'I was raped when I started varsity, but today I'm happy to have finally finished my psychology degree'

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Sindiswa dlamini decided to take back her power. Image supplied by Sindiswa Dlamini
Sindiswa dlamini decided to take back her power. Image supplied by Sindiswa Dlamini
  • South Africans have been outraged by the spate of horrific rapes and murders of women in previous years and the trend continues.
  • Unfortunately, Sindiswa Dlamini, 27, is one of the women who have felt the horrific brunt of such criminality after she was raped in 2015.
  • Although she felt disengaged from her body for some time after the incident, she took back her power and is at a happy place. And she's recently obtained her psychology degree from the University of Johannesburg.

Sindiswa shares her story with W24:

It was in 2015, and at just 21 years old my life took a 360 degree turn.

I was doing my second year in psychology. Everything seemed to be coming along well until August came around. A friend had asked me to accompany her to her friend's baby shower. I brought up every excuse I could, but she had a solution for every one of them. So, we went, and the baby shower went well. Until we had to leave, and our mode of transportation was people she knew. Jokingly, I told her friends to take the number plate of the car that was fetching us, not knowing the worst was about to happen.

READ MORE | Change what South African men think of women to combat their violent behaviour

When we met these men, one of them came to me as though he knew me from somewhere, which was so weird that I asked my friend and she brushed it off. So, to cut the long story short, we never made it home. My friend had orchestrated the whole plan for me to end up getting raped by one of the old men. I was shattered and in disbelief, I couldn't believe it when I was told she had said I deserved it. That was someone I called a friend, a sister.

Having lost my way, that didn't put me down. I opened a case with the police but it went cold, because the police lady said I wasn't doing enough to assist her. I was determined to finish my degree in record time, so I had to put aside the emotions and just shut them out. Every kind of help I tried didn't pull through. I then decided to deal with it myself. I suffered from panic attacks, weight loss and low self-esteem.

Then one day I decided that I would refuse to be a victim. I refused to conform to the new space I was subjected to. I had to learn who I was and where I was going. It wasn't easy to find healing all alone but I'm proud of myself for having done so. I even completed my psychology degree and graduated recently.  Because of what happened to me, I assist girls who've been in the same situation as me with finding healing and self-love again.

READ MORE | 'I was scared of being slutshamed' - Fear of victim blaming stopped this woman from reporting her rape

It has become my passion to be the voice of the voiceless. Through my journey of healing, I learnt that it all beings with you, the willingness to want to do better and be better for yourself. You are never ready to kick-start that journey, but because you are tired of the imbalanced emotions, the blame and guilt, that's what pushes you to do better.

I hope to be involved with organisations where I can volunteer and keep helping our sisters out there.

I am Sindiswa Mafungwase Dlamini. I am SHE who never gave up, she who defied the odds and went straight for a positive space.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact one of the organisations below:  

Gender-based violence Command Centre: Please call me facility: *120*7867# Emergency line: 0800 428 428 

POWA helpline: 011 642 4345 

SADAG has a WhatsApp counselling line that operates from 09:00 to 16:00: 076 882 2775 

SADAG 24hr Helpline: 0800 456 789

Tears Foundation helpline: *134*7355# 

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