Groups rehabilitate, empower woman burnt by husband

Mercy on her hospital bed. Inset: After she was discharged.
| credits: Eniola Akinkuotu.
Mercy Nnadi, the woman who was severely burnt with a hot pressing iron by her husband early this year, has been fully rehabilitated by three non-governmental organisations.

PUNCH Metro had reported on April 20, 2012, that Henry Nnadi, a washerman, allegedly used a hot pressing iron to inflict burns all over Mercy’s body and thereafter killed their only son, Chukwuebuka, because he suspected her of having sexual relations with her father-in-law, an allegation which she denied.

The three NGOs: Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Centre for Organisational Development and Zahara Women; came together to set up an appeal fund, to help Mercy after the incident.

The groups drew the attention of the Lagos State Government to the case, and the government, through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, immediately swung into action.

The campaign resulted in the ministry helping to offset Mercy’s medical bills substantially. The ministry paid the sum of N830,000; took Mercy away from the private hospital she was at Okota; and got her admitted into Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.

After she was discharged, Mercy was taken to the state government-owned shelter for abused women and young girls.

The groups also raised money for Mercy, which they used to get her a furnished one-room apartment. Besides, they also gave her a cheque of N150, 000 to enable her to start a small-scale business.

Mercy, who was grateful for the kind gesture, thanked God for restoring her health. She said although she had lost her only child, her ordeal was for a reason and she would use her experience to touch the lives of abused women.

“I never believed I would be alive and well. I’m still very sad over the death of my son but I believe God has a purpose for me. If I ever see a woman being abused, I will counsel her,” she said.

Director, Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Josephine Effa-Chukwuma, said her organisation got involved in order to cushion the effect of Mercy’s losses.

She said, “We got involved because Mercy’s case falls directly within our mission of providing support services to female victims of violence. In Mercy’s case, she needed our support in raising funds for her medical treatment and rehabilitation thereafter because we got to know that even before the unfortunate incident occurred, she and her husband owed house rent.

“After the incident, the landlord seized the opportunity to throw out her belongings.”

Mercy had reportedly been a victim of domestic violence long before the tragic incident occurred. The police had told PUNCH Metro that she had on numerous occasions reported her husband’s beatings to the Okota Division.

Effa-Chukwuma said Nigerians were now aware of the effects of domestic violence, adding that if enlightenment continued, domestic violence would dwindle drastically.

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