A Nigerian lady who is also a mental health advocate has revealed that female prisoners face abandonment from their family and spouse than their male counterpart.
Taking to her social media page, Eketiette, the lady explained that the spouse and families of a female easily move on and forget them once they become prisoners or are facing life threatening health conditions although when it is the male, they have their family members, spouse/partners stick around more.
She shared her experience at the prison ward and how a female prisoner who had only been in jail for 3 months disclosed that her brothers and husband no longer respond to her calls.
When I began visiting the female section of prisons, I was struck by the ratio of female visitors who were there for the male inmates, to the men who were there to see the women.
More often than not, female inmates were visited by mothers/sisters than by male partners/family.
I think what broke my heart the most were the pregnant women who were abandoned by their partners. These women give birth in jail, and the children live there with them. Their partners never come to check on them.
put this in clear terms.
“Due to the nature of practice I’m currently involved in, I visit the prison regularly. At the visitors’ waiting area, you’ll see just women sitting there with foodstuff, money, medications etc. for their husbands, brothers, relatives, friends who are inmates.
Now, the prison has a high number of female inmates as well but they rarely get visits. On Monday, one of my client called to hear my voice. I asked her why she would waste her call slot just to hear my voice. She laughed and said, ‘I have no one else to call.
My husband and brothers don’t pick calls from me again.’ She has been there approximately three months. No one comes to visit her. I spoke to her assigned warder and she confirmed that the women there are basically alone. Very rare visitations.
The husbands move on quickly and some women get out, only to discover they have no homes or family left. I see this play out in so many ways. Women always seem to get the crumbs of care and sacrifice whenever they are left at the mercy of their family, husbands etc.”
This phenomenon doesn’t occur only in this scenario. The proportion of men who stick by wives/partners who are ill, is far below that of women. We have many cases where women while suffering from cancer, are pregnant, or trying to conceive, are abandoned by their men.
Women who finish chemotherapy and are served divorce papers; women trying to conceive and find their spouses have gone ahead to have children with other women. Women who stay with infertile spouses but are left in the cold when the tables are turned.
On the other hand, women are more likely to stick around for years, even caring for ex-partners. The statistics are disheartening. Is this a case of social conditioning, where men are encouraged to leave “faulty” partners or are men just naturally more callous than women?