Zimbabwe: Mike* ruined my life

Date: October 10, 2019
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I eloped to my former husband at the age of 17. My mother had tried to encourage me to focus on education but the advice fell on deaf ears. My father had died when I was still a toddler. My mother worked hard to feed, clothe and pay for my educational needs. When I broke the news that I was pregnant to my mother she broke down and I then realised that I had greatly disappointed her. Mike* was a sweet talker and he convinced my mother that he would allow me to pursue with my education. 

Mike* started drinking heavily and he would turn violent at the slightest provocation. I was eight months pregnant when he first physically assaulted me. I had only asked him why he always came home drunk yet we did not have enough basic food stuffs in the home. He shouted at me, accusing me of trying to control him. He yelled out that the beating he did was an indication that he was the master in our relationship and I had to remember that at all times. Fortunately when I went to seek medical attention I was told that the unborn baby was fine. 

My husband’s drinking habit intensified by the day. He would come home late or even the next day and did not want to be asked where he spent the night. I finally learnt not to ask him for fear of being beaten up. He would always complain about the way I would have prepared our meals and I would get beaten up for that. He would hail insults at me by giving comparisons with his girlfriends. He would tease me by saying that I should visit his girlfriends and get free lessons on how to prepare delicious meals. 

One day Mike* was at home and I asked him what he wanted for lunch. He violently pulled me off the bed and punched me with clenched fists. Whilst he was beating me he continually reminded me that I should never ask him what he wanted to eat. He said that considering the period of time we had stayed together I should be aware of what he wanted as her husband. My screams alerted our neighbours that something was really bad in our room and they came to my rescue. He then went out and returned drunk that very night. 

Mike* wanted to be intimate with me that night but I was not in the mood. He started beating me again and I passed out. I only realised that I was in hospital the following day. Mike* had been taken away by the police after my neighbours reported the day’s two beating incidents. I was heart-broken when the doctor informed that I had lost my unborn baby because of the beatings. Mike* was given a custodial sentence when we appeared before a court of law. I was later taken back by my mother. I have partnered her in her fruit and vegetable business and it is doing well.