Herself being a victim of a marriage that ended after 10 years of physical and emotional agony.
Mrs South Africa 2018 semi-finalist Sthembile Simelane-Motloung has told 013NEWS that she wants to dedicate her energy into assisting women victims of gender violence.
Simelane-Motloung eyes to make it as a finalist in June 2018 where judges will choose from the remaining 100 semi-finalists the 25 finalists.
This is a competition of married women with a career who annually contest for the title of Mrs South Africa.
She is in her second marriage but says the suffering she endured in her first marriage has a “residual impact” in her mind that she still has to fight daily even though she no longer has contact with the man.
She says she would be beaten and arrive at the police station bleeding during the night but got no satisfactory action from the cops.
She decided to end it after 10 years of a painful suffering – verbal, physical and emotional abuse under the man who promised would protect her, though it was hard ending it because of the kids.
“That’s actually the reason why I’m contesting in this beauty pageant to change people’s lives, inspire them because some people think when you are in this position its the end of your life. I want people to look at me and feel there is hope,” Simelane-Motloung told the reporter over the phone on Wednesday morning this week.
A fashion designer by profession, the 40-year-old Sthembile, a mother of four, is the child of former eMalahleni coal miner, the late Jacob Simelane, and Esther Msibi, a former dress-maker teacher.
She ended her first marriage in 2008, having been there since 1998.
She got married afterwards with who she describes as “the most humble and caring man on earth”.
So what does she mean when she says she wants people to be inspired by her?
“Most people believe when they are in an abusive relationship its the end of you. They can’t move, there’s no swing. They think, ‘if I leave this person what will happen to me, the kids, shelter, food, clothes and so on’. I left.
“So I want people to look at me and say ‘this woman had kids but she managed to leave because of daily abuse but look at her now? She made it’,” she told the reporter.
Simelane-Motloung says if she wins, as “I’ll definitely do”, she wants to use her influence as Mrs South Africa to approach sponsors to fund initiatives towards assisting women victims of abusive relationship through skills development and shelter.
“The most painful thing is that when she leaves the house where is she going to stay? I’m not advocating for people to split but I’m involved with a lot of women who share different painful stories and from my own experience and that of the people I interact with I know exactly how it is being in that situation,” she said.
Abusers can convince you that you do not deserve better treatment or that they are treating you this way to “help” you or because of how much they love you.
Here are some signs to watch for if you think you or a friend may be in psychologically abusive relationship:
– Humiliating or Embarrassing
– Constant put-downs
– Refusing to communicate
– Ignoring or excluding you
– Extramarital affairs
– Provocative behaviour with opposite sex
– Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice
– Unreasonable jealousy
– Extreme moodiness
– Mean jokes or constantly making fun of you
– Saying “I love you but…”
– Saying things like “If you don’t…I will…”
– Domination and control
– Withdrawal of affection
– Guilt trips
– Making everything your fault
– Isolating you from friends and family
– Using money to control you
– Constant calling or texting when you are not with him
– Threatening to commit suicide if you leave
(edited by ZK)
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