Date: April 7, 2016
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My story starts with the man in my life who I know for more than 12 years. I come out of previous relationships where I have had to raise my two (2) children on my own. That is where my story began with the man in my life. He accepted both my children and supported me in every aspect. He let me feel so special and we did everything together but things soon began to change. I didn’t look forward to it but it happened either way.

I began drinking like someone who could not stop and then he also started drinking and that is where our problems started. He cheated on me with another woman and they also had a child together. This broke me but I thought that because I love him things would change.

This is how we then came to the decision to make it official. Our love began to bloom and last year (2014) we discovered that I was pregnant but I became very ill and sadly lost the baby. This broke me emotionally but I still tried to make the relationship work because I loved him so much.

I then thought after I lost the baby that he and I should try again but recently I heard the heart-breaking news that my husband impregnated another women and he hid their relationship from me for two (2) years.

This made me lose confidence in him. I also feel like I want nothing to do with his children and I know that this is very wrong of me. I need help in accepting them. I also forgave him for everything that he did to me.

I started with phase two (2) because I was introduced to Gender Links (GL) at a late stage.
I found the fact that I do not have to go through all of the abuse as a very useful part of the training and the least useful part of the training was writing about myself. I also found that
I am not afraid anymore because I have started to get my life in order.

Before I joined the entrepreneurs group I was a housewife and am still currently an unemployed housewife. The training helped me a lot because it made me a better person. Unfortunately the council did not help me in any way and the only other people who assisted me were GL.

I previously was and still am experiencing violence and unfortunately there has been no real change because a month ago I found out about another child that my husband made while we were married. Unfortunately my husband cannot look after me properly anymore and this affected what my mother and other family members think of him and they cannot trust him.

I feel that there is a link between economic empowerment and reducing gender violence and for me the best is to forgive and ask for advice in order to get over this and to provide for myself so that I do not have to depend on him. The biggest change in my life is the fact I gave my heart to the Lord and the community that I live in sees me differently because I do not let a man walk over me anymore and I can tell others that there is hope.

There are now more rights for women in the community and I am transferring knowledge by giving out pamphlets. The most important lesson that I have learned is that I have to accept myself who and what I am and am going to be more positive

My future plans are to own my own home and car and also to study further in order to give my children a better future. I have never had the opportunity to travel outside of Mossel Bay therefore I would like to thank Gender Links for what they mean in my life.