Kenyan-Aussie Senator: How I endured blows, kicks from hubby for 30 years
South Australian senator Lucy Gichuhi has opened up about the violence she was subjected to her marriage in her new book about her personal life and political career.
The Kenyan-born Australian Senator’s book, Behind The Smile: From the Slopes of Mount Kenya to Commonwealth Parliament of Australia, details her reaction to infidelity and domestic violence, as well as her journey to the upper house of parliament in 2017.
Promoting the book on her website, Senator Gichuhi writes “We women need to start talking seriously about deep issues that affect us and shed light on the truth”.
The Australian quotes the Senator saying that she suffered physical and emotional abuse from her husband of more than 30 years, William Gichuhi.
She reveals that she once busted her husband, whom she’s still married to, sleeping with one of her seven sisters, who he was having a love affair with.
“I momentarily thought of smashing his head with a drink bottle but then I remembered that I am an Australian now and domestic violence law would catch up with me,” says Gichuhi.
She also narrates an incident in 1999 after she moved to Adelaide when her husband eavesdropped on one of her phone calls expressing frustration on his refusal to support the family.
“All hell broke loose, William did not say a single thing to me that whole week. He was furious…I asked him about a bill that needed to be paid. Suddenly, he charged at me like a raging bull and slapped me so hard across the face. He then hit the wardrobe with his hand and broke the mirror but hurt his hand, which started bleeding,” she narrates.
“I was terrified, confused and shattered all at the same time. It brought back memories of being in Kenya when William had hit me hard and slapped me around the face after an argument,” she says.
Senator Gichuhi says she chose to share her story in order to inspire and give hope to girls that they can still be whatever they want, no matter the challenges they encounter.
She notes that her Christian faith and career have been positive outlets outside of an often troublesome home environment.
“This (book) is about a girl becoming all she can be irrespective of circumstances, gender, color, culture, and creed,” she says.
Behind The Smile: From the Slopes of Mount Kenya to Commonwealth Parliament of Australia, also outlines her childhood as a barefoot farmer who did not own a pair of shoes until she was 12 to becoming a senator.
Senator Gichuhi, who is the first black African member of the federal parliament, made headlines last year when she was compelled to pay back thousands of Australian dollars of taxpayers money she used to fly two family members to Adelaide for her 50th birthday party.