Date: April 6, 2016
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Last year (2014) I was asked to help with preparing for a workshop and after lunch I went to sit down and listened what the workshop is about. It was the most moving stories I ever heard. After a while my brain made me understand that there was something hidden deep down inside of me. It started coming back to me and I realised that it was no longer a childhood memory. It really happened.

I ran away from home at the age of thirteen (13). Then I was raped by a grown man. I did not know him and he made it seem as if he was protecting me from someone else. The following day I tried to wash away the dirt because that is how I felt. That was also the first time I discovered what sex is. The people who I was living with did not want to believe me. So I thought the rape was probably a normal thing and that was the way things happened.

I grew up with my father beating my mother. At first she didn’t drink but then later on started to drink so that it could numb the pain when he was beating her. All of us at children would get beatings with my mother. This is how it went on over the years.

I did a budgeting/ financing course in Cape Town (with Gender Links) and now I can manage my own finances. I then wanted to start my own business but I was in a very low point in my life. My grandchild was very sick and in ICU. The courses kept me busy and for a while kept my mind off my problems.

At phase one (1) of the I stories I could talk about my past. I thought that it was normal to get beaten. My boyfriend did not like when I became upset if he went out with other women. The abuse started and I thought that it was normal because that was what I experienced growing up in our home. I then walked out of the relationship and was in hiding for two (2) years. He was then murdered and then I returned back home.

By telling my story I started healing in my spirit. Now I attending more workshops and through this I am being enriched. The municipality helps where they can and also host workshops.

Nowadays I don’t experience violence anymore. I have learnt to avoid conflict. When I am amongst other people and hear their stories then I can also join the conversation and give advice. I feel that I am not going to stop here. There are people who need help. My dream is to run a soup kitchen and feed underprivileged children. Now I am first looking for sponsors to feed children and give them gifts. I have started to save money already.