As we are commemorating the 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, a GBV survivor Thandiwe Moyo shared her experience and possible ways to overcome stress and ending violence against women and girls.
Narrating her personal experience Thandiwe Moyo noted that oftentimes GBV at a household level is triggered by poverty ,lack of trust in a relationship,infidelity ,lack of communication and anger.
“I was in an abusive relationship for 12 years hoping things will change for the better. I was blinded by love but deep down I had no peace of mind. This had a strain on my mental well being and sadly I did not have many friends to confide in and the only thing I could do was report him to the police. I made a report to male police officer who didn’t want to open a docket. I was there for an hour without any assistance,”Thandiwe said.
Although a female Officer ended up assisting her, Ms Moyo faced a number of death threats from her ex-husband after reporting the matter.
“I was then assisted by a female police officer. After this I went for counseling and we parted ways and he confessed to my uncle that he wanted to kill me and that is when I said enough is enough”
Counseling was part of her rehab to overcome all the mental problems and trauma that she went through in that marriage.
On the other hand, according to World Health Organisation almost one third of all women have been in a relationship, have experienced sexual violence from their intimate partner.
She encouraged women to desist from abusive relationships for the sake of gaining social status for being in a marriage, and fear of ending up in poverty.
“The reason being that women stay in abusive relationships for too long, in the sake of their kids , to be regarded as married and fear of losing breadwinners”.
“However, if it reaches a certain point, then it’s not worth dying for”she said
Furthermore, she advised women to empower themselves and be financially independent, so that they cannot rely on men.
Moreso, consultating relevant organisations and other institutions was advised so as to get assistance whenever they encounter GBV.
This discussion was conducted by Women Institute for Leadership Development on 30 November 2022, as it is commemorating 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
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