Botswana:There is life after abuse

Date: July 4, 2019
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I am a lady of 60 years of age. I am from Kanye and I started to attend Gender Links workshops. I learnt a lot about different forms of gender-based violence like sexual abuse, physical abuse, and that life goes on after being abused. This has boosted my morale regarding all that I faced after being abused. I learnt that life is like a wheel it keeps on turning and prayer is the way and the truth.

I met my partner in 1980 when I had one son and over the years we had five children. In 1992 we got married and after that my husband started drinking and used all the money without caring whether he had paid school fees for the children or not. He would go out saying he was going to look for money but he would go and drink and when he came back he would beat me and I would escape to his mother’s place. When he was asked what the problem was he would say that he beat me because was he had been drinking.

He continued abusing us even when my children went to senior secondary school and by the will of God they completed their secondary education. In 1998 my husband joined the Zion Christian Church and he stopped drinking and the beating also stopped.

In 2005 my first son from the previous relationship started emotionally abusing us saying that he wanted to meet his biological father because my husband was not his father. We realized that he did this whenever he had been drinking. He took us to court and we took the matter to our elders where we had the opportunity to talk to him at length and he listened and dropped the case.

Having a business is very important in life so I started to sell sweets in order to have an income and this changed my life a lot. There are organizations like Emang Basadi in my village and they help people to share their stories about the abuse they experience and to report it if they are still being abused so that they can live freely.

I can tell people that if they are being abused they should take action while there is time to stop the killings that may occur if the abuse continues. Being abused is not the end of the world.