Courageous Kenyan women have come out to narrate their harrowing tales at the hands of their abusive husbands whom they loved but not anymore.
Fatuma has long, lustrous hair, her crowning glory. Her husband ordered her to shear it off, saying other men stared and smiled seductively at her.
He feared she would run off with another man.
Fatuma (not her real name) refused. He battered her, bashed her with a gas cylinder and sexually assaulted her.
She was rushed to Mombasa Level 5 Hospital where she was treated and discharged,Her husband has not been arrested, still walking free in Kisauani.
Another survivor narrates
When her husband John failed to leave money for food on February 25, Mary reached out to their neighbour Jay for help.
She borrowed Sh50 to buy food for her three-year-old son. Jay didn’t have cash but asked Mary to accompany him to an M-Pesa shop where he withdrew cash and gave her Sh50.
John was at the shop and saw Jay handing the money to his wife. That is when all hell broke loose. John pounced on the wife.
“He slapped, kicked and rained blows on me. When we got home, he threatened to smash the boy’s head with a bottle,” Mary said.
She bit his hand and the bottle fell. “He said he was going to kill me and my son.”
The 21-year-old mother has been married to John for four years. She is HIV positive and persistent battering and poverty have left her weak.
She can barely stand on her own and frequently is in pain. Her father died and her mother got remarried. They lived in Malindi.
But Mary’s matrimonial home in Kisauni has been hell. She says her son has witnessed all the assaults inflicted by the father.
“He cries whenever he sees his father. At one time, he told me, ‘Mummy, don’t leave me alone. Daddy will kill me’.”
The death threats persisted. On February 28, John hit Mary with a club on the head, hips and shoulder.
When she recovered, Mary said John wanted to attack his son.
“I had to shield him. So I continued to receive the beatings,” she said. She was giving her testimony on Tuesday to Muslims for Human Rights.