I am glad to be serving the state of Maryland on the Family Violence Council [embed]http://goccp.maryland.gov/victims/family-violence-council/membership/[/embed]
For Titilayo Arowolo, on June 24, 2011, the rest of her life was over. She was only 29 years old. She was married, had a daughter, worked as a banker and prior to that day, seemed set to live out the rest of her life fulfilling her potentials. Instead, she was stabbed 76 times by the man who had pledged to love and cherish her.
Testimony reports during the murder trial of her husband, Akorede Arowolo, revealed that Titilayo had fled from her matrimonial home several times to seek refugee with her parents. Somehow though, she always went back. Perhaps the thinking was that she was in a troubled marriage. Infact, she was in bad marriage. What is the difference between a troubled marriage and a bad marriage? In a troubled marriage, conflict arises relative to actions that are/are not implemented. For instance, maybe the wife is a bad cook. They have numerous disagreements over food. Eventually, both decide that they have too much at stake to throw it all away because of food. So, the wife decides to learn how to cook, or the husband accepts that they buy most of their meals. Or maybe the husband won’t attend events with the wife, and she ends up feeling like she might as well be single! To save their marriage, the husband decides to attend some events, and the wife only invites him to those he would most likely attend. In a troubled marriage, it is not about the individuals but about “issues.” When the couples fix the source of conflict, they can move on with married life.
In a bad marriage, there is the underlining issue of “power and control.” There is an abuser who needs to be feared at all times. The victim must be constantly placed in the position of feeling inadequate. If the complaint was about food, it won’t go away when the wife learns to cook because –the abuser would insist she took the wrong cooking classes! If it is about her coming home late, the day she comes on early, there will be a problem with her having entered the house through the front door, instead of the back door. The standard for what is acceptable is only known to the abuser, and they never remain the same, even for the same or similar situations. There is no moving on with married life in bad marriages; there is only a constant living in fear and misery. This is not the type of marriage to ask a victim to return to repeatedly.
It is noteworthy to point out that Akorede, his parents, and several other witnesses testify that he was not a violent person. You are not likely to find a knife, gun, club stick, or any other weapon that would lose its ability to kill when used by a non-violent person. Whereas violence may be a predictor of future violent behavior, a non-violent history is not a necessary and sufficient preventative condition against becoming a murdered. A first act of violence can and does result in murder.
Do you know a “Titilayo” or an “Akorede?” Do you know “she” does not have to be killed; and “he” does not have to die for killing “her?” They can live the rest of their lives fulfilling their potentials. Let someone know the dangers of staying in unhealthy relationships, and the disaster waiting an outburst from a non-violent person with power and control issues. Bad marriages can rob people of the rest of their lives.