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Features, Lifestyle

There is no honour in living in an abusive relationship

We’re all entitled to our own opinions but when it comes to GBVF, only someone who has actually lived in it can tell the tale. But, you must leave first. Dead men tell no tales. Many women (and men) have died due to domestic violence. GBVF continues to steal many parents from their children, there’s no hero in this story. Death is not equal to hero!

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It is cowards who always choose the easy way out. Staying is easier than walking away. Staying is remaining in your comfort zone. There’s always a reason for staying that is hidden under the usual, “I’ll stay for the sake of my kids”. If we were to search deeply, we will discover the real reason why a woman would stay with an abusive partner. Some are doing it for the fear of ‘what will people say‘, some for a place to stay ‘where will I go?’. Others are scared of being on their own. They’re dependent on the partner so they ask, ‘Where will I start from?’. Staying in an abusive relationship has nothing to do with the children, it is not selfless but the most selfish act a mother can do! Children deserve to be in a safe, happy and loving home. They did not bring the man into your life but vice versa. It is their right to be happy in their own home.

Maybe you, the reader might say that I don’t know what I’m talking about. In your own opinion, is it selfless to die at the hands of an abuser, leaving your children to suffer without you to protect them? Leaving your kids to grow up without parents because you will be dead and the other in jail. Abusive partners always tend to abuse the children as well because if they cared, they would not perform all sorts of atrocities against a mother (or father) in front of her/ his children. Do you agree that it is selfless to prefer to die, instead of living to look after your children? Then the perpetrators should not be locked up because dying is a selfless act! Perpetrators are locked up for a reason.

I was a victim of GBV. Until today, I blame myself for not leaving sooner but as every dark cloud has a silver lining, I’m grateful to have walked away alive. My children thanked me for leaving, later afterwards. I realised that the reason I stayed had nothing to do with the kids but it was the material wealth that I was living for. I lived in a three bedroomed house, had a good job and used a car for travelling. The thought of starting afresh scared me. Where will I go, where will I start from and what would people say? My kids were constantly harassed, physically and emotionally abused but I turned a blind eye until one day I asked myself to choose between peace of mind and material wealth. What is material wealth where there is no peace? What is material wealth when you always dread the time to go home? We were regular customers at every police station in the communities we lived in. Imagine arriving at the police station and the officer says, “It’s you again!” No, I was no hero!

I salute women who walk away from abuse. Staying with kids in an abusive home is condoning the abuser’s behaviour. I suffered from low self esteem and I think I still do because of abuse. The children are exposed to negative behaviour and attitudes, it is just grooming more abusers for the next generation. A broken home is not one with a single parent who is providing a safe and happy home for her children but one with one abusive parent. Living in such a home is not being selfless but, selfish and stupid. Staying with minors in a potentially dangerous situation is not being selfless. Exposing children to violence and vulgar language is not a selfless act. Ask those kids if they are happy before we talk about honour.

Walk away from abuse!

About Constance van Niekerk

Constance van Niekerk, (Connie V) is a creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.

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