A 22 -year-old Kenyan woman who had her hands chopped off by her husband has warned women in abusive marriages to leave.
Speaking to The Standard from her hospital bed at Busia County Referral Hospital on Monday, November 22, Janet Auma vowed never to remarry.
“Do not listen to the advice of staying put and protecting your marriage. That is the mistake I made,” Auma said.She said she met her Bernard Ouma in 2018. They dated for a couple of months before they started living together in Kibomet in Kitale.
Before meeting Ouma, she had dropped out of school after getting pregnant when she was 17-years-old. She was a Form Two student at Buhuri Secondary School in Butula sub-County. The man responsible for the pregnancy deserted her.
“I was seven months pregnant when I dropped out of school due to the stigma I faced,” said Auma.
She later met Ouma who promised to take care of her child.
“My husband also had two children from his previous marriage. We agreed to be responsible parents,” she says.
Eighteen months later, 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.”
Auma said she asked her ex-boyfriend to come for his son, but that did not go well with Ouma, who accused her of infidelity.
She claims Ouma senselessly beat 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.”
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,” she said.
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.” She narrated.