The Sunday Independent - - METRO -


THEMBI Mahlasela*, who was forced to leave her mar­riage of 17 years af­ter she suf­fered emo­tional abuse and rape, said she had to bat­tle per­cep­tions that women can­not get raped by their hus­bands.

“But I can tell you that he wanted it with­out my con­cern and I con­sid­ered it as a rape. Again he was in­sult­ing me, telling me that I am a dog. I told the fam­i­lies but they forced me to con­tinue with the re­la­tion­ship, say­ing I must be pa­tient be­cause it was part of the mar­riage.”

Af­ter talk­ing to her fam­ily mem­bers, who would even­tu­ally leave, her hus­band would turn on her and say they were on his side, force her on to the bed and de­mand what he said “be­longed to him” be­cause he had paid lobola for it.

“I was suf­fer­ing a de­pres­sion, which was di­ag­nosed as bipo­lar, and I was told that I was hal­lu­ci­nat­ing. But they (doc­tors) were forced to lis­ten to me be­cause I went there with my cry­ing child. Af­ter that, they granted me a pro­tec­tion or­der,” said the 43-year-old woman.

“Af­ter that, his fam­ily told me to leave and I had to go to so­cial work­ers for help, be­cause even my fam­ily did not al­low me to go back home.

“They placed me in Nisaa (shel­ter) for six months,” she said.

“Peo­ple should know how to talk when re­port­ing their cases to po­lice. If they refuse to help, then there are other po­lice sta­tions to re­port to,” Mahlasela added.

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