Breaking free and moving on

Date: January 1, 1970
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It was July 2006 when I met a certain guy. At first, he was everything to me but after just two months of moving in together problems began. I was only happy for a short period. He was an excessively jealousy and over protective man. He always accused me of having affairs with other man of which it was all wrong. He started beating me telling me that “I am bitch and cheapÀ. He beat me sometimes four times a month.

He started exhibiting strange behaviour. For instance, he would receive phone calls at midnight. When I asked him about it he would say it is not important. In September 2007 I began my fasting period. After two weeks of fasting, we began to fight and he told me to go to my boyfriend otherwise he was going to kill me.
So I ran off to my friend in Turffontein. The following day I went to meet with my boyfriend’s friend in Braamfontein. I waited for two hours but he would not open the door. Then I remembered that his friend had a hair salon and so I went there since I had nowhere to go. I found our friend’s younger brother who told me that his brother was there at home.
So, we went and knocked at the door and for sure his brother was there with my boyfriend and another girl. Because they were not expecting me, my boyfriend locked himself in the toilet. I asked the girl and she confirmed that she was with my boyfriend. She told me everything about how they met. This was a painful period because I was fasting. In retaliation, I took his wallet and cellphone. He started calling me and I continued to ignore him. After three days, I went back and that same day he beat me up.
I cried asking myself why, what I had done wrong to deserve this and asked the Lord to help me. I tried desperately to show him that I was not a prostitute like the one he thought. I cried and was even thinking of killing myself. He accused me of dating someone. I lost weight from a size 34 to size 28.
He would not even come near me for three months and slept away from the house. When he came home, he beat me up. He sometimes left me with no food in the house until I decided that I had had enough. I asked myself why I was not leaving. I left the house and went to stay with my friends in Turffontein, luckily, there was an unoccupied room and I took it up. I wanted to start a new life but my boyfriend started following me everywhere.
He would come to my place and if did not let him in he would break the door. This happened for two months. He would beat me up until I decided to call the police. The police never caught him red-handed because he would run away before they arrived. I stopped picking up his phone calls even though I still loved him.
Now I pray to God that He gives me strength to forget about him and God has answered my prayers. I am fine and I do not think I will go back to him again. Even if I do not have a job right now, I am fine.
If I knew then what I know now, I would not have gone to live with this man in the first
place. However, it is never too late. I am happy I am moving on. I pray that every one who is going to read this story will think twice before jumping into a relationship before they get to really know the other person.
* not her real name
This story is part of the “I” Stories series produced by the Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service for the Sixteen Days of Activism on Gender Violence.

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