Domestic violence is not only when physical injuries are inflicted on victims. It can also be sexual. When a man or woman fails to have enough sexual intercourse with the partner, it constitute domestic violence.
This came to light on May 1, 2018, during the unveiling of Adepoju Atinuke’s book, titled: "Budding Lily". It was also an occasion for the creation of awareness and sensitization on domestic violence.
The venue was the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) Secretariat, Moshood Abiola Crescent Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking at the event, the Guest Speaker, Mrs. Rosetta Ibegbu, said it is domestic violence for a man not to have enough sexual intercourse with his wife.
She said research has shown that it is even for the health benefits of men to have at least, 20-days sexual intercourse out of 30-days in a month in order to avoid prostate cancer.
Other forms of domestic violence, according to Mr. Ibegbu, are threats, control, passive abuse (neglect), and domineering behaviour such as preventing the wife from working for fear she might use the opportunity to go and have extra affairs with other men (or women, as the case may be these days).
Mrs Ibegbu advised young people to stop being desperate for relationships, and that parents should stop pushing their children into wrong relationships.
Asked whether it is no longer having too much sex with a wife against her will that constitutes domestic violence as narrated in the opening chapter of 'Dudding Lily', Mrs. Ibegbu said, both – "not having enough sex with one’s wife and having too much sex with her against her will – amount to domestic violence".
She was also asked why feminists and gender equality activists have not deemed it necessary to fight for equal rights in polygamy – that is, for women to have rights to marry up to 4 or more husbands as men do, but "that is not possible” was her only answer in a world where everything, even gay marriage, has become possible.
Strategies for surviving domestic violence, said Mrs. Ibegbu, includes speaking out (but be sure not to speak to the wrong person, she advises ) otherwise, you become a network news! (Words in Italics are ours).
Other strategies are "safety first, not necessarily divorce but sometimes you need a space, safe place or environment to recover", she said.
Other men who attended the event also asked the panel (comprising of Barrister, Mrs. Toyin Ojo, Bolanle Babarinde and Fashakin Michael) why most feminists advise women to leave their husbands when they themselves are grappling with similar problems in their own marriages and managing those problems without leaving their husbands.
The Presidentof Priceless Virtues International, Miss Ajibade Oluwatobi, which collaborated with Adepoju Atinuke to organize the event, said “God has made our voice for the female gender. Society tells us to keep quiet in the face of gender discrimination and domestic violence. But today, it’s no longer so. We are speaking out”.
Oluwatobi said the aim of the book, 'Dudding Lily', is to educate females to find something doing and not be idle and depend on the husband’s resources.
The author of Dudding Lily, Adepoju Atinuke, read the opening paragraphs of the book in her book reading.
She said she had originally intended writing a short story but later decided to make it a novel based on the advice of a friend.
“Domestic violence takes place all over the world, not just in Nigeria,” she said. “I enjoin everyone, not only to get a copy, but also to read it and buy for other people".
Atinuke is an English Studies Graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University and currently works with a Nigerian bank.
'Budding Lily' narrates the story of a young couple in the heart of Lagos faced with the problem of childlessness and domestic violence in a society that lays emphasis on fertility.
It’s a story of the modern African woman and her patience, resistance and fight against abnormal norms. It’s a story of love, pain, hope and a country on the verge of change.
The book was reviewed by Barrister Toyin Ojo.