According to Psychology Today, there are many reasons that cause women to stay in an abusive relationships, such as distorted thoughts, damaged self-worth, fear, financial constraints, children, family expectations and family experiences.
However, in a recent YouTube video, actress Millicent Makhado - who is popularly known for her breakout role as Agnes Mukwevho on Muvhango - has urged women to rise above all those factors and find the strength to leave abusive relationships.
The actress used her previous abusive marriage as an example and told viewers that it is possible to be happy again after leaving an abusive relationship.
“This is a very difficult topic [for me] as a young woman who was in an abusive relationship that became [an abusive] marriage," she shared in a video posted to YouTube.
"I realised that it is not easy to leave an abusive relationship. As much as I was told how stupid I was, that I was a fool or useless, I still didn't leave the relationship."
The reasons she outlined for many women facing abuse and not leaving their partners include being taught to ‘bekezela’ (endure) as a woman and the religious notion that 'God hates divorce'.
“When I finally left my abusive relationship, I went home back to my mother. Your family is always there for you, I know it might be hard to believe but they will love and take care of you,” Millicent encouraged viewers.
She admitted that her decision to leave was not easy because of the judgement she had expected to face when going back home.
READ MORE | When I left | 3 women share their brave stories
“A woman decides to die in silence because then she would have to go back home to the township or village where everyone will know that [their] no longer driving that car or staying in that fancy house.” she said
“All of that doesn’t matter. Just wake up, pack your bags and leave."
Now, the actress has found love again and is married to Jabulani Chauke. They tied the knot back in 2016 – showing us that starting over is always possible.
Watch the full video below: