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New novel a ‘tool’ for women suffering domestic violence

Last update - Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 16:03 By Neil Leonard Tayco

Retired judge and activist Catherine McGuinness was on hand to launch Trapped: Prison Without Walls by Ebun Akpoveta, a new novel highlighting the experiences of women subjected to domestic violence.

Speaking at Dublin’s Irish Aid Centre on 16 September, McGuinness said domestic violence was already an issue in Ireland when she was first called to the bar, and that she has had “clients in the past years that have the same story as the characters have in the book”.

She also mentioned that the women of Ireland were experiencing the same gender inequality rooted in the past just like story told in the book.

Often as a woman “you do not have a choice because you are the lady of the house,” she said.

McGuinness paid complements to the author Ebun Akpoveta, who she said had “done a great help by writing this book”.


The evening featured a dramatic adaptation from the book staged by Camino Productions artistic director Kunle Animashaun.

The dramatisation showed a Dublin migrant family in Dublin in turmoil, a scene that ends with the death of their daughter. The scene is one of the key passages in the book for it depicts a life that many women can relate to.

The novel depicts how gender inequality intensifies the mistrust and violence between partners, especially men against women. The main character, Ola, is often left delusional about her marriage because of the crisis that she and her husband Deji are going through.

In her arguments with Deji she always gets “floored”. She is scared of talking back to him, or to even expressing her thoughts of certain events, so she bottles up her feelings and hides it with a smile. The result of that, however, is that Deji has “no qualms about showering her with derogatory remarks”, as Akpoveta writes.

Akpoveta describes herself as an “accidental author”, but says she hopes that her readers “will use my book as a tool”.


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