Writing TOO LITTLE TOO LATE wasn’t just for entertainment. As a matter of fact, entertainment was the least of my motive. I desired to send a message and I hope that in the last six weeks I’ve managed to do that.
What is the message of Too Little, Too LATE?
It is simply the message to SPEAK OUT. The message to speak up and not to hide behind the cowardice of fear, family, societal and social obligations. It is a message particularly for the abused wife who is suffering physical, emotional, mental and even sexual abuse in the hands of her husband. It is a message for the wife who receives punches for kisses and curses for compliments. It is a message for the woman who secretly contemplates suicide but lacks the courage to face-off her abuser and leave him.
There are many women, in today’s twenty-first, all-modern and sophisticated society, that are suffering abuse in their homes. Too many, more than we can possibly imagine. I became more and more shocked when I read and still read stories and chronicles of women who have been mutilated, mentally damaged and some even ‘mistakenly’ murdered by their husbands on various internet blogs.
It struck me how we like to think we are living in a modern, sophisticated world where such animalistic behaviours were unheard of and yet it is happening daily before our very eyes and possibly to someone every close to us.
We read this story and many of us, at first, thought Prisca should mind her own business. Many of us are like Esosa, we just want to mind our own business. We don’t want to interfere in the private affairs of the neighbour next door or living in the next building. We, sometimes, hear shocking screams; we hear shouts for help; we hear loud yelling and hideous sounds of someone being pummelled and beaten, and most often we just shut our door, increase the volume of our television, complain bitterly about the querulous new neighbours and do absolutely nothing.
We do nothing because it’s not our business. And should we manage to go inquire what the problem is and find a wife who is being abused by her cowardly, animal-in-human-clothing husband, we either only gossip about it and still do nothing or we ‘safely’ advise the wife to leave her husband and save her life without getting involved.
But how many really make the effort, the true effort to help such a woman? Not many. How many of us have saved on our mobile devices telephone numbers and other contacts of non-governmental organisations helping abused women and children? Again, not many.
It’s all cool and dignified and politically correct to not be nosy and interfere in another’s business. It is. But it is also a crime of neglect and possibly, a secondary type of being an accomplice if we know of such a thing happening and we do nothing to salvage such a situation.
There are two messages in Too Little, Too LATE and one of them is for us, who are seemingly the outsiders. We should try to befriend and help these abused women. Many of them are already too damaged even to help themselves. We should notify the proper authorities when we have to and do whatever else we can to help them. And finally, to those of us—family, friends, church leaders—who are telling wives to remain and make their ‘abusive’ marriage work, STOP IT NOW! Marriage was not ordained by God so that a man… or maybe woman, can intimidate and dominate his/her spouse and destroy their self-esteem and possibly take their lives. And marriage isn’t and will never be a do or die affair. So, stop forcing helpless women to stay by telling them that that is how marriage is… help save them instead.
But the ones who must help them most is themselves. If you are being abused, in whatever form, by your husband or a boyfriend or whomever—SPEAK OUT! Don’t just take it, you don’t deserve to be treated like that. You have done nothing, absolutely nothing to deserve it. You don’t have to be in that situation.
Tell people around you what is going on with you. Confide in your family and friends. Reach out to someone. And if there is no one around you willing to help you, then HELP YOURSELF! Find out ways you can help yourself and do so on time before it’s too late.
Death isn’t the only way it’s too late, losing your mind and being incapable of sane and lucid thought is another. Believe me, I know someone like that. A woman so horribly abused by her husband for so many years that now she is so mentally damaged that they can’t even tell her, her son is dead and that her abusive husband is coming home no more because he’s been dead for years now. She is still scared of him and she still talks about handing over her entire salary to him.
Don’t wait for anyone to save you, SAVE YOURSELF!
And save yourself early enough by observing the man you are so in a hurry to marry. If ever he hit you once… listen to me, even if he comes back lying on a massive blanket of diamonds and smelling of roses and preaching ‘it-was-a-mistake-and-will-never-happen-again’, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! It’s in him. He’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Be very observant of the man you plan to spend the rest of your life with. Study him, know him, check and test hm. Don’t take anything for granted and don’t make excuses for him. Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.
And if he hits you the first time after you’ve married him, FIGHT BACK. And I don’t just mean physically, shout on rooftops if you have to, tell your Priest and Pastor, tell your family and then even involve the Police. Make sure you get him to swear and to even sign on paper that he’d never again do it. And if there’s a repeat performance, then RUN and never come back. For then, it’s proven to be a pattern.
Finally, I’d like to personally advise wives and women, don’t fear your husband, love and respect him. When the Bible said, ‘submit to your husband’, God didn’t mean you should become his slave or his whipping boy. Life is about courage and dignity and integrity, don’t let him take yours… he doesn’t have a right to.
Make sacrifices if you have to. Make compromises that don’t belittle or demean you. Even let him have his way sometimes… but make sure it’s your choice at the end and it doesn’t destroy who you are.
For men, be a man. Be a man, not the man. Being a man means to protect, to provide for, to honour and to love your woman and your children.
That is the message of Too Little, Too LATE and I hope we all learn from it and we share it. Thank you.