THE STORY OF SIVE MNGOMENI

Trigger warning: please note -the following stories contain sensitive material about sexual and dating violence and may cause physiological and psychological symptoms for people with anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
These are first-hand experiences as told by women affected by gender-based violence. It is unedited and published with their full consent. Please read these stories with empathy and know that these women are survivors.
If you need help with gender-based violence, contact the GBV command center on 0800 428 428
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THE STORY OF SIVE MNGOMENI

My name is Sive Mngomeni from Mfuleni,a 25year old who has a 5year old baby boy.Sive is a quiet,sweet loving person who has been through a lot.My weakness is keeping everything inside so that I can be strong for others.My mother brought me up and I’m her only child,her boyfriends were the father figures so I had to grow up very fast a very young age.I’ve watched my mother being abused by her boyfriends and her making excuses for them,also overcame attempted rape from two of her boyfriends.Thank God I’m still here and did not turn into drugs.As if that wasn’t enough,in 2007 I went and lived with my father who I have never ever lived with before because of financial issues.Staying with my father was hell.I stayed with a father who did not want me,felt rejected most of time and there was no physical nor emotional or verbal connection we were two complete strangers who lived in the same house and he did not even try to make a connection with me and I never bothered asking why cause I could see he did not want me.As a resulf of rejection I went and looked for love in the wrong places as I was a child who was so loved by her mother despite of everything we were going through. He showed me he didn’t want me up to an extent that he would not give me anything that I asked of him but he would give my little sister everything she wanted,I was so hurt that I decided to move out and live with neighbours who gladly took me in.At that time I’ve already tried committing suicide and it never worked and he didn’t even notice anything.After matric I went back to live with my mother who was drinking heavily that time and would be verbally abusive towards me.She would come in the early hours of the morning around 2,3 or even 4 o’clock in the morning and shout even swear at me and tell me a lot of things she couldn’t tell me when she’s sober.This continued each and every weekend till I decided to go and live with my boyfriend.I’m the kind of person who runs away from her problems or blocks them completely out of my mind.So I went and lived with my boyfriend and it was all good and fun,now I could smile till the sun comes up and be happy without having to worry about my mother.Everything went well till I had our baby in July 2013,he started changing and would get mad over small and silly things.He also had mother issues but that did not give him the right to hit me. In 2014 he hit me for the very first time,came home one night drunk and high we started having an argument cause he did not want to work and just got a baby that time so I pleaded with him to go and look for work because I was supporting the baby alone with the little that I had cause my father was paying maintenance for me.The argument got heated up and baam he slapped me across the face,tried stoping him but that made him more mad then he started beating me.I could not believe it so I asked in shock that are you hitting me really and his response was and, I quote ’do you think I’m moisturizing you’. I was so shocked that I didn’t even cry when he was beating me,kicking me on the floor and he finished what he was doing with a huge punch in my face.I just sat on the floor,put the baby to sleep and started crying asked myself what happened,what did I do,where did we go wrong and by that time he was already asleep.I just wanted to boil water and pour all over him while he’s asleep the way I was furious and hurt just wanted to kill him right there and the, but as we know he woke up the next morning and asked for forgiveness and like a sensitive woman I forgave him.This continued for some time,he would hit me ask for forgiveness and I would forgive him hoping that he would change his ways.I remember one time we went out to drink and it was fun we were having a wonderful time so my mistake was having a conversation with other guys and he went crazy and he had this thing of not hitting me in public,so he would find a place or corner where no one would see us and start ruffling me up or hit me and when I fight back for everyone to see he would make me out to be the crazy one or the bad guy although he started the fight then when we get home he would go out on me full blast..So this day it happened exactly like that and he beat me to a pulp,kicked me on the floor,punches in my face and even took a broom and gashed me opened with it in my head.The blood that came out was too much I have never seen so much blood come out of my body,my head was red with blood even the black t-shirt I was wearing had blood on it and you could see the blood even though it was black. Had a deep cut and he still had the audacity to wipe the blood off my head and neck,change the clothes I was wearing soak them in water and blame me for everything[I don’t listen,I don’t respect him,i don’t do what he wants and I make him hit me.What a total asshole and coward he was I thought to myself.In the morning he locked the doors,took my phone so that I don’t go to the police and when I tried to escape through the window he found me and put me back in the house pleading for his life.He had this thing of guilt tripping me and would be like Sive do you really want to arrest the father of your baby,what are you going to tell our child when he asks of me and it worked.I had to treat myself at home,each and every day I would be on Panado’s to ease the pain,woke up at about 4am in the morning so that I drink pain tablets.I could not see properly after that,I couldn’t even go sit outside cause the sun was too much for my eyes,my head way heavy.And even after all of that I still forgave him but now the love was getting less,the more he beat me the less I loved him and the more I became angry and bitter. Would make excuses for him when asked what happened.There was a time he beat me up to a point were I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror,my face was totally deformed from all the bruises and the swelling asked myself a lot of questions but still forgave him hoping he would change but I was so naïve cause I knew you can only change if you really want to.Funny enough I knew all of this but still stayed. Last year was the last straw.I saw that I was turning into my mother who was continuously abused by men and would make up excuses to cover up for the them.I bumped into a wardrobe or cupboard,I slipped and fell,I was mugged all of these lies you can think of I’ve told to cover up for someone that was beating me.After that I said I’ve had enough of this and it was time for me to leave and think of my son and how this will affect him in the long run.I don’t want him to think that hitting a woman is a form of showing love and I don’t want him to grow up angry and bitter up to a point where he feels he has to do something about it.I live for my son and everything and anything that I do I have to think of him.His father abused him in each and every way,sexually,mentally,physically,verbally,financially and he intimidated me. I know getting out of a domestic relationship is not easy but I wish that all women can get out and seek for help while they still can,some women have died as a result of domestic violence and it’s not worth it and it’s something we could prevent if we stick together and not judge one another…………

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