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What steps to take when your partner is abusive

By Faeza
26 April 2017

Anonymous writes:

I’m a mother of two children aged 12 and nine, and I’ve been married for over 10 years. Things between me and my husband are not as great as they look and I always pretend

like we are a happy couple. The problem started a few years after we got married. He started beating me up and abusing me emotionally. There were nights where I feared for my life so much that I wished I could kill him. He started to abuse our children too. He would sometimes beat us all up because he didn't like what I made for dinner. I’ve been hiding all this because I wanted to protect our marriage and family. But things are

now becoming too much and I can’t handle it anymore.

Move! expert replies:

Wilma Calvert, a counsellor at The Family Life Centre in Joburg, says, “Change is frightening and we may choose the familiar even when we know that it isn’t the best choice. Isolating the victim is a strategy of the abuser, but you must reach out

to trusted friends or family and tell them what is happening. You will have to open a case against your husband at the police station. This may be a very difficult and scary thing to do. Ask a friend to accompany you and if you have a safe place to stay for a while, do so. You should be given a protection order by the police and you can ask that they accompany you to collect things you may need from your home. Consider going for counselling.”