"He hit me with a piece of wood. The long stick smashed under my chin and my mouth began to bleed. Then he raised the wood up and brought it down on the back of my shoulders. He then grabbed my neck with both hands and choked me again and again."
Nancy rested uncomfortably in the dental chair supporting her neck with the palm of her hand. Her front lower teeth were displaced, bloody, and painful to the touch. No jaw fracture was present. We numbed her mouth and extracted her front 3 hopelessly mobile teeth, placed gauze in her mouth, and prescribed the appropriate antibiotics and pain medicine. I guess that is all we can do for you. I left to attend to the next patient.
After a break I asked Hannah one of our assistants, "What will happen to Nancy? Will she go back to her husband? Will she prosecute him? Will he face justice?"
"You see the problem in Kenya, and most of Africa is that when you are a victim first you have to hire a lawyer. That takes a lot of money. And if the other person has more money, their lawyer will win due to bribes, or just because they have more money."
"Do you think Nancy will return to her husband."
"She has family in Nairobi, but the problem is that of course in Kenya the women are responsible for the children. She has three children. Her husband has the land and house. She has no way to provide for the children. Also, getting a divorce in Kenya is very hard. Culturally when we marry we see it as you stick together no matter what. Legally, if you are married in a church in can take over 4 years to receive the divorce papers."
At that moment I returned to see Nancy. Of course there is more we can do for her. God expects more of us. Thankfully she had not left the chair. "Why are you still here?"
"I feel weak and I don't know if anyone will come to pick me up?"
"Can I pray with you?"
"We prayed that God would heal her mouth and back, that the pain would be relieved. We prayed that her children would be safe. We prayed that justice would be done and that her husband would face consequences of his actions. We prayed that God would rescue her from this violent social situation."
"Will you go back? Will you forgive him? Are your kids safe?" I asked in succesion.
"My firstborn daughter is in University. My other children are with my mother. My husband, he is a wealthy man. He has his own business and land. He is crazy in the head. I have already forgiven him. But, I will not go back.''