‘This Is The Way Of Living’

Not long after we arrived in South Africa, the assistant director of the Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development told us that 1 in 2 women in South Africa is abused. Last week, the statistic finally hit me. I listened to women talk about how they have been beaten with fists and words. Several of these courageous women have mustered the strength to tell us their stories. One woman said she wanted to fight against how domestic violence is considered normal in many parts of South Africa. She said she decided to escape her situation because of her daughter. “If I have to stay in it, my daughter will think, ‘This is the way of living. It’s fine. My father did it to my mother. Let my husband do it to me.’” The women helped by Nisaa are trying to change it and stop abuse from being viewed as simply a way of life.
–Claire Hoffert