I’m very content with being part of a country that supports human rights. The right to be free from all forms of violence is the human right that warms my heart most, which is including corporal punishment. In my case it’s parental corporal punishment to be more specific. Corporal punishment is banned in this new dawn of democracy that is entrenched in our South African constitution. In the Eastern Cape it is still being practiced.

I was forcefully punished by my father for not going to church and became brutally injured to such an extent that I couldn’t go to school the following day. I was bleeding so much that the whole lounge was covered in blood. My mom tried her best to stick up for me, but no one tells my father what to do. It was already dark outside.

“Get out of my house and never come back!” shouted my father in a furious voice.

I walked out of the house in the dark, and thankfully I had a friend nearby so I got a place to sleep. I visited the Butterworth hospital the following day to get my x-rays checked because of how detrimental the punishment was. It’s so hard for my younger brother and me. Sometimes I feel like nobody cares about me.

Going to church is not compulsory but a choice, especially for a sixteen year old boy. This made me feel like he just wanted an excuse to hit me. He finds pleasure in making me feel like an unwanted child. I think he has his issues, and he’s taking them out on me. My father treats me like I’m some kind of infection or something.

Like every other teenage boy in the country, I want to have a loving father. To all the fathers out there I want to say give your children a break, they are doing the best the best they can. It’s not like there are no other alternatives for punishing children. Violence is just not the answer.

This human right gives me joy in my heart. It gives me hope in a hopeless situation.