By Nomzamo Gwebu
Privilege Ncube (34) lives with her two children in the high density suburb of Pumula in Bulawayo after fleeing from her three year marriage. Privilege says she fled from her marriage to save her life and that of her children from her violent husband.
The three year marriage had irretrievably broken down when Privilege’s estranged husband incessantly turned her into a punching bag.
“Our marital problems started when I got pregnant with our second child. My husband claimed the pregnancy was not his. He claimed that I was cheating him with other men. I do not know where he got this from but he drastically changed from being a caring and supportive husband to this violent man. He also started to excessively drink alcohol and staying out late,” says Privilege.
Privilege says she got married to her husband who was a law enforcement agent in 2010 and had her first child in 2012. During that time, all was well and Privilege says she never suspected that her husband would change into a monster with an insatiable appetite for violence.
“He started to come home late and drunk. Sometimes he would not even come home. When I asked him about his whereabouts, he would insult me and ask who the father of my unborn baby was. Our quarrels would normally end with him assaulting me,” says Privilege.
The violence was not only traumatic to Privilege as she reveals that her daughter was also affected. She says the violent encounters would at times go on throughout the night and her daughter would be awake all the time.
Things went out of control according to Privilege when her husband started dating other girls without any effort to conceal these relationships. Privilege says she started to engage her relatives but they failed to bridge the rift.
“I told my relatives about what was happening, but my husband denied all and said I was creating stories. The harassment continued and I realised that I was putting my life at great risk of being killed or injured,” says Privilege.
Privilege says when she realised that the violence was not showing any signs of coming to an end, she decided to break the marriage and sue for maintenance. She says it was no longer safe for her and her children.
“I moved to Pumula where I am staying with my children. It was not easy because I was also pregnant and was unemployed. I started to go to Musina in South Africa to buy items for resale in order to support myself. I would leave my child with my landlord each time I travelled to South Africa,” says Privilege.
Privilege says it is not advisable for women to live in violent relationships because they can end up getting seriously injured or getting killed. She also says that it is not good for children to grow up in such environment as it may affect them emotionally.