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It is a calm Monday morning, and everyone is going about their business at the office. Suddenly the hotline rings, my heart skips a bit. I dread this line every time it rings; it means something might have happened, and most times, it’s never something good. I hold my breath in silent prayers as one of my colleagues picks the call. It’s a case of domestic violence. The victim on the other end of the phone was agitated and did not hesitate to spill over a bit to the responder on the line. She requested that we come over to evacuate her husband from their house. We informed her that that action was not in our jurisdiction, but she barely listened to our explanation.

Seeing that her state of mind was not stable at that moment, we proceeded to her location to provide psycho-social support.

We immediately reached out to National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP), and they promised to join our team at the location. On arrival at the scene, all seemed peaceful, but that was a façade as the tension in the air could cut glass.  Our team was invited in by the victim; she offered us a place to sit and gave her account of the incident from the previous day. She was trying to blend with the electric blender, but the current was low; her husband, who was sitting in the sitting area not so far, told her to put it off, and before she could take any action, he slapped her and kicked the blender. She said that due to past experiences of abuse with him, she refused to sleep home that night and proceeded to sleep at a friend’s house with her son.

Arriving the following day, she wanted to move out, and she was stopped by the husband, who refused her to leave with their son. She informed us there had been series of abuse from her husband in the past, and a third party present confirmed this. While all these narrations were going on, the victim’s husband kept making different throaty noises from where he was seated.

Our team from DNF proceeded to converse with the husband, who avoided the previous day’s topic. He kept complaining about his wife and her neglect of duties while recording our conversation. He frequently went into the house to receive or call some personal contacts we had no access to. He claimed that his wife was not stable health-wise to cater for the son, but we discovered that he was fully aware of her health status before marrying her, and she was able to care for the child. The husband kept evading all questions asked by our team.

He became very hostile to our team and requested we leave the house on several occasions, but we refused as our host still needed our presence. While we waited for NAPTIP to arrive, we took pictures of the crime scene, which was still intact, and tried to maintain peace between the couple. When NAPTIP arrived, they proceeded to arrest the husband while the victim and the son followed them to the station to give their statements. By this time, it was raining sand, literal sand, and our team couldn’t find any means of transport. We had to sit at the boot of NAPTIP’s Pick up car till we found a safe space to drop while they proceeded to the station.

The case has proceeded to find justice while sand and dust found a new home in different parts of our body.

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