API was recently approached by a Kenyan woman married to a Norwegian man. She wanted to tell her story and to warn other women married to some cruel Norwegian men or men in general who treat them as less human.
The woman who does not want to make her name public, before she has qualified for permanent residence permit says, the man started beating her from day one.
Asked whether she is still being beaten by the man, she says the beating has become normal to her because as she puts it, “I know nothing better in this country, but I keep praying that God helps me through my ordeal, until I get my permanent residence stamp from the Norwegian Immigration – UDI,” she says with tears in her eyes.
While API interviewed her in one Oslo restaurant recently, she became less concentrated in the middle of the interview, kept looking around as if she was waiting for someone to come.
One could see fear in her eyes. When asked what was wrong, she told API that she is scared talking to any man anywhere, because if discovered by the husband, she gets thoroughly beaten and humiliated.
Saying she has got used to the beating, for a number of years now, she told API that the worst humiliation she faces, now and then, is when the husband thinks the food she has made does not taste to his standard. As punishment, the husband forces her to wash him all over the body with warm water mixed with oil.
She is later told to bathe in the same water as a punishment and reminded that Africa does not have clean water.
On sex, the woman says, that is nothing to talk about. Because for her, sex she has with him is disgusting. According to her, she has had sex 5 times in two years, sex that she enjoyed. The other sexual contact she says amounts to rape, because it happens anytime and anywhere when he decides it is time to have it. I accept to do it, but immediately after that I feel dirty and cry inside me the whole day.
“If I complain, he tells me that he will ask for separation, and I will be sent back to Kenya. I live a painful life in this country. I thought I had found a man. When he met me, he made me feel I was everything for him, but after we got married things changed dramatically. In fact, I am not allowed to greet any African men in Norway. If he discovers that, he makes me suffer without food for 2 to 3 days. It is a nightmare,” she says.
Q: Why do you not report him to the police?
A: “That will be like committing suicide. If the police fail to do something then I will suffer. He is cruel when we are alone, but he acts like a super man when we are out having a drink in public. He will make a fool of me if the police were to question him. He know how to smooth talk his way on almost everything. One day I decided to tell my mother when we were together in Kenya on holidays, but she just told me to treat him well. I know why. He likes playing the good guy in front of my mother, giving her money, and manages to win her to his side. When I get my permanent permit, I will sit my mother down and make her understand how much I have suffered in this marriage, a marriage that I now call slave-marriage.”
Q: Can we help you to take it up with the UDI (Immigration authorities) so that you may get the help that you need and live a decent life?
A: No! And I hope you will not do that secretly, because things will be worse than it is now. Please do not do it. My new African boyfriend makes me feel great and that makes me to forget the suffering at times.”
We do not have words to express the fear we saw in her eyes. It is like somebody who is waiting to be executed for a crime not committed.
After having a beer and a cocktail drink offered to her by API, she looked out to the street and said listen, “there are two Norwegian men I want you to know about. One of them was married to a Kenyan woman years ago, while the other one lived with a Kenyan woman without getting married to her. The two men were cruel to the women and lost them eventually. Now the women are very happy in Norway. They can do what they want with their lives. The problem is that one of them got a child, and that makes it difficult to cut off the man completely.”
She continues to narrate her story. “The two men boast a lot that African women are cheap, and that they can get as many as they want on a daily basis. They promise them dinners, and free trips abroad for holidays. The strange thing with them is that when they were left by the two women who came from Kenya, they decided to get women from the neighbouring countries, Uganda and Tanzania. I have no contact with the two women so I cannot tell you how they were treated before they left the men too,” says with anger in her voice.
This is a sad story. API has used five days to research the facts, and we can now reveal that her story is true. She has been seen with a new African man out dancing, and having lunch. The two Norwegian men she talks about are reported to be constantly seen within the African community still fooling the women and mistreating them.
She tells API that she does not understand why women continue to allow these kind of men in their lives.
The interesting thing with this story is that the men she is talking about have not been seen dating Norwegian woman after they started getting involved with African women. It is probably because they are not able to dictate a Norwegian women to do things against their will. The Norwegian women will simply leave them because they do not need to wait in a dangerous marriage. They do not require 3 years to get any permit!
Problems like this must be addressed by the Norwegian authorities. The laws and regulations that govern marriage should be looked into in order to save African woman from being treated like less human beings, by their Norwegian spouses, or any other men no matter where they come from.
Our interview object is now in a process of forming an action group that she calls “Stop battering African woman.” She tell API that immediately she gets her permanent stamp, she will go public and lead the action group that now comprises of 15 African women as members.
She says their aim is fight for the rights of African women who live under torture and fear to be sent out of the country for breaking up with their men. She calls upon the Norwegian women to help their fellow African sisters, to get out of the mental torture they undergo.
By API, Oslo-Norway