Botswana: Get out before it is too late

Date: November 26, 2013
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Kgatleng, 26 November: I have been seeing a man for four years. He claims to love me, but he only loves me when he needs money. Once he has the money, he physically abuses me.

In 2012, he hit me and kicked me around, because I slept at my parents’ house instead of his place. I was so severely injured. His mother told me to report the matter to the police. I didn’t, because he apologised and promised not to beat me again.

I stayed with him but the verbal and physical abuse continued. People would advise me to end the affair, because they feared for my life. But I decided to continue seeing him because when he didn’t have money he treated me well. He was so gentle and softly spoken.

On 3 September 2013, he beat me so badly that my face was blue. I ended up reporting the matter to the police. I went to the hospital and I was referred to an eye doctor. I began to ask myself why I wanted to be with this man. I am not married to him nor do I have a child with him.

We have since been to the customary court, where he admitted to beating me. I told the court that I no longer want to see him. He tried calling me once but I did not answer the phone. I can no longer be with him because he will destroy me. I count myself lucky that he did not murdered me and I will not give him the opportunity.

I decided to speak out because I realise that this is the only way I can get help. Other women should take care of themselves and should get out of abusive relationships before it is too late. Our lives are valuable and it is only God who determines when we should die.

*Not her real name

Boipelo lives in Kgatleng, Botswana. This story is part of the “I” Stories series produced by the Gender Links News Service as part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender violence, encouraging the view that speaking out can set you free.



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