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So many women are in abusive relationships. So many. I have been told, threatened by men, to leave the sanity of their relationships because I tell their girlfriends to leave them the first time men hit them. 

Physical violence is the ultimate sin for me. Seeing a husband beat his wife when I was younger made me decide that marrying a man was not an option for me. I saw this shit happening all around me when I was younger. It hurt. I hated my father because he lay his hands on my mother. I still haven’t gotten over that. 

I had to part ways with some of my girlfriends who decided to stay with their boyfriends after he beat them over and over again and they didn’t leave, no matter how they claimed to value themselves. It’s like they were under some spell with these men and they just won’t get out. 

I have a cousin who chides me over not being married while she is married to a man who beats her so much she spends half of her marriage in her mother’s house. Another cousin of mine told me marriage is a choice to stay with the same person every day; yea, now she has birthed a second child hoping he will stop beating her. 

I tell you now and forever if you allow a man to continuously beat you; you have lost your sense of self-worth, self-love, and self-respect. Those are core to the nourishment of your soul. 

How They Met

Enough is a 2002 movie starring Jeniffer Lopez, a wife, and mother on the run from her husband who is obsessed with her and will kill her rather than lose her. 

A young waitress, Slim, comes into view, working hard with her friend, Ginny,  in a café serving food from table to table. 

A man comes into view, he has brought her a flower and says some cocky shit as he hands her the rose. As she smiles, a man behind the man, moves in, grabs the man by the collar and asks how much he and his friend bet to get into Slim’s pants. 

The man is angry! He demands answers from the first man citing the disrespect that the man has shown the lady. 

“We bet 500, but it seems you are worth 200.”

The new man is angry and chases the first man out of the hotel telling him never to return. 

And so the relationship between Slim and Mitch begins. They get married, have a baby and are now living in some luxurious apartment in leafy suburbs. 

First Time 

One day, a pager comes into Mitch’s phone as he is preparing to leave his wife (whose sex he has just turned down) and Slim answers it. It’s a woman who calls Mitch baby. Slim demands to know her name. Name’s Darnell. Hangs up.

“She just paged you.” Slim breaks down. “I thought we were happy!” She cries. “We are!” Replies Mitch. “But I am a man. You know that” Slim gets angry, slaps Mitch. He punches her. She falls to the ground. 

“Seems you have forgotten I am the man. I bring in the money here so things go my way!” He roars. “At least now I don’t have to lie about where I am going. I just have to say I am going to Darnelle’s rather than I am going to work.” He hugs her. Tells her she is important to him. He loves her and leaves. 

“Nobody has to know about this. You got to understand, I will not live without you.”

Get Out

Slim now lives in fear of her husband. He is a wealthy man. Says he will track her wherever she goes. She feels she is not the kind of woman who lives in such an environment. 

She plans with Ginny and her former employer, Phil who is like a father to her (after her father left her and her mother) to help her escape. She barely makes it because her husband wakes up as she is leaving with her asleep daughter and starts beating her ruthlessly. 

Her friends, waiting outside, hear the commotion and run to her aide. Mitch threatens them with his gun, “you broke into my house!” 

Phil manages to wake the little girl, tells her to ‘look at daddy’ and he has to hide his animosity as they leave the house. 

On the run for Dear Life

After Mitch freezes all her accounts, Phil funds her transport out of the city. She runs from City to City and Mitch catches up with her. He follows them everywhere threatening to kill her. 

Slim visits her real father, who is rich as fuck but denies her because, many before her have tried and failed. But she hands him a necklace that he gave her mother and leaves. 

She runs to a former boyfriend, Joe, but a bunch of Mitch’s goons come and threaten his life. Slim and her daughter are on the run again. 

A package arrives when she is at a shelter from her father who was motivated by the presence of Mitch’s goon in his office. She has enough money to start over with her daughter under a new name in a new zone where Mitch cannot find her. 

Life seems to be going well for her but then again, Mitch’s friend, Robbie (Remember the guy who was disrespectful when she met Mitch, yeap, they were friends) who is now a cop, manages to find her. 

Mitch appears in her house, she manages to fight him off using a bracelet pepper spray (which my ladies, you should all get) and gets into her go-car with her baby. 

We get to see how this shit affects her child. As Slim heads on a car chased by Robbie, young Gracie goes silent and numb. She has just seen her father attack her mother, trying to kill her and now is in a car chase with a man bumping into their car. 


After this, Slim decides to go to the Law but a lawyer tells her, since there is no evidence, no court will listen to her and she might lose custody over her daughter- something that Mitch has threatened over and over again- says he will say she is a drug addict- and since he is rich, has a friend in the force, who won’t fucking believe him?

She decides to take the law into her hands, literally. 

Slims goes to a self-defense class and her coach teaches her how to handle Mitch. Then she gets some tech training and ends up in Mitch’s house. 

She waits for him after hiding all his possible weapons and setting up her defense. 

They begin to fight. 

When she has him down, she realizes she can’t kill the fucker, “I am not him!” Not many women are killers. But that’s when he takes the opportunity and almost annihilates her. 

She remembers her training and fights back. She remembers the many times he beat her and pushes him off the balcony. He falls to his death.

She is among the lucky few who escape femicide. She gets her freedom.

Take Away 

So many men kill their wives every year, especially here in Africa. 

Women stay to protect their marriages. Women stay in the name of love, in the hope for change, but that change won’t come. Once he beats you and you decide to stay, it’s only the beginning. 

Until when will women die in the name of love?

I can understand cheating, to some extent,  but being beaten? Come on. You are better than that. The first time should be the last, do not wait for the second time like that stupid girl who married my cousin. 

And I think it’s time that women seriously take self-defense classes. 


By Wambui Ochieng'

Radical Feminist

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