BY RATEONE TEFUARANI
I am a woman of strength.
I am a woman of courage.
How would you know that behind these eyes?
Lies a trail of wounds now left behind.
Who would’ve guessed that in my past I was battered and bruised?
Who would’ve guessed that once upon a time I was torn and abused?
I thought I loved this man very much,
Sadly for this man love was never enough.
At times when he would hit me I’d just lay on the ground.
I’d let the blood trickle from my wounds.
I’d pray to God to let me die,
I denied my existence in this world, I hated my life.
God gave me hope in my little girl,
But the beatings never stopped.
In fact, the beatings went from bad to worse,
That in the midst of it many a time my daughter got hurt.
At times the abuse was mental where he would call me all sorts of names,
Feeling worthless I’d hideaway in shame.
I was so reserved I had no confidence,
My spirit was empty and I was always on edge.
Then there was the sexual abuse,
That happened every time he was drunk.
He would walk into the room the stench of the alcohol suffocating me,
The things he did scarred me for life I still remember the pain I felt it was inhumane.
Where could I escape to?
Who could I tell?
I couldn’t tell my family, or anyone else!
Back in the day women had no voice.
Domestic violence was a part of marriage life.
We had to accept it!
We couldn’t complain!
Times have changed,
Women are way stronger than before!
We have come to realise that we deserve nothing but the best and nothing less.
Especially not a man who shows us violence!
Rateone Tefuarani (28) comes from Takuu atoll in the Mortlock islands of Bougainville. She enjoys different types of writing and her dream is to one day to get one of her stories published