'Help me. I can’t help myself'

2017-05-21 05:52

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His mother was stabbed to death by his own father when he was about three years old, but he only found out about this when he was a teenager.

Despite this knowledge, he also became an abusive partner himself.

At 23 years old, Matome Modise* from Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, has already assaulted his live-in girlfriend at least six times (that he can remember) and has raped her at least once.

It has been three weeks since his girlfriend, who is also 23, moved out after a relationship of four years.

He is now trying to win her back, but he is not yet sure if he will be able to say that he will never again lay a hand on her.

“I am scared of myself. I am afraid she will come back [and] then I will snap again and go beyond just slapping her or forcing her to have sex with me against her will,” he told City Press on Friday.

“Things can go beyond that and I may end up costing her the precious life she has,” he said.

Modise responded to an online survey by City Press this week that asked men whether they had raped or abused women.

He came forward because he wants help and because he doesn’t want to end up like his father.

“I discovered that she was cheating on me and fed me lies. Whenever I assaulted her, it kind of felt good. I felt like I was the man; in control and getting my girlfriend back on the rails,” he said.

“I normally only regain myself the following day when I take a good look at her and think about how much I truly love her. But even this does not stop me.

“She looked helpless, powerless, but because she loved me, she stayed on until she could not take
it any more.”

Modise said that, when he raped his girlfriend, she just lay there, helpless. “I overpowered her and she didn’t even try to resist, although I could see that she really was not in the mood, but I couldn’t care less.

“I am not proud of any of the things I did,” he said.

“She may have wronged me, but I don’t have a right to abuse her and make her life a misery. I am the problem, I need help; I really do, before someone ends up dying because of me.”

While he is a self-confessed abuser and rapist, Modise cannot handle stories of rape and abuse when other men are the culprits.

His blood boils every time he sees news reports of women being raped and killed.

“I think about my mother and how tough it was growing up without my parents because my father was responsible for her death. It triggers instant anger every time I hear news of women’s bodies being discovered all over the place,” Modise said.

“I don’t know why this is not helping me protect my own partner. I would have expected my anger at men abusing women to have a positive affect on me, but I don’t know what is going on with me.”

Asked if he believed he would ever be a good man, he said: “I don’t know. I’d rather stay alone without a woman in my life. It is safer that way for everyone.

“The last thing I want is to be like my own father, who took the life of the woman he was supposed to love.

“I love my girlfriend and, because of that, I want her to stay away from me until I am sure that I am all right and will not pose any danger.

“I need to deal with my anger problems and learn to be a good man, and I must regain control of myself. I am really desperate for that.”

* Not his real name

City Press has connected Modise with Mbuyiselo Botha of the Sonke Gender Justice Network so that he can get the help that he needs

Read more on:    rape

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