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Ideas & Debate

Men, femicide won’t heal your broken heart

No one owns anyone- we are just partners in
No one owns anyone- we are just partners in this boat of life. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Early last week, news broke of the death of Emma Wanyotta, a young woman, allegedly by a serial killer who was out on bond. She was hunted her down and killed, leaving residents of Moi’s Bridge Town in Uasin Gishu County shocked and seething with anger after Wanyotta's badly mutilated body was discovered in a napier grass plantation.

A week earlier, a woman in Nyeri was captured in-camera wailing after learning of her son’s brutal murder. The man, who confessed to committing the crime to the authority and took them to the shallow grave in Mt Kenya Forest, was once the woman’s lover.

The two cases are the most recent incidents of the violence that more women are facing. Let me refresh your memory some more; remember Ivy Wangeci-the Moi University student hacked to death by her alleged boyfriend, Monica Kimani the woman whose throat was said to have been slit by her lover and Natalie Kellsall a Briton killed in Bamburi Mombasa, dismembered back in 2013 and burnt by her Kenyan boyfriend while he tried to conceal evidence. I could go on and on about the well-known cases-the few that get to the public domain.

I keep wondering how we got to this point; why the senseless killing of women has become the norm, and why jilted lovers revenge in the most despicable of forms. Nothing can ever justify any criminal act by a jilted lover. We need to unanimously agree that when the relationship is over, people need to part ways amicably.

I believe that while I cannot control economic factors like the price of unga and milk-there are aspects in my life -as a woman -I have complete charge over. It could be the next move in my career, education or what I want to make for dinner or how I want to style my hair. Same way, when I feel the need to severe a friendship or a relationship — after giving it much thought- I will do just that-leave. This decision needs to be respected.

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I would like to think that relationships, especially romantic ones, are consensual-whether the partners met by chance or it was prearranged, for instance, as is the case with most Indian marriages. However, should it get to a point where a party feels that the relationship is not serving its intended purpose or where emotional or physical abuse is present, then the right decision is to walk away.

Don’t try to suffocate your ex-partner by spamming her inbox, calling her relatives or camping by her house. This is no ordinary behaviour, quit before you become too obsessed with the break-up. No woman, or man should stay with a partner for fear that they will be attacked should they leave.

Dear jilted lover, healing a heartbreak may take time and it is fine to try to make things right-but where the other party is seeking freedom or no longer wants anything to do with you, do the honourable thing and move on. She has every right to make decisions about her life; stop coaxing, manipulating, threatening and the killing. You do not own any bit of her, whether she is your wife, girlfriend or daughter.

No one owns anyone- we are just partners in this boat of life, paddling through this treacherous river as we chase our dreams and fulfilling life.

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