Get out now……. writes a woman from ‘Toti

by Rod Smith

Hi Rod

My name is Tanja, I am 38 years old and I am an abused woman.  I live in Amanzimtoti. I have a 19 year old daughter.

I too know what it is like to be verbally, mentally and physically abused by my husband.  I was always the one in the wrong and was blamed for everything that went wrong. His rage was scary, I used to cower in fear of him.

Eventually I felt so worthless I started to drink myself to death.  My daughter had to put up with this for many years until she started getting the abuse alongside me, but I still did not leave.  I came to believe that this was what I was meant to be going through and that there was no better life for me.  I just sunk into depression and kept drinking.  When I was drunk I would wake up the next morning and not remember all the horrible things he said and I would just hide all the bruises and pretend all was fine.

One night I woke up and my husband with beating her up and I took a knife and stabbed him to protect her.  I was the one who was almost arrested for attempted murder and all I was doing was protecting my daughter.

This time I got out, it was hell in the beginning because all I knew about myself was that I was “fat and ugly”, a useless piece of white skin, a waste of time.  I could go on for hours and use cruder words but my life was a living hell. I carried on drinking and I made my life hell.

Lucky for me he found a girlfriend, even though I still thought I could not be able to live without him and that I loved him so much.  I eventually went to rehab and dried out.  In those 3 weeks, being taken out of society I had the time to focus on me.  What did I want?  The answer, easy; “ I just want to be happy”.  I have been sober for 14 months now and my daughter has stood by me the whole way.

On the 5 March this year my divorce went through.  On 19 March my husband beat his girlfriend to death and on 1 April he hanged himself whilst in custody.

My message to all who are enduring the same suffering that I did.  GET OUT NOW!  You can do it, I promise, no it won’t be easy but at the end of the day you will have your dignity back and realize that you are a wonderful person and that a lot of people love you and want to help you, let them.

I am a lot stronger mentally but sometimes the horrible names and words come back to me. But I keep reminding myself that I am ME and I am OK.

Note: This letter has been shortened as I would take me a day to type up everything he did to me.

Thanks so much.

Kind regards,


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