Botswana: Moving on

Date: December 3, 2013
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Kgatleng, 4 December: I got married in 1984 and divorced in 2011. I have eight children. My marriage was an unhappy one. For him my only purpose was to produce children for him. While I was pregnant, he would have affairs with other women. In 2008, he said he was no longer interested in me and that I should leave his home.

I was pregnant with our last born child. There were complications during birth so I had surgery and my womb was removed in the process.

The procedure was successful but it gave rise to the hardest moments of my married life. He started verbally abusing me, calling me names and likening me to a castrated animal rendered useless for reproduction. He would say these things in front of our children.

This abuse hurt me terribly and I moved out. I took my younger children with me but the older ones remained with him and the new woman he had brought into our home after I moved out. I lived with relatives and struggled to make ends meet, because he was not supporting us.

With time I have come to accept that the man did not love me. I am now healing and moving on with my life despite the many challenges that I face.

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Not her real name*

Ruth lives in 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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