Abuse is faceless, it cuts across the intersection of race, gender, class, sexual orientation and age. It is savage like a lion in a jungle; it doesn’t care about the opinions of the springbok.

It changes colour as a chameleon, as it comes in different forms such as physical, emotional, sexual or financial etc. No form of abuse is better than the other because they all hurt.

Even though physical abuse leaves scars, blue eyes and missing teeth etc., as glaring evidence, emotional abuse on the other hand is discrete, very discrete.

Sexual abuse may leave an individual feeling dirty, insecure, having feelings of distrust towards people and mentally angry over the long run.

Financial abuse can leave your bank balance and credit score battered and bruised, in extreme cases an individual will experience mental anguish because he or she cannot afford a loaf of bread.

One thing is for certain, abuse leaves an individual angry. At some point, some survivors feel it’s their fault.

Unfortunately, our families and society don’t help much because most survivors if not some or all, come across the stop sign of victim blaming. We have heard of: What was she wearing? What did she do to him? He or she shouldn’t have done this or said that or what and where.

Whilst society, family or the police point fingers, the trauma and experience becomes a double edged sword. The trauma can be a line the survivor draws on the sand in a vicious cycle.

Whilst people know abuse happens to anyone, other people view it as a culture or practice to a particular group of people.

What is concerning, is a trend where perpetrators who sexually assaulted a child or women, pay a visit to the survivor’s house in order to pay “damages”, these damages come in the form of money or live goats or sheep, so charges can be withdrawn.

Until the family structure faces this faceless beast called abuse head on without fear, favour and shame; we will continue with hashtags and marches to parliament and the Union Buildings without resolutions and I’m afraid we will grow numb.


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