When she woke up, the house was dirty and it seemed like there were people fighting. She knew exactly what had happened. Her father was probably drunk last night and took his frustrations out on her mother.

Bongisipho just stood there, she didn’t know where to start cleaning. She took the pots on the stove and packed them nicely on the kitchen table then got ready for school. As Bongisipho walked to school alone, thoughts raced through her mind. She wondered if her mom was still alive, then thought better of it because she didn’t believe her father capable of such brutality. She stopped herself thinking such thoughts and continued to school.

When she arrived at school, Lizalise the school charmer and player, was standing at the school gate. Bongi walked right passed him. She usually went to sit with her friend, but today she decided to go straight to class. At lunch time, Sinesihle asked why she seemed so sad and down in class. Bongi wanted to tell her about her parents and what happened earlier that morning at home, but she couldn’t. Sinesihle’s father was a police officer and Bongi thought that if she told her what happened, Sinesihle would tell her father, which would only cause more trouble for Bongi’s father.

When she got home Bongisipho opened the door without knocking and saw her father sitting on top of her mother. At first, Bongi didn’t recognise the woman beneath her father, but when she looked closer she saw that it was her mother. Her father had a belt in his hand and her mother was screaming wild for him to stop. She was also bleeding from the beating that he had given her. Bongi felt her heart constrict in pain, she couldn’t bear to see her mother like that. As she stood watching her father abuse her mother, her father told her to get out of the house because he wasn’t finished disciplining her mother. She then rushed out the front door because she feared for her safety to, her father had become a heartless man lately.

Bongi ran to Sinesihle’s house down the street, she entered the house without knocking. Sinesihle’s family was busy having dinner, all of them sitting at the dining room table, was a sight Bongi had never seen or experienced at her home. Before any of them could say anything, Bongi hurriedly told them what was happening at home. Sinesihle’s father then stood up and called the police station, he hated men who abused women. At that point he was no longer her father’s friend, he was a police officer.

A few minutes later Bongi saw a police van pulling up at her house. Two police officers got out and went into her house. They came out with her dad in handcuffs who was being read his rights. They said that he was being arrested for domestic abuse. They also said that her father had the right to an attorney and that anything he said or did could be held against him in court before throwing him in the back of the van. Bongi’s mom cried as the police took her father away, she had come very close to being killed by her own husband.

Bongi and her mom dressed up for court in silence. Neither of them spoke, but they had the same question in mind, “What if he gets out on bail?”

In court, the judge ruled that her father be sentenced to life in prison. Bongi’s mother was elated at the ruling but her heart didn’t allow her to be happy because she had lost the only man that she had ever loved. Bongi gave her mother a hug as they exited the court room and told her that everything would be fine. Bongi told her mom that she believed that God put her mom in the situation she had been in because she had to learn from it. Her mother cried and told Bongi that, “the power of the hands is extreme” never under estimate it. Although her father was sent to prison, her mother refused to forsake him because they had been bound by family ties.


Tell us what you think: What should be the punishment for people who abuse their spouses?