Faith Minto, via email
As we observe the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence on Women and Children in South Africa. It is my duty as a woman who has been a victim of domestic violence to say something.
Did you know 1 in 5 South African women are victims of domestic violence? Shocking, isn’t it?
According to CDC research 1 in 4 woman will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point in their life time. Domestic abuse cases skyrocketed in South Africa during the lockdown.
Many woman are stuck in unhealthy marriages/ relationships/ “situationships”, they refuse to leave because of fear, loss of security and “The what will people say” Syndrome.
I know this is something many women go through alone. Their lives look perfect on the outside while they are dying inside.
I was there, so I know exactly what I’m talking about. I was quiet about it for so long.
I was ashamed, disappointed in myself for letting this happen to me because everyone around me saw this incredibly strong woman who has all her shit figured out. The truth is, I didn’t. I was in a dark whole. I looked happy, driving the best car, living in the best house, but my heart was In pieces.
Don’t let this be your story, speak to someone, get help so you can get courage to leave. It never gets better… ever.
Today we have organisations that are helping woman in this situation. POWA – People Opposing Woman A- buse are on a mission to #enddomesticsilence by getting three pieces of legislation protecting woman and children passed into law.
Things like this give me so much joy, because in my case the only way I could protect myself was to get a restraining order which was just a piece of paper which meant nothing to the perpetrator. I was staying with him in the same house, with nowhere to run.
Time is ticking and woman and children are dying every day. Sometimes not literally, but inside. This is destroying our nation.
Many women distance themselves when another is going through this or they will want you to keep quiet about it. Some will laugh, gossip and ridicule you as if you prayed for this to happen to you.