WINDHOEK - Ndapewa is a middle-aged woman who was born in Windhoek 32 years ago. Since her childhood, she wanted to strive for something new. Growing up in the capital city, she would grab every opportunity that came her way. The sky was the limit for Ndapewa.
One of her strengths was that she would work very hard to sustain herself. She believed in self-empowerment and was a woman who would not give up easily.
Looking back at Ndapewa’s journey: It was a phone call from a soft voice that sounded so relieved. A voice that was carrying the power of happiness. I immediately connected myself to Ndapewa’s feelings that moment, and I wanted to hear what she had in store for me.
Seven years ago, Ndapewa had a vision of becoming an empowered woman who could stand up for herself. She wanted to educate herself though she was coming from a poor background, where struggling to earn a living was an everyday thing. Still determined to overcome poverty, she never gave up and she enrolled herself to study at a local university.
She then started selling sweets and working as a part time domestic worker as a means of providing for herself.
One day in the middle of her studies, Ndapewa met a handsome young man who told her he had just fallen in love with her, and so she pursued the relationship.
The boyfriend started getting interested in helping Ndapewa. He would buy some gifts and food for her. At a later stage, he insisted to pay Ndapewa’s fees.
The move did not go well with her, as in her culture she could not accept such kind of help from a man who was not married to her. Nevertheless, Ndapewa could start noticing the red flags from her partner.
Ndapewa’s partner was so lovely at first, however, Ndapewa started to notice that something was wrong. The first issue she picked up from the red flags was jealousy. The boyfriend was obsessed with jealousy. Ndapewa could not stay away from her phone even when she wanted to do group study with her classmates.
The boyfriend would get angry on why Ndapewa was taking time to answer the phone.
“He would ask me why I was not picking up my phone even if it rang for a second, so I would literally go with my phone to the bathroom because of fear he’d call, and I would end up missing his call. He started to control my movements and the type of friends I used to associate with. He would just turn up without telling me.
“I ended up like a person living in a prison,” narrated Ndapewa.
The jealousy got worse to a point where Ndapewa decided to stop the relationship.
“It got worse and I could not figure out what to do. He started sending me some threats that if I decided to live without him, he would kill me. I then reported the case to the police.
Unfortunately, the process was taking too long. Nothing was moving forward. I am talking about a person who owns a gun, who was threatening me every day that he will one day kill me,” narrated Ndapewa.
“I am talking this to the young ladies. It took me years to get rid of a person who has serious issues. I refused to be abused by him. If I had accepted him to pay for my school fees, today I could not have been alive. Ladies should learn to take care of themselves. Especially the young girls who are not working,” advises Ndapewa.
There are men who think that if they take care of a woman, she becomes his property. In most cases, women are not financially stable, and thus struggle to earn a living. Most girls at the university struggle a lot which forces them to get into relationships where they can benefit financially. Most of them are coming from a poor background where living a luxurious life is not an option. And in most cases, it forces a woman to stay in an abusive relationship because the person provides for them, and they are unable to find other means of sustaining themselves.
Jealousy in a relationship is a negative feeling unless it is addressed. In most cases people who struggle with jealousy struggle with deeper issues that have not been resolved. At its deeper end the individual becomes controlling and having trust issues that lead to emotional or physical abuse.
The most perpetrated form of gender- based violence in Namibia is caused by an intimate partner. According to Sister Namibia, the vast majority of victims of domestic violence are women (86 percent) and most of these crimes are perpetrated by men (93 percent).
Regain Trust empowers survivors of Gender Based Violence through psychological therapy sessions, one on one and group sessions. The intervention process helps and empowers survivors to open up and speak out about their experiences. Awareness campaigns are done through public dialogues, media campaigns and trainings. The organization advocates for a holistic approach to address GBV.
Regain Trust and (FES) Friedrich Ebert Stiftung with co-funding from the European Union are implementing a project that will contribute towards National efforts to address Gender based Violence and Learner Pregnancy in the Khomas, Erongo and Northern Regions. The project titled “Survivors Speak Up!” seeks to Increase and enhance the delivery of prevention, psychosocial, health, legal and protection services to reduce the prevalence of GBV & LP.
Look for the upcoming events on our website and Facebook page. If you need help reach out to Regain and call 0817033 203.
2019-07-05 09:29:07 2 months ago