Belinda had two relationships in which her partner abused her. She refused to suffer the blows. “You don’t raise your hand to me,” I’d say. In South African there is a saying: “You are a hard heart”. I don’t care. I’d rather be alone than dead.Belinda
I’m pessimistic about the future of South Africa. There is so much wrong with our way of life, our systems. The law of the street rules here. It’s heartbreaking to see how much misery our children have to endure.
Who’s guilty of this? Is it the fathers, the mothers, the politicians? I think we’re all responsible. We tolerate violence and inequality. My daughter was raped when she was 13 years old. The perpetrator is still at large. “It’s her fault,” they say, “it’s because of the way she dresses”.
Why do men do what they do and expect to get away with it? They make excuses or blame it on alcohol and drugs. But why don’t they admit they use violence because they want to? Such men can’t handle themselves and refuse to take responsibility.
I’ve also had two relationships in which my partner abused me. I refused to suffer the blows. “You don’t raise your hand to me,” I’d say. In South African there is a saying: “You are a hard heart”. I don’t care. I’d rather be alone than dead. But a lot of women do stay together.
Children are confronted with these kinds of situations and do not know how to respond. They live in a kind of dream world where violence is normal. Our youth has no respect for the elderly; nor for each other or for themselves. We have to change this mentality. Parents must come forward and make this right. Politicians must create new laws and apply them.
If we, the elderly, don’t change, the future of our youth will be lost. That’s why I focus on my grandchildren. My five-year-old grandson recently told me, “Grandma, you can’t die.” He has seen too much and doesn’t feel safe at home anymore. This breaks my heart.
It is for his future, and that of my other grandchildren, that I will continue to fight against inequality. For they are the most important to me.