South Africa: My marriage with an abuser

South Africa: My marriage with an abuser

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

I grew up in a family rich in values, closely knit. My parents got divorced before I was born. They divorced because my father was a drug addict. I lived with my granny and mum and later on my mum moved on. I had a good childhood and turned out to be an independent successful woman

I met my husband when I went to my cousin’s place in JHB for the Easter holidays. He was my cousin’s husband friend. Although I was reluctant to date him initially we ended up together and subsequently married. In the Hindu custom the guy must buy jewellery for the woman but he didn’t buy stating money as the excuse. It didn’t matter to me because I am not material person so my parents bought the jewellery for me. On the day of marriage my stepfather was not allowed to attend on the basis of race (he is white) by his family. They didn’t want my mum to perform our rituals. Out of respect I got married in his way. His family never welcomed me but instead they started picking on my surname, saying what kind of surname is it and also on my stepfather that he is white. I went back to my parents place and told my mother about the experience and she said it’s too late. He made me pay for our honeymoon because he didn’t have money.

We moved to our own flat. He would check the food and measuring how I have been eating. This went on for days until I asked him and he got angry. He kept on pressurising me to take my investment money but I refused and he would threaten to throw me from the 7th floor so that he could take it since we married in community of property. He also wanted to take my jewellery that my parents have bought for me. He said he would tell people that I had committed suicide. I took out all my money and gave it to him, but my jewellery that my parents bought I kept it. My parents didn’t want me to give him the money. He didn’t want me to work and told me a woman’s place is at home. He is a man and I must do what he says.

He used to physically abuse me, e.g. twisting hand. It went on for some time until I got angry and said enough is enough and walked out and came to Durban. He followed me and apologised and said he won’t do it again. I came back to JHB again. I also learnt that the mother had told him not to do anything for me -e.g. buying clothes. He said I should just clean and cook for him and his child and then leave the house. So it was like that every weekend. We stayed in JHB for a year as he was trying to do a business, he ended up leaving his job and life was tough for us. So we came to DBN where he got a job. He then had a girlfriend, started gambling, using a loan from the bank. I couldn’t fall pregnant and we sought medical help but only found out that it was my mother-in-law who had caused it (bewitchment) after prayer I fell pregnant with a baby girl. When I told him it’s a girl he said no it can never be a girl. At 6 months the doctor did a scan and confirmed it’s a girl in his presence. This angered him and he made me sleep on the floor but I never told anyone because I knew they wouldn’t believe me because he is a pretender.
This went on until I gave birth. I had a complication during delivery and I decided to save the baby first. I passed out during delivery and I missed out o her birth. I was anxious to know what actually happened and he said what type of a mother are you, you don’t even know your own child- he said you are useless mother and I believed him and even blamed myself.

He went back into gambling- coming late at night spending less time at home. I told him- I had enough- it’s either you change or you leave and he left. He took the car- that my aunt had given to me.
The child was two and half months; he went to court to file for divorce. And my attorney filed for maintenance, protection order and requested the car but won the case and he kept the car. (Though the car was stolen later). But he had to pay maintenance for me and the child and he came after 1 year and asked for forgiveness and said he will stop gambling and beating me up and I accepted him back. (He only came back after the house was sold due to divorce) I took half of my money and paid all in accounts. When he came he had nothing and he got another job and opened up his business. Due to fraud he was taken to court and he lost the case and his job too and left with the business. He wanted to involve me but I said I don’t like lies, he tried, to strangle me and had internal injuries. And the children witnessed. I never told anybody except my aunt.

He was also cheating and doing pornography. The verbal abuse continued- he calling me names like I am useless. He never allowed me to drive the car and ended up being dependent o him. He wouldn’t allow me to go on the internet to pay accounts; I ended up not doing anything even making a simple decision.
Two years back: he wanted me dead. I took overdose pills on Saturday 1:30, I tried to commit suicide. Though I was trying to hide it, my daughter saw and went to tell my husband and he said he said don’t worry she will sleep it out- and I will be free to do what I want. On Sunday morning he phoned my parents claiming he didn’t know what happened to me. When my parents came my daughter told them the truth. He was forced to take me to the hospital where I was put on the life support for four days. When I came out of hospital and he said I’m sad because you never died. That’s when my mother was really angry with him.

At that time I wanted to leave him but my mother said I should give him another chance. My mother had always treated him like her own son. After the overdose he pawned my jewellery for gambling. I was really angry and called the police.
One day after picking the children from school, my daughter asked for a bubble gum and he refused and became violent on my daughter and I called the police and again I let him go because of the kids.

Because we couldn’t afford the bond we moved in with my parents under the condition that he stops gambling. Life was tough because he had lost the business.

After be friending Dan things didn’t go well for him till he didn’t have anywhere to stay, so my parents gave him money to go back to JHB and we left him at the station. He has been coming up for the court cases.

It was a very long and tough road to recovery, with the support from my family I came out stronger. I can now do things for myself. I am independent again. I can drive my kids to school, wear what I want, I still feel betrayed especially after Dan’s intrusion I feel disgusted about myself, so cheap like he’s is undressing. I still can’t get closure; I am still battling until justice is achieved. In December 2012, I took him to equality court and he bribed them. And he won and made it my fault. As for my daughter she lost all faith- doesn’t believe in police-she was traumatised (shaking). My son told my husband that I am going for karate because of you and after I will go for your friend





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