Zimbabwe: My life in hell

Date: October 10, 2019
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My abuse started whilst I was only seven years old when my parents got divorced. I stayed with my father who later remarried and my step-mother treated me inhumanely. I decided to look for my biological mother but heard from her relatives that she had also remarried and would not be comfortable to stay with me. I had no-one else to look after me except my father so I stayed with my abusive step mother. I dropped out of school because they told me that I was dull at school hence they could not continue wasting their money on my education. I was told that I was only suitable for household chores. My half-brothers and half-sisters continued attending school despite their low intelligence levels. 

My situation led me to get into an early marriage. My husband, Zada*, was an abuser even a few months after we got married. I never enjoyed my marriage as I was constantly harassed by my husband even in public. He would insult me as a failure at school, bad in bed, at cooking and washing. According to Zada*, I was never good at anything. He openly boasted that I was more of his house maid than his wife who got paid by being afforded accommodation and food. He would boast of having educated, beautiful and attractive girlfriends. He said that he was even ashamed to have me call him husband in public. He took any type of alcoholic stuff excessively and some hard drugs like marijuana. We only had sex when he felt like having it with me. It was forcibly done and he did it in the most humiliating ways.  

Zada* would even beat me in front of two children. He would accuse me of cheating on him and denied being the father of our two children. During my lifetime, I have never slept with any other man except Zada*. He is heavily built such that most people are scared of him and would not intervene when he is assaulting me. He would regularly sharpen his big knife or axe before assaulting me threatening me that if I ever screamed he would finish me off with the knife or axe.  

I would at times run away to seek refuge at my father’s place but Zada* often persuaded them to let me go back to his place with him. My step-mother would convince my father that all marriages are like that hence I had to go with Zada*. He would threaten me along the way and that made my life unbearable. My biological mother is now late. 

I was finally advised by a friend to report him to the law enforcement agents once he threatened, insulted or beat me up. I finally made a report to the police when he beat me with clenched fists and he was arrested. I was taken to hospital for medical examination for court records. My two daughters, Liandra* and Jenifer* were also interviewed in court. Most of our neighbours were also witnesses in court. He was given a custodial sentence and I now reside at FACT Shelter. My daughters are with me and are attending school. My father did not attend the court sessions and has never visited me at the Shelter.