Zizo Tshwete opens up about being assaulted

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
TRUELOVE July cover star Zizo Tshwete
TRUELOVE July cover star Zizo Tshwete

Because of the sensitivity of some of the information, Zizo can only share parts of her experiences. “As a little girl, I was taken advantage of by a family friend, and threatened into not sharing what had happened. The trauma was literally blocked out of my mind. Later on, as a teen, a similar situation happened at a hangout with some friends. Then, the third time was when I was taken advantage of by a medical practitioner. I went in for a consultation, and ended up being touched inappropriately. All of this happened before I turned 18.”

She recounts how on an intellectual level, she knew exactly what she should have done – go to the police and tell her parents. But, in reality, she was crippled with disbelief and fear; and constantly quizzing herself about the validity of her experience or if anyone would believe her.

To deal with what she had endured, her inner toddler and teen suppressed the trauma until she had become an adult, with the strength to tackle it. “That is when I realised that it is completely unacceptable that there are so many women who have similar stories to tell, but can’t.”

Support independent journalism
Subscribe to News24 for just R75 per month to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in