Breaking The Cycle Of Abuse
Bona|March 2020
Violence, particularly by an intimate partner, remains a huge challenge in South Africa. We often hear of cases where those who experienced abuse at a young age become abusers or are also abused in their adult lives. However, despite the numerous factors that contribute towards this toxic cycle, it can be broken.
Siya Mahomba 

Yolanda Mhlawuli (34) married her now ex-husband a week after he had knocked her unconscious during an altercation. Though his short temper and anger issues had always been a concern, she tolerated it because he had explained that it stemmed from his troubled childhood. “I thought I could save him. I looked at his violent behaviour as a challenge that we could tackle together. So, we promised each other that we would seek help as soon as we got married. But, he became more abusive once we were married, and didn’t commit to therapy.

I then realised that I had to break away from him or he would kill me.” Yolanda’s ex-husband grew up in a hostile environment where his father assaulted his mother daily in front of him and his younger sister. “He also used corporal punishment to discipline them. He had a sjambok (whip) that he would use every time they did something to upset him,” she reveals.

GENERATIONAL TRAUMA AND ABUSE

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