Speak out against do­mes­tic abuse

Vuk'uzenzele - - Safety& Security - Di­neo Mrali

A 16-DAY AN­NUAL aware­ness cam­paign pulls out all the stops to em­power South Africans to take a stand against the abuse of women and chil­dren.

“He fas­tened a tie around my neck then pushed my face into a bowl full of wa­ter so that I would suf­fo­cate. Af­ter a few sec­onds, he pulled my face out and slapped me.”

Th­ese are the heart-break­ing words of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sur­vivor Mara Glen­nie (65) from Jo­han­nes­burg.

Glen­nie shared her story of how she sur­vived do­mes­tic vi­o­lence at the hands of her hus­band of 19 years.

“It was a 10-year jour­ney through coun­selling, and friends who sup­ported me, that got me to where I am to­day,” she said, adding that de­spite the erod­ing abuse she suf­fered, she is able to not only get up, get dressed and show up ev­ery day, but has reached out to oth­ers fi­nally prompted her to leave. Her hus­band at­tempted to apol­o­gise to her, but be­came even more vi­cious when she re­jected his apol­ogy.

He phys­i­cally as­saulted her and she re­ported the in­ci­dent to the po­lice.

Af­ter a few weeks, she filed for di­vorce and moved back to Ge­orge in the Western Cape to be closer to her fam­ily.

“At that time, I needed to be sur­rounded by peo­ple who love me.”

She em­pha­sised that in such sit­u­a­tions vic­tims re­ally need the sup­port of fam­ily mem­bers and friends.

With their help and sup­port, she re­gained her con­fi­dence and re­turned to Jo­han­nes­burg where she started TEARS, a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that pro­vides sup­port for rape and sex­ual abuse sur­vivors.

From 25 Novem­ber un­til 10 De­cem­ber, South Africa ac­knowl­edges 16 Days of Ac­tivism for No Vi­o­lence Against Women and Chil­dren, which is also an in­ter­na­tional aware­ness cam­paign.

Glen­nie said through her non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, she hopes to in­crease aware­ness about do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and also as­sist vic­tims of abuse.

“I feel ful­filled know­ing that I am mak­ing a dif­fer­ence,” she said.


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