Breaking the silence


In the spirit of International Men’s Day, I implore men to be allies in the fight against domestic violence. Today, as I share my experience as a survivor, it’s a call for men to do better and become safe spaces for women. If you see something, say something. It’s time for us all to break the silence.

In recent days, I bravely shared my journey as a survivor of domestic violence through videos on my Instagram and TikTok, using Keke Palmer’s situation as a poignant case study.

The responses I received served as a stark reminder of why so many women with voices choose to remain silent in the face of such harrowing situations. It’s a struggle that echoes with individuals like Cassie, who endured years of silence before bravely filing a heart-wrenching 35-page lawsuit against her abuser, known as “Mr. Love.”

After enduring humiliation and many challenges that could have compromised my character, I found the strength to speak up. For many years, I pushed back my pain as a survivor, focusing resolutely on my purpose. However, in the last three years, my body has been going through emotional re-healing to prevent my mental health from hanging on a thread.

The unfortunate reality is that countless women wear brave faces while trapped in abusive situations, often paralyzed by the fear of judgment and societal labelling. Every day, we encounter women in our lives or through social media, completely unaware of the battles they face behind closed doors.

When survivors find the courage to share their stories, judgments can inadvertently empower the abusers, perpetuating victimization and allowing them to escape accountability for their crimes. It’s disheartening to witness how society, while encouraging survivors to seek support, often turns around and stigmatizes them for doing just that.

Reflecting on my own experiences, I recognize that without a strong heart and a supportive network, the stigma I encountered could have broken me. At times, I find myself wondering if I’m made of steel, considering the resilience needed to navigate through such challenges.

The societal re-traumatization of domestic violence victims is a painful reality, highlighting the need for increased awareness and understanding. It is crucial to remember that survivors are not defined by their past but are individuals with strength, courage, and the ability to rebuild their lives.

As I share this featured photo, it’s a reminder to fellow survivors: Don’t let society rob you of your joy. Keep smiling, keep living your best life. In the spirit of positivity, let’s refrain from pity party comments – instead, send some food my way and share uplifting words.

Nuggets on Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors:

  1. Believe and Validate: Acknowledge the survivor’s experience and believe their story.
  2. Offer a Listening Ear: Sometimes, survivors simply need someone to listen without judgment.
  3. Respect Boundaries: Allow survivors to share at their own pace; don’t pressure them to reveal more than they are comfortable with.
  4. Provide Resources: Share information on local support services and helplines.
  5. Educate Yourself: Learn about the signs of abuse and understand the complexities involved.
  6. Be Patient: Healing is a process, and survivors may need time to rebuild their lives.

Citing Keke Palmer‘s example, where she courageously shared her story, let’s amplify the voices of survivors and create a supportive environment. Light always shines through the darkness.

Two days ago Girl child advocate Olamide Alli was gruesomely murdered by the father of her kids, he plucked out her eyes, took out her braids with pliers and stabbed her 11 times, then killed himself afterwards.

The relationship which was started when she was 17 years old was described as toxic and controlling by many who knew the couple when they were alive.

Many women have been programmed to endure abusive relationships, an age long tradition of keeping face and suffering and smiling that make many women redundant or send them to their early grave.

However, Domestic Violence is a two way traffic, as men also suffer violence in relationships, but ego and societal perception of being seen as weak make them endure.

Three years ago there was a popular case of a lawyer who stabbed her husband thrice in the back and several times on his private part. Some tagged it a crime of passion while some women came to her defense , but I won’t support such irresponsible act, just because the culprit has the “W” tag. No justification for violence of any kind!!!!

Man or Woman no one deserves to die in such a way.

We nee to continue advocating for the rule of “Walking Away”, and stop telling people to manage abusive relationships, you are saving them from being killed or stopping them from killing out of psychological torture.

Abusive  relationships are unfortunately very common. They come in forms of physical abuse and emotional abuse, in which both are equally as devastating.

Most are just pushed under the rug, in hopes their partners will change, out of fear of their partner, thinking it is just a momentary reaction or thinking it is completely normal. Abusive relationships are definitely unhealthy, and should not be continued. An abusive partner normally will never change, no matter how much they claim they are going to.

Here are signs you are in an abusive relationship and why you need to walk away ;

  1. Being treated as a property or sexual object

2.Others see the abuser as a very nice person and the abuser acts very pleasant and loving between acts of violence

  1. Denying the seriousness of the violence and /or blaming it on circumstances like stress, anger, partners behaviour, drugs, alcohol or other reasons

4. Constant jealousy , calls and/or surprise visits.

5. Controlling and/or treating you like a child such as interrogating intensely, tracking location, having to ask permission to go places or try new things, keeping all the money, and asking for receipts and proof of what you’ve been up to

6. Unrealistic expectations of perfect behavior and treatment

7. Isolation from family, friends, cars, phones, jobs, and/or the public

8. Name calling, degrading, and/or humiliating

  1. Manipulating your emotions and making you feel like you’re the problem

10. Easily insulted, angered, or saddened

11. Feeling fear, nervous, unsafe, trapped, or hopeless

12. Forceful sex

13. Blaming others for mistakes

  1. Arguing constantly and quickly.

Feel free to add other signs you know, remember nothing is worth losing your life/or going to jail for.

Walking away cost you nothing , just tell your legs to receive common sense before your hands get you in trouble.


“Esther is an activist, Writer, Columnist, Author and editor-in-chief & founder -Women of Rubies. She is passionate about issues that affect women and children. 

Facebook: Esther Ijewere

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Email: admin@womenofrubies.com