How my husband molested my daughter, attacked me for confronting him – Woman

A 32-year-old mother of three, Mrs Damilola Julius, tells PETER DADA how she was allegedly attacked with a machete and injured by her husband at their residence in the Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State on October 1, 2023

Can you recall what led to your injuries?

My name is Damilola Julius. I am 32 years old and I am a mother of three children. I am a fashion designer. What happened was that as soon as the last school holiday started, I went to my sister’s place in Ido Ani. I used the opportunity to do the work I had with me there, though I hadn’t finished it when school resumed. So, I brought my children back home so that they could go to school and I went back to my sister’s place. So, on September 30, which was a Saturday, my daughter called me and told me that she could not stay in the house again. When I asked her why, she said my husband caressed her. I became scared, so I dressed up immediately and rushed down to Owo. When I got home, I looked for a way to ask him because if someone could do something like that, we don’t know what he is capable of doing. So, the following day, which was Sunday, October 1, I asked him why he did something like that.

Did he admit it?

He admitted and begged me not to be angry that it was the devil’s work. I said it was okay and not a problem. In the morning of the following day, I asked him whether he would not go to work and he said he didn’t have enough money with him. He asked if he could get N2,000 from me and I gave him. So, he left home around 7am. Not long after, he came back. I asked if he wasn’t going to work again, and he said it rained and it affected the ring.

What does he do for a living?

He drills wells and he is also into plumbing works.

What happened next after he returned to the house?

So, I called the children and gave them money to go and buy food. As they went out, I just sat in the sitting room because we live in an apartment with a bedroom and a sitting room. A few minutes after he entered the room and came back to the sitting room, I saw him with a cutlass and a file; he said he was going to cut weeds on his site. He dropped the cutlass and file and I thought he returned to pick up his key. We close the door any time we step out of the house like that. However, I heard a sound at the entrance to the sitting room and jumped up to open the door, but I realised that he locked the door from outside. I immediately ran to the room and he also locked the room from behind. I was wondering what could be happening to him.

 Did you ask him why he did that?

I asked him why he did that, but he didn’t answer me; he just sat on the bed. The next thing he said was, ‘So, you want to expose me?’ I told him that since he pleaded with me, I had taken my mind off the matter. He started beating me and later he took the cutlass and started hitting me; I struggled with him so that he would not kill me, but I didn’t have the power to stop him. Later, he dropped the cutlass and he picked up a hammer and started hitting my head with it.

I fell and he thought I had died, so he opened the door and ran away, but God helped me. When I regained consciousness, I was able to crawl to the door; I opened it and fell again outside.  As I opened the door, one of our neighbours, who heard me screaming, came to me and called the other neighbours. The neighbour had been banging on the door but could not enter the room because the door had been bolted by my husband. The neighbours took me to the hospital.

Before the incident, did you have any misunderstanding with your husband?

We never had any issues before then. I didn’t know what came over him. Whenever we had an issue, we settled it and forgot about it. Even when my daughter reported to me that he was trying to sexually harass her, I gently asked him and he apologised and I forgot about it. So, attempting to kill me is what I don’t understand.

What do you think he meant when he said you wanted to expose him?

He probably thought I had been telling people that he wanted to defile my daughter.

Did you tell anyone what he did to your daughter?

No, I didn’t.

How did your daughter describe what your husband did to her when you were not around?

She said whenever I was not around, he would come to her and start caressing her and she said she didn’t want to destroy my relationship with him, and that was why she didn’t inform me earlier. But that day when she called me, she said that he asked her to meet him in the room when she was done with what she was doing outside and warned her not to tell anyone or else he would deal with her.

When did you marry him?

We have been married for over three years.

How many children do you have together?

We have none yet

Who is the father of your children then?

They are not his. I had them for another man before marrying him.

 How old is your daughter who complained about the attempt to molest her?

She is 14 years old.

How long has she been living with you and your husband?

She has been living with us from the beginning of my marriage to him.

When did she say he started sexually harassing her?

She didn’t specify the day he started, but she said it had been about three months since he had been disturbing her. She said he did that in the night when she slept and did it again at daybreak.

You have been in hospital since you were attacked. Will you return to the same apartment when you are discharged? Or what do you intend to do?

No. I’m not going back to his house.

If he comes back to apologise, will you forgive him and continue with the relationship?

Never! This is the end of the relationship.

Where are your children now?

They are with me in the hospital. They go to school from here.

Where is the father of your children?

He is alive. One of the children, a boy, lives with him in our town, Okene (Kogi State).

Is your husband also from Okene?

No, he is from Owo.

Are your in-laws aware of the incident? What actions have his people taken concerning this matter?

Initially, they came to the hospital to visit me, but they no longer come. Even when we talked about money, they said they didn’t have much money. So, they haven’t taken enough steps, particularly in the area of hospital bills. Even before his mother could come to visit me in the hospital, the police had to intervene. It’s almost two weeks now since she came to check on me.

How much did his family give for your treatment?

I don’t know how much they gave, but I learned that they provided some money initially when the incident happened but since then, they have been saying that they don’t have any money.

The police said your husband fled after attacking you. Have you heard from him since then?

No, I haven’t heard from him. His mobile line has not been reachable since the incident happened. I don’t know and understand why he attacked me. It’s still a surprise to me. I’ve never heard that he once suffered from a mental illness. I’ve not noticed anything like that about him.

Does he take hard drugs or smoke Indian hemp?

No, he does not.

While living with him, did he display behaviour that showed that he could be violent when upset?

Not really. I managed him whenever we had any misunderstanding. He is hot-tempered, but he never beat me before the incident.

What convinced you to marry him?

He saw me and said he liked me and I agreed to marry him because being a single mother, I needed companionship and partnership. That was why I decided to marry him.

What roles have the police played in this matter?

The matter was reported at the police station in Owo. The police said they had taken steps; they said that they had declared him wanted with his picture pasted everywhere, urging anyone who knew his whereabouts to inform them. They even came from Akure. So, the police are looking for him.

Where are your parents and other family members and how have they been supporting you?

 My mother is not alive but my father is in our hometown. It is my people who have been running around since I was admitted to the hospital

You have been receiving treatment for over a month. When did the doctors or nurses say you will be discharged?

They ought to have discharged me, but money is delaying everything.

How much is the money?

I was given a bill of N2.5m for the surgery on my hands and we were able to pay N600,000. My people begged the doctor to perform the surgery because they said if the affected hand was not attended to at that time, it might be too late. So, they begged the doctor and he carried out the surgery on the hands so that it would not be deformed.

How do you intend to pay the balance to the hospital so that you can be discharged?

I don’t know; that is why I want Nigerians to help me with my hospital bills. Even if I’m discharged now, I can’t work for now, not to talk of making money to pay the bills and do other things to survive. My hands are still healing.

Culled from Punch