From the Depths of despair when my world fell apart
I felt all alone and heavy in heart
My life had been shattered by a tight fisted hand
Who could I turn to, who’d understand?
So with no self esteem and in a broken mess
I made a decision about my happiness
I took all my courage I could find
to make a stand for myself and leave him behind
Those first few months were the loneliest I’ve been
But I knew it was worth it not to be hit again
Again in finding myself I cried a river of tears
Learning to love me and facing my fears.
(Misty Wildes)

It’s real. It’s familiar. It has become the norm. Fear in marriage…. during divorce. The brutal onslaught continues… even after divorce. No escaping… no hiding away… no mercy.

HER FACE. Broken. Damaged. Battered. Shattered.
HER EYES. The fear more than the pain, the shame more than the anger.
HER SPIRIT. A turning point. A sparkle of hope. A tear that never dried..

Twelve years of violence. Torture. Constant abuse. No one to turn to. No one to help. No one to understand. Who would? In the darkness of their home… suffering, an earthly hell. the Fear is everywhere… all-around… overshadowing your every move, thought, decision. Days, weeks, months, years clouded… compressed into one moment… one never-ending story.. one of FEAR.  

The decision was made. No more. Divorce.
But… how do you leave an abusive husband…live in the shadow of a belt..Hide from the blow of a fist….escape the wrath of his fury….
We completed the forms. We submitted the application. We addressed the Magistrate. We obtained the order. We called on the Police….urgent service… immediately. And prayed…

Not to emotionally abuse. Not to physically abuse. Not to verbally abuse. Not to…..
The interdict was served… the warrant issued…. hope for survival flickered…

He didn’t abide… was arrested… held in custody… lesson learnt… for the time being.

The divorce was finalized. The protection order remained intact. The stalking continued… the anonymous calls from unfamiliar numbers… the strange sounds…

For most…. the Fear stays forever…

If you are the victim of any form of abuse, get help.

According to the Domestic Violence Act No. 116 of 1998 abuse is:
• any form of abuse which includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic harassment
• damage to property
• stalking
• entry into a person’s property without their consent
• any other abusive or controlling behaviour where such a conduct causes harm or may cause harm to your health, safety, or well being

If these forms of abuse are happening to you or to anyone you know, you can apply for a protection order. A domestic violence protection order is a document issued by the court which prevents the abuser from:
• committing an act of domestic violence
• enlisting the help of another person to commit any such act
• entering a residence shared by the complainant and the respondent
• entering a specified part of such a shared residence
• entering the complainant’s residence
• entering the complainant’s place of employment
• preventing the complainant who ordinarily lives or lived in a shared residence from entering or remaining in the shared residence or a specified part of the shared residence or
• committing any other act as specified in the protection order.

(Department of Justice)

This is not for the faint-hearted