We at The Black Church Domestic Abuse Forum (BCDAF) are saddened and deeply disturbed by the recent media reports of the experiences and subsequent death as a result of domestic abuse of internationally renowned gospel artist Mrs Osinachi Nwachukwu.
News reports have stated that individuals within Mrs Nwachukwu’s church social circle knew that she was experiencing domestic abuse. However due to being part of a culture which frowns on divorce, coupled with societal expectations for women to endure their marriages, even when being badly treated, Mrs Nwachukwu felt she had no other choice but to remain in the family home along with her husband and children – despite the fact she was being abused.
The death of Mrs Nwachukwu has caused great concern and is fuelling debate within the black Christian community, especially on social media. People are exploring the reasons why women feel extreme pressure to stay in abusive marriages, and are calling on church leaders to condemn domestic abuse from their pulpits and provide greater support for victims of domestic violence and abuse.
It is The BCDAF’s hope that the death of Mrs Nwachukwu will serve as a turning point for churches throughout the diaspora to:
- Recognise the seriousness of domestic abuse
- Resolve to take action to enable them to properly support people who present within their ministries with domestic abuse complaints
- Train their church leadership teams and congregations how to recognise and support victims of DV and abuse.