South Africa: My life of violence

South Africa: My life of violence

Date: December 8, 2014
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*Trigger warning: Violence*

I had a breakdown when mother died in 2005, I was 13 and I didn’t manage it well. I started drinking, clubbing and smoking. My father was never there for me, he denied that I was his daughter. He loved my sister so much because she looked like him. I had always been my mother’s child so when she died it’s like my life crushed before me. I used to have boyfriends, alcohol, overdose. When she died my my two siblings, my grandmother and I moved to my elder sister place. Things were really fine, until 2011 when my sister changed suddenly and she started complaining and fighting us. I got pregnant in 2011 and when my sister was being nasty to us. I went to my boyfriend’s place.

Staying with my boyfriend life was fine at first till I gave birth. I started drinking again. He had a problem with that but he never told me. He used to force me to do things that I didn’t want to do. He used to complain about my drinking and why I visited my family. He used to say I am skinny when having sex. He used to beat me, even in front of the child. He threatened to kill me if I leave “if he can’t have me on one can have me”. My mother in law said as soon as the baby is two years they will take her away from me. My life revolved around him and his family, I had no say about the child. The family used to call me names, they hated me. It seemed it was a family feud because, my family always fought with his family. My family said why am I with this kaffir man, he won’t be able to support me.

Because things where not going on well I went back to my sister’s place. Life was even harder, she actually stabbed my other sister and her boyfriend and they ended up in the hospital. I used to do all the house chores, I didn’t complain. I never used to eat very much. One day she saw me and my boyfriend and she was cross and chased me out of her house. She told me to go to my kaffir boyfriend and told my granny and brother to also get out. She beat me with sjambok. My other sister (the one who was stabbed) called the police and they came and took me to the police station- no one helped me there I even slept there with the child. It was only the following day that I went to the Haven shelter after having gone to Esther home and they told me they were full.

At the shelter, it has been hard to adjust at first but I am getting there. I am now looking forward to get a job or go to Cape Town to my other sister, because I can’t go back to my sister’s place. I don’t know where we are with my boyfriend right now. I am not bitter with him even if he comes to his child I will let him. The two of us get along but when his family comes in especially his mother, he changes abruptly as if they poison his mind. I can say the violence came when his family started visiting us so much.

I have worked before as a sales lady so if I get any job I will be fines otherwise. I will have to move to another shelter. It is difficult to get a job without matric. I couldn’t finish my matric because my sister introduced me into drinking alcohol and smoking. There was a time I tried to commit suicide because life was unbearable. This was before I got pregnant with my baby.



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