed till tomorrow to give us more time to find a safe house for her. But her husband had a different plan.
The husband is a leader of a group of touts known as Area Boys in their neighborhood. He led a bunch of violent thugs and he was at the hospital trying to force them to discharge his wife. He had sensed that there was trouble. He was not sure what it was exactly. But he was aware that some people led by one lawyer were trying to get him into trouble. He knew that the longer his wife stayed in the hospital, the more likely he would fall into a trap. So, he was really disturbing the hospital to discharge the lady. The lady was due to be discharge today, anyway. But he wanted that done in the morning and we wanted it done later so that we could do something to him.
In the end, DPA was not ready to take the woman. And the hospital had no choice than to discharge her to her husband by 2pm. I finally spoke to the man. I made it clear to him that I would hold him responsible if anything happens to his wife. Also, I spoke to the woman. She is to call me once every week to assure me she is okay. And I will be sending a DPA probation officer to visit the woman every month to ensure that the man has stopped beating her.
Here are the pictures of the woman and her injuries. We have zero tolerance for domestic violence. If you get to the point of beating your wife, that is the point you declare war against DPA. It is your choice – war or peace. Our goal is to see everybody, every woman safe in her own house
As published on Facebook by human right lawyer and activist, Emeka Ugwuonye: