First hand account of violence from a client of WCCC.
We had been dating for two months when the first incident happened. I was a virgin and he was very respectful that I did not want to sleep with him. In this time he did not force me to have sex, which really impressed me. I thought he was a very good man.
I knew he did not have a good past. But I felt like I was here to help him.
Sometimes I can’t believe that I have lived through this experience. I cannot believe that it is me who has made these decisions. But this has been my journey and I would like others to learn from it.
My father had died only a few days beforehand. I turned up to his house in my van with an envelope with the money for my father’s funeral in it – thousands of Pa’angas. He offered me a drink while we were talking. – I only had one, but I got so drunk that I completely blacked out and woke up hours later feeling strange. There were like five or six men drinking outside his house and he’s gone in my van with my purse with the money in it.
I usually drink and it takes a lot to get me drunk – so it was very unusual that one drink would do this to me. I went outside and drank with his friends. He came back later and join us. Later I noticed that the money had gone from my van.
His story for what happened is that I got very drunk and refused to have sex with him, and demanded that I have sex with his friends. Then he said I had sex with his friends while he went and bought the drinks.
I was unsure what to believe. Why would he lie? But as a virgin, I did not hurt at all from the sex that he said that I had. And just knowing myself, I couldn’t really believe that I would do this. It took time but I came to realise that he was lying about this situation.
This night has become a constant source of conflict for us. Every time he gets drunk or went out and drink kava tonga, came back home and I do not want to sleep with him, he brings it up as an example of how badly I have treated him. He never believes me that it is not true. It is exhausting. I don’t know why he wants to see me as a woman who has treated him so badly. It is mad. Sometimes I think he needs psychological help.
In our relationship it is as though he does not want me to be happy. Whenever I am with my family, who take very good care of me, and do not want me to even move or get up to clean my dishes, he gets angry.
Often I do not want to have sex. I just don’t feel like it. He is very persistant. I get so tired from him asking and grabbing me. Sometimes before he goes out to kava I have sex with him because I know that when he comes home drunk he will wake me up to have sex, and I am tired and I just want to sleep. But when he comes home he still wakes me up. And if I do not want to have sex, he yells and screams at me about how I treated him that time, and insists that I must make up for it. This is a form of violence. I feel trapped.
Sometimes he gets very crazy angry and he physically abuses me. He throws rocks at me, beats me with metal and sticks and anything he can get his hands on. He is careful to abuse me in areas that I can hide under clothes so people can not see. Sometimes though he has hit my face and given me black and bruised eyes. It is embarrassing that people can see how he treats me.
I have tried everything to get our relationship to work. We have a child together and I do not want my daughter growing up not in a happy environment. It has been two years, and this man will be involved in my life forever, living through my daughter. I keep thinking that i see change in him, that he will not stay this way forever. But he keeps drinking and the behaviour never stops. For now I feel that we have made real progress in that he is starting to understand that the problem is with himself, not with me.
I got counselling from the Women and Children Crisis Centre. Whenever I want to end things with him, which I have tried to do many many times through our relationship, I know its best to do it over the phone from the Crisis Centre, so that he can not hit me and hurt me with his words or beat me up. He has come in for joint counselling a few times – he lied in the counselling session and told them about what I had done to him. I was happy and grateful that the women counsellors at the Centre could see that this was a story made up to address his own insecurities. Talking and support has helped so much.
The last time he was totally out of control. He beat me at the bush and took me to the beach. He raped me in the backyard then took me to the graveyard. He shoved sticks in side me and caused me to bleed from the wounds caused by the stick pushed into my inner thighs. It started around 4pm and stopped when it was already dark. He used everything he could grab – a stem from a manioke tree, rocks, rods, the mirror he pulled off the car. These photos were taken almost a week after this incident – I came into the centre to get documentation of my case. I wished they could see the injuries straight after they happened.
I do not want to go to the Police, or to go through the court system. I am scared to give him reasons to hurt the rest of my family. I want things to be resolved peacefully.
My advice to other women – ask for help as soon as you have any indication that he does not want you to be happy. The sooner you address it the better – it only gets harder and worse the longer you have been together. It will make you feel much much better even when you talk about your problem in the process. Come to the crisis centre – they understand and will help you work out what you want to do to make the situation better.