Rustenburg – Gender-based violence is making headlines more often these days.
Our annual national 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children held from 25 November to 10 December, aims to increase awareness about abuse and encourages victims and witnesses to speak up.
HAS YOUR PARTNER EVER…?
Called you names, made jokes at your expense, or humiliated you in private or in front of others?
Told you what to wear, or harshly criticised how you dress?
Insisted you have sex when you don’t want to, or insisted you take part in sexual activities you dislike or that cause pain?
Refused to let you work, or forced you to work?
Refused to let you leave the house?
Constantly demanded to know where you are, what you are doing, and who you are with?
Monitored your phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook, etc?
Refused to let you phone your friends or family?
Told you who you can and can’t talk to?
Constantly questioned your spending or taken control of your money? If you are financially dependent on them, have they unreasonably limited the money they give you or refused to tell you about your family’s financial situation?
Followed you in a way that made you fearful?
Used physical force (push, punch, slap, choke, shake, use objects/weapons, etc.)?
Physically harmed others (children, pets, family members, friends, neighbours, etc.)?
Threatened to use physical force? Threats aren’t always spoken – they can be silent too, such as looks, gestures, displaying weapons, etc.
Threatened to kill you or others if you leave?
Threatened to kill themselves if you leave?
Threatened to turn you into the authorities (police, immigration, etc.) if you leave?
Used your religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate or control you, or to justify violence against women? Denied you freedom of religion, by refusing to let you practice your spiritual beliefs or insisting that you follow theirs?
Blamed you for their abusive behaviour, and told you it was your fault?
Destroyed your possessions?
Showed up unexpectedly, when they were not invited and not welcome, to social or work events?
Stolen your money?
Insisted you use drugs or alcohol against your will?
Insisted you take part in dangerous or criminal activities?
Hidden your keys or purse so you can’t leave the house?
Some abusers deny being abusive. Some freely admit they have behaved badly, show great remorse, and promise never to do it again – though they almost always do.
Many abusive relationships develop gradually and, at first, it might be tempting to write their behaviour off as harmless, perhaps just signs of love or jealousy or emotional insecurity.
But as women have said for years, abuse is NOT about jealousy or love – it is about power and control.
If you need help, contact Grace Help Centre at 072 348 6526.