- Our early marriage days were blissful. We rented a house in Dandora. He opened a small butchery while I ran a small shop in the neighbourhood.
- In February 2004, we had our first born daughter, Rachel. We would later be blessed with two other kids in 2006 and 2011. All through, he was not abusive.
- We had our disagreements but he never hit me.
“My name is Mary Nkirote. I am a 39-year-old mother of two girls and one boy. These are the beautiful children I had with the man of my dreams, to whom I was married for 12 years.
“I can still remember the first time I saw him in early 2003. I was taking a hair-dressing course in Dandora, Nairobi, where he worked as a casual labourer. One afternoon while on my way home, I heard brisk steps coming towards me. ‘Excuse me,’ he said. I turned and was stunned. He was in blue jeans, a khaki short-sleeve shirt, and the glitter of his white teeth dazzled as he spoke. He was very handsome. ‘My name is Peter. I have been seeing you around, and wondered if I could get your name,’ he said. From that moment, we began to bump into each other regularly. “Whenever we met, I could feel a rush and my heart would beat fast. But I was reluctant to say yes to his advances. I wanted to see if he really liked me too or just wanted to toy around with me. My reluctance fizzled out on Valentine’s Day in 2003 when he took me out for lunch. I had no doubt: I was in love. I could see us raising a happy and prospering family. After four months of a steamy relationship, we decided to move in together as husband and wife in July 2003.
“Our early marriage days were blissful. We rented a house in Dandora. He opened a small butchery while I ran a small shop in the neighbourhood. In February 2004, we had our first born daughter, Rachel. We would later be blessed with two other kids in 2006 and 2011. All through, he was not abusive. We had our disagreements but he never hit me.
“Things took a nose dive in 2014. At that time, his butchery business was not doing well. More butchery businesses had mushroomed in the area. He had lost many customers and the profits from his business kept on dwindling. On the other end, my shop thrived. I had rented a bigger space and increased my stock to include cereals, fruits and soft drinks.
“He felt threatened by my success. He feared that I would undermine his position as the man of the house. Whenever we had a minor disagreement, it would turn into a mountain. His outbursts escalated into threats of battery. Towards July 2014, things had gone so sour that instead of threatening to beat me up, he would threaten to kill me. ‘I can kill you, I’ll kill you one day!’ became regular threats.