“I will keep speaking up to encourage other victims” – Ivie Edobor, survivor
Mother of three, Ivie Edobor, is a victim of domestic violence who has been in and out of court and hospital after she was brutally assaulted by her estranged husband who also crushed her bones alongside his thugs. With the help of Project Alert , an NGO focused on fighting all forms of violence against women and other organisations; Justice was served eventually and Ivie was vindicated though her legs might not heal for a longtime. Her estranged husband, Mr. Edobor, recently tendered a public apology to seek his wife’s forgiveness but Ivie isn’t having any of that again. In her words ; “Forgiveness is Divine but that won’t bring back my damaged legs”. She shares her very touching story to encourage women who are facing such ordeal to speak up, break the silence and find help before it’s too late.
My name is Ivie Edobor. I’m the 3rd child of my parents. I have sisters and my only brother is late. I graduated with a B.sc Biochemistry from the university of Lagos. I am a single mother of 3
beautiful girls ages 10, 8 and 5yrs. I currently head Human Resources for a telecoms servicing company. I am a strong and resourceful youngwoman. Most importantly, I am a survivor.
My Domestic Violence experience
I had been married for 7yrs and blessed with3 beautiful daughters when my then husband kicked me out of our home. Before then, I had endured
both physical and emotional abuse from him. The most prominent one being the fact that I could bare him only female children. His reasons
then for kicking me out, was because my business failed and I was heavily in debt, rather than allow me remain in his home with my children and find a way to sort the problems out. He kicked me out of home in the middle of the night with the help of his younger sister.
My children then ages 7,5 and my last 2yrs were left crying and holding on to me. I slept in my car for two nights hoping he would change his mind but he refused. After much pleading from friends and family and especially when he knew he couldn’t cope with the children, he mandated me to come for them else he would send them to the village. I picked my kids up with a few things and left. Seeing as my children where in school in that area, I lodge with my kids at a hotel for some time so they could complete their exams and then we moved finally to my father’s house.
I must confess I went through hell. He tormented me emotionally through various means down to sending me pictures of himself and his lovers to torment me, sending emails to myself and my family insulting myself and my parents. To crown it all, he took my kids off his medical plan being paid for by his employers so I had to pay medical bills from the nothing I had. I donated blood to blood banks on a regular basis so I could get money to feed my kids. I drove from Orile to Ajah everyday leaving home with 3 kids by 5am to be able to get them to school early enough. You may wonder why, well the fees had been paid for the session and since I couldn’t afford another school I had to cope somehow. All this happened between August/September 2014 to July 2015. When the session ended I resolved to change the children’s school. Through the help of my brother in law( my sister’s husband) I was able to pay up all outstanding debts. I sold off all I had and got a new school for the children closer to my father’s house and paid for a full session 2015/2016 session.
Things got better by 2015 September/October when I got a great well-paying job. I could now feed and provide for my kids and myself.
I got a new car and by March ending I moved into my 3 bedroom flat I rented for my kids and myself. I had 2 nannies because I vowed to work harder than I ever had so my kids would never be hungry again. To cut the story short, I became somebody again and then my kids father showed up asking for reconciliation after all the pain, the hurt and suffering. I told him we could never be husband and wife again but he could have access to his children. He pretended to have changed by paying their first term fees and I thus gave him access to the kids. I didn’t know he had other plans. On June 18th 2016, he laid ambush for me with the help of area boys on my street and attacked me with a wheel spanner on my way back from a function with a friend. In the process he used the wheel spanner to hit my right leg continuously on the process breaking the bones of my right leg. I was rush to the hospital when my neighbor rescued me, called the police and got him arrested. My leg had 9 fractures with one of them puncturing an artery in my leg. After 2 major surgeries with titanium rods, plates and screws inserted the doctor was able to save my leg from amputation.And the rest is history.
How I felt when my story went viral
I was really touched by the support I got from so many people. My old students association, primary /secondary school mates, NGOs and men and women alike. I was really humbled knowing so many people could feel my pain.
I can’t give up because…
I have 3 beautiful daughters that will grow up to be women. I can’t allow them grow up thinking that it is normal for a woman to be battered or abused physically or emotionally. Domestic violence in any form is wrong. I also know so many women are suffering in silence; I want my case to be an example to all others. Domestic violence must never be condoned. Women are human too, we have a right to life.
Project and activities
Right now, I’m trying to get back on my feet learning to walk again and be a mother to my children. I am also part of different support groups for DV survivors most importantly one run by Olubunmi Ajai Greenland assistance Haven. It is a group that supports victims of DV.
I hope to be actively involved once I can get on my feet fully. For now, I give talks to other victims and a few schools too on the consequences of DV and also life after DV.
My husband’s recent public apology
Forgiveness is from God but that doesn’t change the law. He must pay for his crime both in criminal court and in civil court. His apology doesn’t change what he did. It doesn’t give me my leg back. It doesn’t erase the trauma my kids and I had and are still going through.
How it feels to be a survivor
I feel stronger and determined to make a better life for my daughters and I.There is life after DV and I am a typical example. I have gone back to work even with my disability and I am surviving. Yes I have loads of bills and responsibilities especially as I am now father and mother to my girls but the smile on their faces and the pride they feel for me makes it all worth it. They are my life.
Nigerian Women are not well informed on the need to speak up when abused…
A lot of women are afraid to speak out. The first thing is the fear of being alone especially bringing up children alone…School fees, feeding, shelter and all.
Secondly, there is that Nigerian mentality
of a husband being a woman’s crown. So do we have the crown and die in silence? There is also the backlash, I still receive some till now. I
had fellow women asking me why would I bring my domestic issues to the public/ or why didn’t I apologize after he tried to kill me so my kids have a father, or that I must have been adulterous so he hit me out of love and not wanting to lose me. That is so absurd. I cry for them.
My children inspire me to be better. They look up to me and they have belief in me. They call me supermom knowing that no matter what, I will provide for them. Recently I had 2 of my daughters graduated. One from preschool to primary and the first from primary to secondary.
Through it all they have come out on top. My first daughter read out a Thank You speech to me on her graduation day and the whole hall watched me take baby steps all the way up to the stage so I could give her a big hug. They have never been embarrassed by my actions rather I see pride in the little innocent eyes. I will never want to see them disappointed ever again.
I am a Woman of Rubies
I am a strong determined young single mother of 3 that rather than remain timid and lick my wounds, I am determined come rain or shine to fight for the rights of my daughters and other women. We have a right to live.
Final words to women in abusive relationships
Women please speak up. You have a right to leave to live. You have just one life. It may be tough at the beginning but when there is life, there is hope. And to you abusive men that feel you can get away with DV, my case will be the case that changes things. It is no longer business as usual, we will keep speaking up till we are heard. I am Ivie Edobor, formerly a victim but now I am a survivor.