Last Saturday I was rushing for my evening class when I was stopped by a fight in a rustic local bar. A man held a woman by her hair and pushed her to the ground. He was calling her a 'shameless thief'. She didn't quite look fit for his description but I was yet to understand the story.
I witness the fight from the first minute but I couldn't interfere because I had my adult students waiting for their after-office class.
He went on dragging her around, demanding answers.
Then the woman said, "That's my house too and I have the right over things in there."
The story soon unfolded before me. They were divorced recently after 8 months of marriage. The fight started when the woman, who had moved out, went and took two blankets, which he claimed was his.
I was still weighing weather to run for my class or to be a referee. There were over ten people watching the fight and except for pushing the man out of the bar, nobody said anything. The man went on, "When did we ever get married? Who says you are my wife? I already told you that I don't want you, why are you following me like a dog?" That's when I jumped in.
"Sir, you can't humiliate the lady in public." He was silent. Everybody went silent. "I think your marriage is not working and you have chosen to go separate ways. But there are procedures to settle it peacefully. Have you followed any course of action to settle the matter locally?"
The lady was quick to answer, "No sir, he ran away locking his room when I went to talk with my jabmi."
"In that case sir, you can't claim those blankets or any other things in your house as your until the case is solved because those things belong to both of you. And most importantly you have no right to assault her. There are these many witness to what you have done to her and therefore you could face charges."
By then I was joined by several other elders and the man eventually calmed.
I turned to the woman and suggested her not to do anything that to lead to such fight until the case is settled. And I advised her to seek help from police or RENEW if he assaults her again.
I was 30 minutes late to my class and took another 5 minutes explaining why I was late. Later I wondered if I was even allowed to do that, because I often heard people denouncing the interference in marital affairs. What would have happened if the man turned violent against me? These were some things I didn't bother at that moment but I am happy that I did something wise people won't do. And that makes me a fool!