SEEKING HELP FROM ABUSE
‘RAPED WIVES CAN BE HELPED’
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.