My name is *Thenjiwe Hlatshwayo* and I am 49 years old.
I look at my daughter and my heart breaks everyday. She is disabled because my husband pushed me during an argument when I was 8 months pregnant while he was drunk. He pushed me so hard that I fell, resulting in me giving birth to a child with a disability. It hurts to know that my child became disabled because her father pushed me. She can’t talk. She is now an adult but still uses nappies, which are so expensive and sometimes hard to find.
I do not and cannot work since there is no one else to look after my daughter. It stresses me as this means I have to depend on my husband who has been abusive for the 23 years we have been together. The abuse gets worse when he is drunk. He often insults me and tells me he has relationships with other women who are more beautiful than I am. I have endured many heart breaks at being compared to other women and being insulted by someone who is meant to love me.
Sometimes, he comes to me and touches me as if he wants to make love. When he has awakened my sexual desire, he will suddenly stop and say mean and hurtful things to a point where we never make love.
Abused women need help. The government should take strict measures to protect women like me against abusive partners, especially when they are pregnant. There should be shelters or places of safety to protect both mother and her unborn baby instead of shaming and victim blaming that sometimes is prevalent in the communities that we live in. Men must also stop abusing their partners and should be reported when they do.
Thenjiwe is not her real name and has been changed to protect her identity.
Thenjiwe’s blog was written as part of a series for the Safe at Home, Safe in Relationships Creative Activism Campaign to map the impact of alcohol abuse on intimate partner violence.
You can read other blogs in this series here
Watch the video on the correlation between alcohol misuse and intimate partner violence here