If I had known better

Tatenda Rukarwa
Posted December 2, 2019 from Zimbabwe

I  now have the courage to speak out..I lost a cousin sister of mine about 4 years ago, May her soul rest in peace..She was in a very abusive marriage. It all started when she thought at 28 she needed to get married. She gave herself unnecessary pressure to the extent of paying her own bride price to a man whom at the time seemed to have no clue at all about his future. It was too late for her as she already was pregnant and wanted to have a family but fate could not have it. Her body was that type of African woman (big ass), who had no the gift of dancing. So as the time went by, he became jealous of the way she danced at parties and work functions. Mind you-she was the one working and him a stay at home man-let's just say a hustler but in Shona we say magweja-gweja. He started beating her anytime he had a reason just to make sure those man he thought were attracted to his wife would know she was a marked territory. She sent pictures to my mother and I know my mom would tell her to stay away from that marriage but she feared how society would view her. The beatings became more nastier as time went by, she thought maybe it was because he felt threatened by her education so she decided to enroll him at a teacher's college but alas that is money which was wasted. He didn't attend the lectures was always drunk and smoking weed. When the beatings got worse and worse they divorced but the husband threatened her. She finally moved on but little did we know that all these beating had side effects later. She then succumbed to chest pains and died. The autopsy said it resulted from domestic violence. I know if I had a voice then we would have saved her life before she died. I used to blame myself but I realized that all I needed to have done was talk some sense into her. Today, #IStandWithHer  to ensure no woman faces the same predicament as my cousin.

I call out to all my sisters who stay in relationships that are toxic, but due to societal implications they cannot get out. I call out to you today; to rise up and be who you ought to be…FREE from all forms of abuse. When you feel you cannot take it anymore, leave! Your happiness matters

That is why #IStandWithHer because I know she deserves better

This story was submitted in response to #IStandWithHer.

Comments 10

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Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Dec 02, 2019
Dec 02, 2019

Hello Dear Tatenda,
I am so sorry about your loss. I know how painful it can be. And it is very sad that many of us believe that if we are married we shall be happy, which is never the case. As women we should encourage our fellow women, our sisters, our daughters and our mothers that it is not a must to get married and that we should marry men who love and respect us as equal human beings. I have so many friends and relatives in this same situation and they only realize it when the damage is done. So far I know three people who lost their lives like this and we have failed to trace their children.

Thank you for your story and I pray that it reaches out to many girls and women out there as #Istandwithher.

Stay blessed my dear sister.

Tatenda Rukarwa
Dec 02, 2019
Dec 02, 2019

Thank you dear..Women need to rise up!

Anita Shrestha
Dec 02, 2019
Dec 02, 2019

Thank you for sharing

Jill Langhus
Dec 02, 2019
Dec 02, 2019

Hello Tatty,

How are you doing, dear? Oh, this is too sad:-( Poor thing. Thanks for sharing, spreading awareness and also for inspiring women to not stay in abusive relationships.

Wusufor
Dec 03, 2019
Dec 03, 2019

Hi dear,
Thanks for sharing
They say " Had I know is always at last". However, we always get the lessons rightly.

The lessons are the take homes. Have a great day and take care of yourself

Hugs

lizzymark
Dec 03, 2019
Dec 03, 2019

So sorry for your loss Tatenda,sometimes we learn the hard way but what's important is that we learn in the process. Thanks for shearing and what you do for women around you.

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Dec 03, 2019
Dec 03, 2019

Hello, sister Tatenda,

How brave you are for speaking out on what happened to your sister. Please accept my sincerest condolence. These words are unfortunately true, "she feared how society would view her". I hope women who are in abusive marriages/relationships will have courage to leave, and may our society would be the first to rescue these women instead of putting blame on them.

Hug, dear. We stand with you!

Rosylyne Nabaala
Jan 04
Jan 04

Thank you so much for sharing this my dear sister.

Akshaya9
Jan 11
Jan 11

Hello Tatenda,
Sorry to hear your cousin story and sorry for your loss. Thank you for inspiring other woman and giving awareness about the side effects from abusive violence.

Best Regards

Kabahenda
Jan 15
Jan 15

Please accept my deep condolences at the loss of your cousin. I feel terrible that a young woman lost her life because she committed the crime of loving a horrible character.

As Africans, or first and urgent challenge is to empower our sisters not to succumb to societal and peer pressures that force them into early and undesirable unions.

I strongly encourage to speak out and to raise awareness in your community, perhaps with the help of female leaders, religious leaders and other elders, including men who are ready to support your campaign.

Take heart, we shall all oversome someday! Good luck.