FRANCISTOWN: A blissful love encounter at church, which ended up in marriage, later changed for the worst as the other partner soon became a victim of abuse.
The victim, Kadimo Duiker, touched the hearts of many as she revealed her ordeal on Thursday at Francistown Civic Centre during the 16 Days of Activism on Gender Based Violence (GBV) commemoration.
Duiker firstly urged victims of GBV to relay their experiences to others rather than keep them to themselves.
She stated that GBV is a horrific experience that affects a person in numerous ways. “I get really angry when abused women remain silent because that silence destroys them slowly.
Talking about the things we experience really takes the load off our shoulders,” said a visibly worried Duiker.
The survivor said at first she thought that it was how a husband should treat his wife. Duiker, like other GBV survivors, is fortunate to have escaped death at the hands of her ex-husband.
She said her former husband abused her in various ways, which made her think that she was a lesser mortal. Duiker said when they first met, their love relationship was very nice, adding that she did not realise that the man she dated would later turn into a beast. She said what compounded her woes was the fact that the abuse also affected her young child because the ‘man of her dreams’ would at times abuse her in front of their child.
Duiker said she realised that hers was
Unfortunately, Duiker said her efforts to resuscitate her marriage proved dangerous and was like ‘pouring petrol into a burning furnace’. She said she later sought help from the offices of the department of gender affairs, which summoned her spouse but her efforts once again hit a snag.
She added that her endeavours to seek help from Legal Aid Botswana did not bear any fruits either.
Duiker said when she was about to give up, a nurse she occasionally consulted because of her declining health helped her. She said the nurse took her to a social worker and a psychologist at Jubilee Hospital for treatment. She kept getting constant flashbacks of the events, but she highlighted that her going to church and forgiving her ex-husband has set her soul free.
She encourages fellow victims to openly share their harrowing ordeals and pray to the Lord for salvation.
“For such a long time, I felt worthless. I did absolutely nothing with my life; it basically stopped. I really suffered this abuse to extremes,” said a sobbing Duiker in a parting shot.