My power taken away

Date: November 4, 2019
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I was married for 18 years. My first child was born in 1991 and the second one in 1995. I stayed with my in-laws from 1988 until 1998. I was treated like a child, and my husband would give his mother money to buy me clothes. I never knew even a mare R50 from my husband. My mother in law controlled everything. I was not allowed to work and I was told I am only good to be slept with by my father in law. I was not allowed to pursue my studies after matric in 1993. My husband did not care about me and how I felt about anything the only people he listened to was his family. As time went by he started be abuse me physically, I was beaten like a child that has done a mistake. I was beaten and was forced to open a case against him, before they assisted me at the clinic and I withdrew the case.

If I did anything at all that he was not used to when we slept together he would say I am a whore, and ask who taught me to do that. He would pull me with my pubic hair so I started shaving to avoid the pain. I was involved in the car accident with the kids and I was hospitalised for two months. The driver of the car did not have a licence and he docket for the accident was lost in evidence. In that same year I was raped and my in laws chased me away saying I am HIV positive. I went back home, I was unemployed and had never been employed before. He said I must leave or he will kill me. He also stopped supporting the children.

I was just happy he allowed me to leave with the children. I had to rise up on my own and mix with the community in order to get jobs around the community. I started working in projects like CPF’s, HBC and vegetation.   My first child could not further his studies, he became a break winner at an early age and helped his sibling to finish his tertiary education.