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Hubby beats me and doesn’t support family

Dear Michael,

My husband batters me every day. He shows up drunk on most occasions and has been unemployed for more than two years now.

I owned a food kiosk but sold it because of his drinking habit and debts. Now I am employed and in a position to pay for our son’s school fees. He is 14 and recently joined form one. I have tried to leave my husband but every time I am about to, I keep holding on.

Last weekend he beat our son and now I’m fed up. I want to leave him but the problem is where to go.

Njoki. 

Dear Njoki,

Suffering physical abuse ‘every other day’ is life-threatening.  You have to leave for you and your son’s safety.  You might choose to return later, but even that should be because your husband has sought professional help and it is determined that he wouldn’t harm the two of you.

Thankfully, you are employed and are able to take care of your son’s education, and presumably the family’s needs.  That being the case, you have important bases for an exit plan covered.

I can’t help wondering why you’re worried about where to go?  Are you afraid of being followed?  Seek legal protection.

Are you concerned about taking care of yourself and son? You have been the breadwinner for the past two years.

Are you anxious about a change in your standard of living? That’s incomparable to the risk of imminent death or permanent physical disability.

May be it has to do with worries about your son’s education?  It sounds like he’s a day scholar.  You might consider transferring him to boarding school or another day-school.

Under the circumstances and depending on his performance in school so far, prospective schools are likely to respond favourably. It’s unfortunate, to say the least, that your husband is now physically harming your son.

Your child is in danger.  If you find it difficult to leave immediately, then at least, consider taking your son to a safe place, either to a relative or  boarding school.

Take steps to care for yourself too.  You may seek counselling to deal with the trauma of repeated physical abuse.

Your son also needs counselling to stem any trauma he might be silently suffering from after what sounds like years of witnessing violence in the home.

Thankfully, you both seem to be coping and doing the basic in life such as going to work and attending school.

Based on what you have shared, your husband urgently needs psychological review.  The abusive behaviour seems to be induced by his addiction to drinking.  Safety first, Njoki.

 

Do you have a pressing personal problem? Seek advice from Michael Oyier at  [email protected]