Handout 23 - Stories Of Violence

These stories are adapted from real situations

Teenage girl in abusive dating relationship. Cut off from friends and outside activities “I’m a student and have been with my boyfriend for the last eight months. I used to be involved with many activities such as a young women’s club, played netball and loved to go out with my girlfriends. But my boyfriend doesn’t like me doing these things. He says he wants me ‘all to himself’. It’s so sweet that he loves me that much. But sometimes I wish I could also be with my friends and playing sports, but that makes him mad and I don’t want my boyfriend to drop me.”

Young, married woman being physically abused by husband “My husband and I got married last year. Although it was an arranged marriage and I was hesitant to accept my parents’ choice, we had a beautiful wedding day. It started off quite well, but a few months ago I was late getting home from work and my husband was really angry. He wanted to know where I had been and was asking who I was with. I was really surprised by his reaction. He wouldn’t let it go and started criticizing that I wasn’t cleaning the house well and that there was no dinner ready. When I suggested he could help out too, he started shouting about my disobedience and slapped me hard. I was shocked and crying and then he was very sorry for hitting me. He said he’d never do it again. But then a week later, he was angry and hit me again. It’s been getting worse and now he wants me to quit my job, but every time he hits me he says I have done something to make him mad and that he’s sorry. I am scared that his temper is getting worse and I don’t know what to do. My mother says it’s my duty to stay with my husband.”

Young woman who was sexually assaulted “I was at a friend’s birthday party and met someone. We started talking and he seemed really nice. There were a lot of people, so he asked me to step outside for a minute to get some fresh air. He took my hand and we walked outside. There was no one around. He tried to kiss me and I said no, we have only just met. But he didn’t listen to me. He just laughed and said, ‘don’t be such a prude.’ I got scared and angry and told him to stop but he became rough and pushed me to the ground. I tried to scream and get away but he covered my mouth and held me down and raped me. I am so ashamed. I know it was wrong and that he broke the law but who will believe me? Sometimes I wonder if it was my fault.”

Young, married woman whose husband does not want her to study or work outside the home, has no control over the household income and is regularly put down and insulted “My husband won’t let me work. He says that is his job as a husband and he says he’s the head of the family and besides, who would want to hire me? It’s true that we have enough money for our needs but I would still like to have an interesting job as well as take care of our little daughter. My husband keeps me like a bird in a cage. We have a beautiful house, but he decides what is bought and gives me a small allowance. He says it’s my duty to be a good wife and to do what I am told and that he knows best how much money I need. Sometimes I am so embarrassed buying food, as I do not have enough money to get what we need. Then when I ask for more he explodes and does not trust that I have used my allowance well. He wants to control everything I do and I feel so stupid.”