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Tears roll down her cheeks as she wished in her little mind that she could help in this situation. She was scared and all she has is just the tears rolling down her cheeks. She has been pleading but he is too busy to hear her tiny voice. She wishes that it was just a nightmare.
She can’t believe that the man she calls Daddy is hitting the woman who has always been by her side and told her jokes after school. He is beating her Mommy. She is struggling for her life on the floor as he holds her throat tightly with his left hand and throws punches with the right hand. Jenny thought that such things only happened in the movies but now she has is witnessing it in her own home.
It is not the first, nor the second, nor the third time that she was seeing this sad scene in the movies happening in her home. Mommy said it would never happen again last week. That daddy was angry. That it was a mistake. Now, barely two weeks later he is pouncing on her mommy like an angry lion. She used to be daddy’s girl but now she’s not sure anymore if she will call him daddy again. She’s not sure if she will ever forget what he did to mommy and her when she tried to get in and plead. She will never forget how he gave her two hot slaps on her tiny cheeks because she came in front on her mommy on her knees, pleading for mommy’s forgiveness even though she’s not sure if mommy did anything wrong. She wants to call mommy’s elder sister Aunty Ifeoma but mommy made her promise her that she will never tell any of her family members especially Aunty Ifeoma.
She is confused and still scared and mommy is still receiving punches. She wants to pull daddy away but her cheeks are still red and after being flung out by daddy, her left hand hurts a lot. Poor Jenny’s arms were broken, but she is unaware, because all she has in mind now is how to save mommy from him. She can’t find the word daddy anymore in her mind. It has been swept from her memory.
Tears roll down her cheeks continuously. She is very angry now, why can’t she call for help, she thinks. Why did mommy make her promise never to call for help for her in such a situation? Her little mind is torn up by those sights.
He finally gets up when he is tired. Mommy is lying on the floor motionless. He leaves for his room leaving mommy on the floor. She runs up to him and hold on to his trousers, screaming “daddy please”. He brushes her aside. She isn’t surprised though. Someone who could take down mommy does not need any effort to take her down too. Her arms are in excruciating pain now.
That will be the last time she will acknowledge him as daddy. She is just eight-years-old but has made up her mind. No one can change it. She rushes to her mommy’s side and shakes her but there is no movement. He has locked the door so she can’t even open it. She is broken and all she has is a little prayer that she says to whomever is willing to answer. She stares at her pregnant mommy with her swollen stomach and whispers, “Sorry mom”. Mommy had promised her a little sibling to play with her but she is lying motionless on the floor surrounded in red liquid. She takes mommy’s phone and calls aunty Ifeoma, who lives close by. Daddy has left the house but forgotten to lock it. She runs to the neighbors’ pleading for help. They ask her what happened but all she can do is point inside the house before collapsing there.
When she woke up, she was in a hospital room with her left arm in bandage. Aunty Ifeoma gave her a hug with teary eyes and told her, “good job princess.” She slowly regained the memories of two days ago. She asked for mommy and Aunty Ifeoma told her, “she is fine, nne.” She heard Aunty Ifeoma talking with the police to deal with him mercilessly. She knew “him” was her daddy. Her grandma was hugging her too, pitifully. She didn’t know what was happening but all she knew was that the memory would never fade away.
Little Jenny and her mom had been victims of domestic violence and abuse, and the scars will forever stay in her heart. She will never forget what she witnessed. No one knows the fear it instilled in her and the guilt she felt for not calling for help earlier which led to the loss of her little brother. Little Jenny is not the only one experiencing this: in the US 10,000,000 children are exposed to domestic violence every year and only 25 % of physical assaults against women are reported to the police annually. Also, 38,028,000 women have experienced physical violence by their partners. According to this source 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some sort of physical violence by an intimate partner.