'I was a victim of domestic abuse' - Laila St Matthew Daniel

Laila Saint Matthew Daniel is a life coach, psychologist, executive director of ACTS Generation (an NGO that guards against domestic violence and abuse) and the mother of Funke Kuti. ACTS Generation's annual walk against Domestic Violence and Abuse will hold tomorrow Thursday October 25 2012. They will walk from Ojuelegba through Western Avenue to Teslim Balogun Stadium. Mrs St Matthew Daniel said she started this organization to help victims of domestic violence because she was once a victim.
I was once a victim of domestic abuse. I was involved in an abusive relationship once with my late husband. It’s a situation you never knew or imagined would happen but happened. It actually started with a hot dirty slap.
When it happens, you are shocked, surprised. You don't believe its happening. Apologies are made and you keep hoping things would change. As you're hoping, your self esteem is reducing and people keep asking, why can't she leave? No, it's like a demonic stronghold because it's not that easy. People who batter are charmers. They are very good with words.

You see there is a circle called a circle of violence, the first time, you are shocked and surprised and you keep hoping that he or she would change and as you are hoping your self esteem keeps eroding and going down because you begin to ask yourself questions and wonder if it was you or your fault and when people say you should leave, you say it’s not that easy and I can tell you that the people who are batterers are charmers. They are very good with their mouth and when they beg, you would just forgive them and it’s funny that they actually felt sorry at that time because they seem to be seeing their lifelines in boosting up their self esteem wanting to walk out on them, they would do anything to hold you down.

So, I kept trying for a long time and after a while, I lost myself esteem and literary became a mess. When you begin to look for things that would take your mind off it and if you are lucky, something happens and you begin to reject this abuse and all the begging and apologies don’t work anymore.

But I have healed. I didn’t know but I started healing when I started having a reconciliation with myself and I knew that I’m wonderfully, beautifully and intricately made by God almighty and nobody has the right to violate and abuse me. 

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