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Taking steps to escape the prison of abuse


Gender-based violence destroys lives.

For example, a woman with bruises from her partner might avoid being around family, friends and work colleagues to keep the abuse a secret, making her feel isolated.

If she chooses not to go to work, it may affect her income.

Violence in the home also affects children, even if they themselves are not being abused.

They are at greater risk of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Some end up being bullies.

GBV limits a woman’s ability to protect herself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like HIV/Aids or an unplanned pregnancy, because she will find it difficult to negotiate safe sex.

Your first steps to getting better:

  • You need to acknowledge to yourself that you are not to be blamed for your partner’s behaviour or your partner mistreating you.
  • You should further acknowledge that you are not the cause of your partner’s abusive behaviour and do not make excuses for their behaviour.
  • Tell yourself that you deserve to be treated with respect and with dignity.
  • Tell yourself that you deserve a safe and happy life within your relationship.
  • Your children also deserve a safe and happy life.
  • If you want to leave the relationship, make sure that you are first safe.
  • Confide in a trusted friend or relative what you are going through and that you want to leave.
  • Leaving is a personal decision you make.
  • Be kind, patient and gentle with yourself.
  • You are not alone. There are people waiting to help.

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