I live in a small community called Kamhlushwa. It’s a kind, nice and caring community, but sometimes I feel unsafe because of the things that are happening: rape, murder, theft, kidnapping and conflict between neighbors.

I feel unsafe in my community because many young girls were raped and I was scared that I will be the next victim. Many of them got STIs and STDs. I am scared for myself and other girls that live here. I am scared of being raped and that has made me afraid of strangers. I am scared of walking around because I know I would meet different people and although I know not all people are bad, I don’t feel safe around them.

I feel unsafe in my community because of the fights that always happen here. I live next to a tavern so fights often occur between drunkards. And in many of the fights, innocent people get hurt. Bongane was stabbed by drunkards who were fighting even though he was not involved. The person who stabbed him was fighting about who was going to finish a bottle of whiskey. That situation made me feel so in danger because you never know when a fight is going to occur when you cross the road. I feel scared for myself and other people because we can easily get hurt without even knowing why.

There are not many murders in Kamhlushwa but my best friend Jennifer was killed brutally by her stepmother. It was heartbreaking for me and other people because we loved her and it was hard losing her. Since then I felt unsafe and uncomfortable even with my own family. I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I felt so unsafe and in danger because I learned that a person you trust can kill you. I even acted shady around my own stepmom because I thought that what happened to Jennifer could also happen to me.

Abuse happens a lot here. Many young ladies are beaten by their boyfriends, others are beaten by their husbands, but none of them report this to the police. I don’t understand women when they can see that they are being abused but they don’t want to walk away. I mean if you know you are being abused, why stay in that relationship? I just don’t understand why people abuse others and why those who are abused don’t report. I don’t like feeling unsafe in my community. I love my community very much but when I think about what happened to people who were close to me, I feel unsafe.