Abuse should never be taken lightly. This story is a reminder that tragedy can happen to anyone.

This article was translated from Jelita magazine by Poon Li-Wei for Her World’s April 2017 issue. 

One woman tells the heartbreaking story of how she became an unwilling accomplice to the murder of her very own child.

“Two years ago, I could never have imagined setting foot in this place – enclosed by four walls and behind metal bars. But more unimaginable was the reason behind my imprisonment, which will haunt me for the rest of my life. My abusive husband killed our nine-year-old son right in front of my eyes, and I allowed it to go unreported.

The beginning of the end

Years ago, my husband was a very different man – kind, caring, and loving. We were married happily for 10 years with a daughter and two sons. But things took a turn for the worse when his business began to crumble, bringing out the monster in him. It filled him with resentment and anger, and my children and I soon bore the brunt of his abuse. Nonetheless, I stayed with him throughout it all for the sake of our children. I was also unemployed at the time and with no means of being financially secure, giving him a further hold over me.

My child, the victim

Of our three children, our second son was the naughtiest. At the slightest hint of misdemeanour, my husband would hit him. It broke my heart to hear him cry out in agony. That fateful day, he was made to do frog leaps down the stairs – and a misstep saw him tumbling down head first. There was swelling and we were shocked to find blood. My husband immediately rushed him to the bathroom, drenching him with water to wash off the crimson stains. I watched the life drain from my son’s body, and when he had finally quietened down, there was no pulse.

Burying the dark secret

I could see my husband panicking and quaking in fear as I stood there in shock, words frozen at the back of my throat. I lunged forward to help but he held me back with verbal threats of abuse. And so, I stood there helpless, with tears streaming down my face. My heart ached desperately for my son. Our other two children were in their rooms, oblivious to what had happened. The very next day, I was ordered to take our children for a stroll as my husband buried our son in the house we had rented. I suffered in silence until the overwhelming sadness and anger drove me to return home alone to Sabah. Not long after, my husband managed to track me down and apologised for all he had done. This time, he seemed to have genuinely repented.

Paying for his crime

But the peace didn’t last long, as two months down the road, the owner of the house wanted to do a spot of spring-cleaning and came upon a terrible stench. It didn’t take long for the police to unearth my son’s corpse. When they came for my husband, I was taken in as well as an accomplice. At the beginning of my jail term, I was constantly in tears. But today, a part of me is relieved that my children will no longer have to endure this sort of abuse. I will always carry this grieve inside of me – no mother will ever truly get over the loss of her child. It’ll forever torture me that I bowed down to my husband’s threats and failed to save my own flesh and blood.

Building a new life

If all goes well, I’ll be freed in August. I’ve mapped out so many plans to start afresh in Sabah but most importantly, I can’t wait to ask for a divorce. Our marriage has caused me so much anguish and all I ask for now is a glimmer of happiness. I miss my other kids dearly and don’t have the heart to tell them the whole truth – they’re under the impression that I’ve been busy with work. As for the stigma society attaches to ex-convicts, it’s not something I’m worried about. I’ve made decent friends here who have repented and strive to be better. Besides, my family and friends are able to accept me as I am. I’ve never once blamed my misfortunes on anyone else. At times, I even feel like I can breathe easy again – at the very least, these metal bears also serve to keep me away from my husband’s clutches.”

Abuse 101

Jessie Foo, clinical psychologist, shares signs to look out for and how to get out of an abusive relationship.

Spotting the abuser

  1. Gets very angry during and after drinking alcohol or using drugs, and blames you for his or her violent outbursts.
  2. Discourages you from seeing friends or family, and even going to work.
  3. Monitors what you are doing all the time.
  4. Controls how you spend your money, your use of needed medications, or decides things on your behalf (e.g. what to wear or eat).
  5. Threatens to hurt you, the children, or your pets.
  6. Forces you to have sex against your will.
  7. Humiliates you in front of others.

Breaking the cycle

  1. Abuse can happen to anyone and you shouldn’t be ashamed of yourself.
  2. Stay safe. If you’re in danger of being hurt, contact the police and try to move to somewhere safe.
  3. Seek support. Talk to someone you trust, be it a friend or family member.
  4. Find resources. Look for an organisation that can supply you with relevant information on how to get help (e.g. The Woman’s Aid Organisation).
  5. Trust yourself. It’s never acceptable for someone to hurt, or threaten to hurt, you for any reason.

Source from Nherinspirasi