He had never even raised his voice when we were dating but as soon as we married, violence became a constant part of our lives. Both families intervened but without any real lasting impact. Yes, there were good times too, 7 years, 2 children, but the violence was never too far away. The beatings were particularly vicious whenever I was pregnant. As if the sight of me big, triggered his violent rage.

Then in 2019, I found out I was pregnant again. I was so terrified that I managed to hide it for 6 months until it becomes too obvious.

Over that Christmas, after beating me severely, he tortured me with a hot iron, demanding that I confess that he was not the father of my unborn child. On December 28, he threw a pot of boiling oil at me it missed my face but the skin on my shoulder was completely removed with second degree burns. The neighbours helped me take the children and run back to my aged parents. I left my matrimonial home with just the clothes on my back. I thought I was safe, but, on January 1st, he scaled the wall of my parent’s house and attacked me with a machete, leaving wounds all over my body. He then sent text messages promising to kill me and then kill himself.

A kind neighbour introduced me to the Domestic Violence project. They have been so wonderful, they counselled me and arranged for me and my children to go into protective accommodation. I now live in their shelter with my children, including the baby. I am not able to contact friends or family for security reasons. But the shelter is the most peaceful place, I have ever lived in. It is also a very sad place, I live alongside women permanently scarred with acid, or with disabilities as a result of violence. I am scarred too, but I know I am one of the lucky ones. I am trying to learn new skills because I know that I can’t stay here forever. I can’t really say what the future holds, but I do know that this project has saved my life.

DashMe Foundation provides funding to projects working with victims of domestic and gender-based violence