Listening to her ramble on about the past 10 years of her life and her marital woes, with my stare fixed on her bulging tummy the entire time, the world around me seemed to have attained a stand still position. The pregnancy should be what? About 6-7 months if my instincts are not playing tricks on me.

She got married to him when she was 22 years old. Their meeting was one you would say is divine. He was the perfect gentleman who swept her off her feet and she was going to be his gorgeous bride.

Events unfolded so fast I am compelled to believe their marriage was an act of spontaneity. However, what is to say that a prolonged courtship will/does not suffer such fate?

It wasn’t long before she missed her period and they were expecting baby number one. She didn’t mention how or when the beating started. May be a deliberate attempt at forgetting the genesis of her misery or she simply has lost count of the inhumane treatment she received from her husband.

Didn’t they take those vows? To love and to hold? In sickness and in health? I wondered as she prattled on.

‘It was a church wedding’. She blurted as if to say ‘I heard your thoughts’.

Two years after the birth of her first (By now the beating had reached a crescendo. The expectation would be to run for her life), she conceived and bore her second, and shortly after, her third. All girls.

From where they hail, female children are as good as barrenness. They were treated as trash. This should be another source of pain in her heart right?

I must have been lost in my own thoughts because what jolted me back to reality was ‘until he started sleeping with her too’. So I told her to please go over what she last said.

The father of her girls had started sleeping with them and was not in any way remorseful even when confronted.

He hasn’t slept with the third girl although he maltreats her as he does the others.

She’s just a teacher, earning a meager amount.

‘How about moving to your parents?’ I asked.

‘They want me to pray for him. They said I cannot come back to the house’.

Whew…………………………………………..

This story will make a box office hit but unfortunately, it is the reality of a known woman.

The question I am asking today is; ‘How do women in abusive relationships bear to keep getting pregnant and making babies for their abuser?’

Author: Siju Yusuf