A Kenyan woman identified as Janet Auma has told women in abusive marriages to leave after her husband chopped off her hand.
The 22-year-old while speaking with The Standard from her bed at Busia County Referral Hospital on Monday, November 22, vowed never to tie the knot with another man following the sad incident.
Auma in her statement said, “Do not listen to the advice of staying put and protecting your marriage. That is the mistake I made.”
According to the young woman, she met with her husband identified as Bernard Ouma in 2018 and they dated for some months before they started living together in Kibomet in Kitale.
It was disclosed that Auma had dropped out of school when she was 17-years-old due to pregnancy before she met Ouma.
The man responsible for the pregnancy deserted her while she was in form two at Buhuri Secondary School in Butula sub-County.
She further stated, “I was seven months pregnant when I dropped out of school due to the stigma I faced.”
Auma after the pregnancy incident met with Ouma who promised to take care of her child.
According to the lady, “My husband also had two children from his previous marriage. We agreed to be responsible parents.”
Eighteen months after she got pregnant again, “Our marriage ran into headwinds after giving birth. My husband told me that he would not take care of a child he did not sire.”
She said she asked her ex-boyfriend, to come for his son, but the decision did not go well with her husband who accused her of infidelity.
Auma disclosed that her husband beats her for no reason. “I always lived in fear, but fellow women would encourage me to stay put, insisting that marriage is full of challenges.”
She noted that her decision to attend a parents’ meeting at a local school where her husband’s two children schooled landed her in trouble.
“When I came back home later in the afternoon, I found the television shuttered. My stepchildren told me that my son was responsible.”
Ouma locked her and her son in the house and beat them up.
“He would lift the baby and drop him on the floor while raining blows and kicks on me for at least one hour. We sustained serious injuries. At midnight, when we had retired to bed, he told me that he would kill me unless I replace the television screen.
“In the morning, he gave his children some money for breakfast and lunch and never bothered about us. I told my sister what had happened, and she sent me Sh800 for fare back home.”
Auma’s mother-in-law later visited her parents and pleaded that she goes back to her matrimonial home, but she declined.
The 22-year-old went to Nairobi, where she worked as a casual worker and came back home in August this year.
She said when her husband knew about her return, he visited and convinced her to go back to him.
“He claimed he had reformed. I agreed to go back to him against the wishes of my mother. After one week, the problems started again.”
According to Auma, her mother had sent her clothes but inside the bag, there was a t-shirt that did not belong to her.
Ouma accused his wife of accepting gifts from her secret lovers and threatened to kill her.
The following morning, Ouma asked the wife to take her sick son to the hospital and gave out Sh700, which she used as fare back home on October 26.
Ouma started sending people to convince Auma to go to her matrimonial home, but she refused.
The husband on October 31, arrived at her home and attacked her with a Panga before fleeing on a motorbike.
“I was picking firewood when I saw him approaching wielding a panga. His face was covered, but I could identify him easily by his walking style. I stood still and pleaded with him not to harm me, but he went ahead and chopped off my hands.
“He was targeting my head, but I used my hands to protect myself. My left hand was completely chopped off.”
The case was reported at Butula Police station, but the accused person remains at large.
Bumala sub-County Police Commander Jacob Chelimo said they are still looking for the suspect a month after the incident.
The victim’s mother, Modesta Auma said, “He (suspect) has been spotted in our village during evening hours, and we are afraid that he could strike again. We want the police to protect us.”
She added, “I appeal to well-wishers to help me get artificial hands and clear Sh50,000 hospital bill.”
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