Abused by my husband

Date: November 21, 2012
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Written by *Kefilwe

“I (Kefilwe) am writing this story about gender based violence. This violence can take many forms. I got married to my husband in 1969. We were living happily without any problems. We were blessed with five children. In 1986 our marriage became sour and the love we used to share was no more.

My husband hardly stayed at home. He would go to work and not return until around 3 am. He would come home late at night, holding a beer in his hand and tellme that ‘…no matter where you go, you are still my wife’. He would start dancing until morning.

He continued to do this until I went again to see his parents to ask him whether I was now his girlfriend. He responded by saying that I was his wife. I continued to stay away from my matrimonial home. He did not provide for me and my children. I went to my mother in law to ask them to intervene but she never addressed the situation.

I went to thekgotla to ask the Chief to intervene in the matter but my husband never changed his ways. In 1994, one of my grandchildren passed away. My husband sent us away. We had to go and stay somewhere else for the burial of the child. He did not come to the funeral.

Once he left us on 20 June and only returned on 18 August.

Sometimes when I went to our home to talk to him about the welfare of the children, he would close the door in my face and not talk to me. By that time we had six children, two boys and four girls. Two of our children are now deceased. My husband did not assist me with the burial of my children, especially our daughter who used to work at Mowana Lodge at the time of her death.

The management of Mowana Lodge assisted us with P4000. My husband took the money and did not inform me. When I approached the Mowana Lodge management they told me that they had given my husband their contribution towards the burial. I heard that he used the money to buy cattle. I did not see those cattle before he died.

When my husband died, his sisters said that I was the only wife they knew and so I had to participate in his funeral. The family wanted me to wear mourning clothes. I refused to wear the mourning clothes because of the violence I suffered in this marriage.

When I got married to this man, he had a child from another woman. I raised this boy as my own. Now the same young man is accusing me of killing his father and taking his inheritance. That is the story of my encounter with gender based violence.”

*Not her real name.
This story is a personal account that is also used in The Gender Based Violence Indicators Study Botswana by Gender Links and Women’s Affairs Department, Botswana.



0 thoughts on “Abused by my husband”

Ciblek says:

That’s an austte answer to a tricky question

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