Nthabiseng: ‘I left my abusive husband’

Nthabiseng’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. She was one of many survivors who told their stories of being abused by their partners when drunk.

My name is Nthabiseng and I am an Early Childhood Development practitioner.

I was married to an abusive man until I left a few years ago. He was a taxi owner who also owned a gun, which he sometimes gave to me for safe keeping. Little did I know that the same weapon would be used against me. My husband would  call me names, shout at me, point at me with his firearm and assault me when he was drunk. I lived in perpetual fear that he would kill me with his gun.

He blamed me for the violence to an extent that I even believed that it was my fault that I was being assaulted.

At one point, he  injured my face and I had to call my father, who took me to the hospital. It was  devastating to experience this. I was in physical and emotional pain and so were my children who had to constantly witness their father abusing their mother.

My elder son took drugs and committed petty crimes, which he was arrested for. My younger son is very withdrawn, and I think it’s because of witnessing abuse in their home.

Alcohol is not good. This is why I would like to see the government taking stern measures against alcohol misuse. During COVID-19, the lockdown and restrictions prevented a lot of people from drinking. So, I think that the government should restrict how much people can buy and the days they can buy to prevent people abusing alcohol and their wives.

Nthabiseng is not her real name and has been changed to protect her identity.

You can read other blogs in the series here

Watch the video on the correlation between alcohol misuse and intimate partner violence here