Rachel Wainaina, a former KBC journalist has narrated her experience in an abusive marriage that almost cost her her life.
In a recent interview with gospel singer Ruth Wamuyu, Racheal says she got married early with expectations of being happy since she was a hawker at the age of 17 years,
” I was hawking clothes and shoes at land Mawe to try and survive.
I was able to save around 150K and went to a journalism school as it was always my passion.
At 22 I got married,” she said.
She went on to say;
“I always wanted to get married I met a hawker and at that time I was working as a journalist, I had gotten an internship at KBC,
The hawker used to sell sweets but he was always smartly dressed, so I started buying from him and would constantly tell him to keep the change.
When I met him he had studs and dreadlocks. He did not look like marriage material but I thought one day he would change.
One day he shaved off his dreadlocks and told me he had become born again.
He even welcomed me to his church and he joined the worship team.
It’s through that that one thing led to another and we started dating.”
Rachel’s parents were not impressed with her choice but she had made up her mind.
“My parents were not happy with my choice. I told them they had no say over whom I chose to marry.
I also told them they were looking down on him because he was poor.
They grudgingly accepted my decision and we held a very big church wedding.
For our honeymoon, we went to his shagz in Nyeri, and on the third day, he beat me.
He was forcing me to admit to something I had not done.”
Broken and in shame, Racheal could not
“After our honeymoon was over I never told my parents about the beatings.
My older sister would visit me and when the beatings became too much she told my mum.”
What Rachel did not know was that the violence was just beginning and that it would get worse with time.
“He would beat me every two or three months either for not picking the phone, coming home late (yet I was a lecturer).
I was also the one paying all the bills.
I took his sisters and enrolled them in our house, I was trying to show him I cared but nothing worked.
He continued to be violent even with his sisters when they did something bad he would bet them as if he wanted to kill them.
The saddest part of my marriage is that one day I cooked and he took all the food and smashed it on my face.”
She went on to add;
“Sometime I would go sleep and he would pour cold water on me.
Other times he would take me to our bathroom place me on the floor, and pee on me.
He would tell me how useless I am and then he would flush down our wedding rings.
It was really sad, There is a day he stripped me naked and threw me out of the house in Gachie, even with all the insecurity.
The watchman would help me with his blanket, he would bang my head on the all and then sweetly apologize.
During our honeymoon period, I lost a baby because my pressure went high, at some point my dad got diabetes.”
Asked on why she stayed despite the abuse, Rachel said
“I never walked out because I believed in marriage and thought he would change.
I used to feel sympathy for him because he is an orphan, he was a hawker, so I assumed he used to go through a lot and assumed me to change.
My friends told me to leave the marriage.
One day he started leaving the house and comes back after three days, I couldn’t because he would beat me.
After coming back he would then demand that I sleep with him. I was very scared because I did not know if he might be having HIV.”
Many times he told me that he would kill me.
Rachel said she got tired of her marriage and she decided to quit
The day I decided to quit, he came back home one morning after being absent from home for five days.
There was a burial of mutual friend so I knew he won’t stay at home for long.
At around 5 I received a call from my landlord saying my husband had reported that I had refused to open the door for him, yet he did not knock.
I woke up and went to the door and I had a feeling that I was going to be beaten.
my conscience told me that It would be bad and that I shouldn’t open the door.
We had been chased out of some houses because of violence.
I went to the kitchen door asked him to come, when he came in I went and opened the sitting-room door and hid.
I then opened another door and ran out of the house and went to a nearby shop. At around 6:30 he came out and boarded a matatu.
Rachel thought she was lucky as he would never expose his violent side in public, but she was wrong.
“By bad luck the matatu was full.
He stopped another matatu and when it reached me and he was about to board he took a big stone and hit me on the face.
I lost consciousness and the shopkeeper helped me.
I stayed in hospital for 70 days. Sometimes he would come to see me but my parents told him not to.”
As if that was not enough, her husband started threatening her after she decided to leave.
“When I told him it was over, he started threatening me and started stalking me, At the time I went to leave with my cousin.
I lived there for six months and that is how I started healing.
After leaving her cousin’s place, Rachel decided to report her abusive husband as she was tired of living in fear.
“I went to the central police station and asked to see the OCS and he asked me to show him where we used to live.
The police tracked him and got him arrested then out of pity I got him arrested. The OCS warned him against coming near me nor calling me.
They threatened that if he ever beat me again they would not arrest but rather they would just shoot him as he was ‘useless’.
That is how she got her freedom.