Tuesday 26 October 2021
Islamic Sharia courts are full of many weird and horrible stories and cases, but the worst are the ones related to domestic violence, and wives who flee their homes because of violent treatment by their husbands.
One could find it difficult to believe that such cases are existed due to their weird and horrible details. Many desperate wives have been forced to leave their homes after they were exhausted and tried all possible ways to make up their lives. But they found that fleeing was their only solution to end such violent life.
Humiliating and disrespectable behavior from husbands towards their wives was the main common factor among all such cases. These wives had suffered from verbal and physical abuses. They are victims, but the society consider them guilty and don’t deserve respect. On other hand, husbands are seen as innocents and that they were exercising their role according to customs and traditions on the conservative society. Such customs give them rights to beat and mistreat their wives.
By: Defaf Mahmoud
Excessive use of violence
There were very shocking answers and bad descriptions called by many people when they were asked, how do they see women fleeing domestic violence. Moreover, what are the solutions for such cases? In addition, whether the government should provide safe houses for wives suffer from beatings and other ill-treatment.
The vast majority believe that these women are whores, and their families would never accept them at home again, in addition to the law articles that described these wives as disobedient.
After surveying one hundred random people asking them about their opinion in wives escaping due to domestic violence, and met educated people among them, I was shocked with their opinions. For example, I met with a seventy-year-old man named Haj Mohamed. He believed that men have the right to what he called behave his wife, even, through beatings or humiliating her without logical reasons. He added that women who escaped from their house are bitches did not raised up in good families; they do not know what family means. He was very angry from these wives who he believes that they fled without strong reasons.
Haifa is a thirty-years-old wife, who got married after a love story with her rich spouse. Her husband was living in one of Gulf countries. He used to beat, curse and locked her at home and takes the door keys with him. One day he started to beat her violently that she couldn’t stand any more when her eyes saw the key under his pillow, she took her decision and fled. She fled to the Sudanese embassy in that country.
She was returned to her family, to start a new chapter of suffering as their family treated her very badly. They see her as a bitch, who doesn’t have any right to speak or feel free. They always ordered her to keep silent after she fled her husband. Her story has become known for neighbors, relatives and friends. When she found a job, she could not find place to live in but her family’s home. Her relatives imposed strict restrictions including the use of violence.
She called for the government to provide safe places to house women forced to flee their homes due to domestic violence and ill-treatment.
She said the Sudanese community is a conservative and closed one that does not respect and believe in women’s freedom.
“Be gentle to with women,” she said at the end of the interview.
Patience is good
Another woman, Ammna, who works as a local food vendor, she believes that safe house for these women is a necessity. But also, she sees that patience is a good thing, but with limitations. She explained that continued beatings and abuses, women can’t find any solution but running away. Some of them have left their kids behind as they couldn’t bear their lives with husbands who don’t respect them. She told us about her young neighbor who her husband kept beating, cursing even burning her body with cigarettes. When she went back to her family home, her mother sided with her husband and sent her back home again with him.
One day she said to herself, “Where should I go. My family have sent me back with him every time I asked them for help.”
She decided to put an end to her life by drinking poison, after hours of beatings by her husband because she went out to attend a party in the town.
That is why Ammna believes that the government should provide safe houses for women like her, instead of putting them in danger or letting them face unknown destiny.
Another shocking case took place in Omdurman city, when a drug addict husband killed his wife, after her several trials to get help from her family, but they refused to keep her children at their home. This wife was always beaten and abused verbally and physically, until her violent beating became a usual habit. Unfortunately, when her family refused to host her kids, she could not find a way but to return to her husband house again. One day her neighbors heard her nonstop screaming from beating. Her screams stopped suddenly, and the neighbors found that she died.
The court accused her husband with premediate murder under article 130 of criminal code. He was imprisoned but not executed and he now lives freely after his release from prison. Everybody was wondering if the law acquitted the accused, or because the law has many legal loopholes, or it is very weak. Moreover, what if those women find safe houses, they would not have been killed. These women are seeking safe place to protect themselves from violence and all its forms.
On other hand I have met an educated man, asked him about his opinion of wives who escaped from their husband due to domestic violence. He started his talk with very inappropriate terms describing these wives as bitches who don’t have morals and that their parents didn’t bring up them well. He continued his talk assuring that women should side with her man, even if he was angry. She should understand him and respect him, and who ever do the opposite is just disrespectful wife, he said.
He added that this trend of escaped wives is just new to the Sudanese society, caused by social media and feminist activists.
Then I met some women who gathered for drinking coffee and chatting. I asked them several questions about reasons of domestic violence, that pushed wives to escape, and without any introductions, one of them said: “Men are violent”.
From the editor
After our tour in Islamic Sharia court, we came out with a conclusion that the main reason behind escaping women is violence, whether it is verbal or physical one. Many Sudanese women chose to escape, even they would leave their children behind. That’s because they continue their lives that way anymore. A woman attempted to escape with her two daughters by crossing the Mediterranean Sea, hoping in a better life in Italy. But luck wasn’t in her side. She drowned along with her daughters. Many other examples chose to die than continuing in such inhuman life.