The Most Reverend Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana, has called on persons in abusive relationships or marriages to seek help.
“Abuse is not marriage in the Christian context and not how God instituted marriage, so it is unwise to stay in such maltreatments in the name of religion or society to suffer the consequences.”
“It is not wise to stay in such marriages and die. Marriage is for companionship, socialization, and where you live happily and so if you are being abused in your marriage, you have to report to the appropriate quarters to seal it.
“There are ways where we can let people pull out of such marriages. It’s allowed. You can’t use your spouse as a punching bag or make your home a boxing arena where people are just battered left, right, center,” he said.
Most Rev. Dr. Boafo gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency following a report over the alleged abuse and death of a Nigerian Gospel Artiste, Osinachi Nwachukwu, well known for her popular music, “Ekwueme.”
He advised victims of such maltreatment to report to the appropriate authorities like the Police, and counselors to take measures to help them out of it.
While speaking on how some pastors convinced their church members who fell victims to consistent abuse to stay in the marriages, the Presiding Bishop, also the Immediate Past Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana, asked them to take better measures to reverse the situation.
“So my colleague pastors should make victims of abuse go through the proper way of resolution other than asking them to continue with such marriages that bring a lot of hardships upon them and make them unable to worship God the way they should.
“They should revise their counseling notes to find proper resolution mechanisms to stop the misdemeanor and restore peace in the marital homes,” he added.
Women, children, and men are equal in the presence of God, with none higher or superior over the other, he said, adding that it was, therefore, important to respect the dignity of humanity.
Statistics indicate that between 33 and 37 percent of women have ever experienced domestic violence in the form of partner violence in their relationship.