Broken promises

Date: November 21, 2012
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Written by *Elinah

“At the age of 17 I (Elinah*) dated a 26 year old man. We loved each other so much that we could not stand to stay away from each other. Four years later, I fell pregnant. Since I was not married my parents called him to ask him if he was responsible for the pregnancy and what he was planning to do about it. He accepted and told them of his plans to marry me.

During the pregnancy, I moved to his house in town so that he could support me and my baby. I had the baby while staying with him. After I had the baby all the happiness we once shared disappeared.

He began to change and never spent time with me. He started cheating on me and coming home late, around 2 am. He would wake me up upon arrival and ask for food. I would do whatever he told me to do. When the food was served he would complain that it was not well cooked and throw it away.

He brought girls home. He said they were his friends. He would offer them the guestroom and sneak out at night leaving me and the baby to sleep alone. One day he beat me up because I complained about his behaviour.

It was too much for me. I moved to my sister’s house since my baby was still very small. He followed me to my sister’s place and harassed me saying that I ran away because the baby was not his. He stopped supporting the baby as he had promised. When I confronted him he would beat me up in front of my sister. I went to the village to live with my parents.
I reported him to the court for not supporting the baby and for physically abusing me. After the court hearing he promised to support us. That was the last time I saw him.”

*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.



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