Private Legal Practitioner and Gender Activist, Dr. Angela Dwamena-Aboagye has advised women who suffer any form of abuse in their marriages or relationships to leave because their partners will never change.

She noted that people often stay in abusive relationships with hopes that things will get better and their partners will change someday, which invariably, is an illusion. She said, “once abuse starts it never ends.”

Dr. Dwamena-Aboagye was contributing to discussions on the Super Morning Show on Tuesday. The discourse centered on domestic violence. The discussion followed the death of Nigerian Gospel musician, Osinachi Nwachukwu, who allegedly died of domestic violence.

The musician, known for her hit song ‘Ekwueme’ died on Friday, April 8, at a hospital in Abuja.

In an interview with Vanguard Nigeria, the elder sister of the late gospel music artiste dismissed reports indicating that she died of cancer.

Favour Made, told the newspaper that her sister died as a result of a cluster of blood in her chest after she was kicked in that area by her husband, Mr. Peter Nwachukwu.

According to Miss Made, Osinachi’s husband had been abusing her before her untimely death.

She also revealed that her family had advised Osinachi to separate from her husband and take care of herself and her children, but she refused and always made her family aware that she believed her husband would change for the better.

Speaking on why women would decide to take such decisions in spite of various abuses from their partners, Dr. Dwamena-Aboagye explained that this is due to a number of factors, including a perceived notion that their partners would change someday.

“Many people do not understand the cycle of violence,” she said, further explaining that the cycle of violence often starts with tension building up.”

“Then an explosion will happen which is the violence and after that, there’s a phase called the honey phase. This same person will beat you up, probably rape you at the same time, deny you many things, throw you out of the house, and then when you begin to take steps they suddenly show some form of remorse.

“They come back, call the Osofo [pastor] and tell them ‘please let’s go back and beg Adwoa, I don’t know what came over me.’ At this time, they are the sweetest personality you ever have and they give you all you need. The relationship becomes very sweet again and then the person comes back confident again, they feel they have their partner back and then the tension comes back again.

“And that’s part of the reason why the confusion is internalised,” she stressed. She said it is very necessary to make victims understand this cycle before any other help is offered to them, otherwise, leaving an abusive relationship would be very tough.

She also mentioned that one factor influencing this is the fear that the woman would be ridiculed by society.

“One of the reasons why women do not want to speak up is the feeling that ‘who would believe me?’ You go to an institution and they advise you to stay in the marriage and that things will get better. You go to your pastor, he quotes Ephesians 5: 22-33 without explaining the import of this, you go to your family and they say this is the way marriage is – in every marriage, there are conflicts so if he’s good to you and he takes care of the children, he’s good.”

“So all around, a lot of women and people who are abused feel caught not only by their own internal circumstances, but also because the system can be very very tough and unfriendly,” she maintained.

She, thus, advised women to seek help and be ready to take the necessary steps to liberate them from abuse.

“The Police have a way of responding. They can use the courts as well by seeking a protection order or an occupation order,” she added.