Relebogile: ‘I left my abusive husband’

Relebogile’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 Relebogile.  I am 23 years old and live with my boyfriend at his parent’s home.  He also has tenants who have shacks outside the house. I moved in with him because I have nowhere else to live.

My boyfriend is kind and gentle. That is until he is drunk. He calls me names and swears at me when he is drunk. Sometimes he chases me out of his home at night knowing that I have nowhere to go. I am afraid of what he could do to me when he is drunk.

One painful memory is when he came home  in the early hours of the morning, he was drunk. He beat me up on that day until I had a blue eye. When he realised that I was bruised, he asked that I stay indoors until I heal so no one could see me in that state.

As in any partnership where two people care for each other, I expect him to protect and take care of me, but he does the opposite, which hurts and saddens me.

I really think that, as a community, we should work together to stop the abuse, especially for women like me who do not have many options.

Relebogile 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