By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Alice Dube (not real name ) said that it took her time to realise that she was being abused and thought what was happening to her was normal before getting education from organizations that deal with Gender-Based Violence issues. Her interactions with GBV organizations was an eye-opener which made her take action and be an example to other women.
“I was married at an early age and whatever was happening in my marriage I thought it was the normal thing and thought all marriages were like that. I never had to ask others what transpired in their homes and l kept everything l experienced to myself. I was being abused in every way to the extent that I once had a miscarriage after being assaulted by my husband but l had no one to tell as he (my husband) threatened me that if I tell anyone he will kill me,” she narrated.
She never got to work and had to be dependent on her husband.
“Every day my husband was the one who had to take care of the needs of the house, l never had a say in whatever decision which would be made including those which concerned me. I just had to follow what my husband said and my mother always said that a good woman had to be submissive to her husband so l was following suit to the tradition that I grew up seeing,” said Dube.
Alice testified that her interaction with organizations that deal with Gender based Violence as well as woman rights helped her to escape out of her predicament.
“A friend of mine became my ticket out of my misery as she introduced me to different organisations that had to do with women empowerment. This is when l realised that the marriage l thought was beautiful was not all that rosy but thorny and l told myself it was the time to change my life for the better and l have become a testimony to many women.
I left my husband and went back to my parent’s place and that is where l am staying till today. I have initiated some self-help business with a start-up from a certain organization and I am now able to fend for myself and my child.
I am a motivation to many women and recently l was made to give a speech at an event held in honour of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence where d l shared my story with the others. I inspired a lot of people in my life and they also realised that their rights were being thwarted.
Alice story is a reflection of many women’s stories who are suffering from various forms of abuse.
Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in commemorating 16 Days of activism against gender based violence.