My parents arranged my marriage to a man 12 years older than me. He had a good job and was respected by everyone.  On our wedding day my parents sat me down and lectured me on the importance of being a responsible and dedicated wife, not only to my husband but to his family as well. I then moved to live with him, his mother and his oldest sister.

In the first week after the wedding, one of my best friends dropped in unexpectedly for a visit and asked if I would go with her to the market. I accepted and left a note for my husband, telling him where I was and why I was there. We were just strolling around the market doing my friend’s shopping when suddenly I was grabbed from behind and I looked up to see my husband there, obviously very angry with me. He had a grip on my left arm as he started punching my shoulder and furiously whispering that I should never have left the house without telling him. My best friend was very afraid and felt she couldn’t say anything as there were people all around. I shook off his hand and started running. Luckily I got away. I went straight to my parents’ home but they told me to go back to my husband. They said I should remain loyal and obedient to my husband because that was the right thing to do and eventually I would reap my blessings if I did so.

I returned but, from then on, my husband told me that I should ask his permission if I ever wanted to go out even if it was on an errand. If I didn’t abide by this he would choke, punch or kick me. I told my problems to a friend who was a former client of WCCC. I then called the Centre without my husband’s knowledge and was told I could come for counselling the following day. When my husband left for work the next day I went to the Centre.  In counseling I realized that I was in a dangerous, dominating relationship where my husband was the master and I was his slave.

The very next day I left my husband and went to live with my best friend who had a lot of brothers who would protect me from my husband’s threats and violence. The Center helped opened my eyes to the fact that I could be free from the ties and shackles that my parents made for me. Now I live with my best friend and have found a job that will support me in my decision to live my life in a safe and happy environment. Now my future looks bright.