Quite easy for people to insult a woman for staying on with an abuser-husband. “The moment he raises his hand on you, leave! Don’t wait till you’re dead!” Great counsel, if only we’d pause and think, and ask further questions first. Your anger is legitimate, but you’re wasting it: Be angry that a lot of women are not economically empowered. Most marital abuses persist, not because the woman is “worried about what people will say”, or “worried about her faith and children”, but because she has nowhere else to go–because she has no means of ending her oppression.Someone I know helps abused women to find succour. The stories are stranger than fiction. One, the parents told her not to bother coming back. They have enough poverty already, they said. And their abuser-inlaw would come once in a while and share money around. They’re not ready to lose such gestures. They told their daughter to persevere, that some of her peers have it worse. She is married, unempowered.A lady friend’s marriage is less than a year. She married at around 35 and before then, there was nothing her parents and one of her siblings did not do to taunt her singlehood. She had lost her job earlier and was now eating up all the food in the house rather than get married. Daily she faced emotional torture from her own people. Marriage was such a relief! The husband knew about her frustration, and feels he did her a favour. He treats her like trash. She has no idea where to go, what to do other than to endure, and is sad every single day.If a lady is not empowered, and has a difficult maiden family, pray she marries a real human being with empathy and good sense. Otherwise she might have no choice than to endure the abuse–which is sad. We should have more empathy for abused women and stop the insults. We should get to the root of the story and have a better perspective. An empowered woman can of course be abused, but she will at least have choices. We have to be realistic: an empowered human being stands a better chance with life: he or she can speak truth to impunity, can walk away from a slave-driving boss, and can afford to own his or her own terms in any negotiation.

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