South Africa: Thankful to my husband

Date: December 4, 2013
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Limpopo, 5 December: I’m 45 years old. I was raped in 2011 on a Friday afternoon around 3pm. I was drunk after coming from a shebeen. I went to bed and quickly fell asleep without locking the door since I thought my husband would come and lock it.

A guy who had seen me leaving the shebeen , followed me and entered my unlocked house. He did not switch on the light and pretended to be my husband. The man started speaking in Shona instead of Venda because he wanted me to think that he was my husband who speaks Shona. He had sex with me. My husband came home and found the man getting out of bed. The man ran away, left his shoes and I found three used condoms by the bed.

My husband chased him and he took the shoes to the man’s wife and explained what had happened. I called the police and after questioning, I filed a rape case against the man. The police arrested him and I was taken to a local trauma centre. However, the case was not investigated. The police insulted us and said they do not deal with shebeen stories.

A victim advocate often calls to check on me. I have quit drinking alcohol and I now go to church. I am also thankful to my husband who didn’t leave me after what happened. I was so relieved knowing he still supported me. We are still staying together and I do not stress about what happened.

*Not her real name

Charmaine lives in the Limpopo province .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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