We are in a society where women are blamed for almost everything even when they are victims themselves, people (other women included) try by all means to throw the blame at the victimized women, usually the story is “she deserved it”, ”she is a prostitute” and all the horrible labels they can find.
Tinopona Katsande is one of the women who have fallen victim of such social injustice. She was in a relationship where she was abused,almost beaten to death,and when she looked to other women for help she was bashed and called all sorts of names, but today she has chosen to stand up for all the other women out there who are quiet and afraid of what people will say if the speak out.
Here is what she had to say
“5 yrs ago my then boyfriend brutally physically assaulted me. I was ashamed embrassed and called names. I felt vulnerable , exposed and belittled . Social media was awash with women lambasting me for speaking out against this abuse . I was told I should keep such things to myself because that is what my culture dictates. You (my fellow women ) called me “hure ” (whore), “stupid” and “deserving ” of such treatment . For the life of me I couldn’t understand where all this vemon was coming from. At that moment I was completely broken. But, like in every dark situation , the light began to peer through . I sought personal and professional help. The counselling and support I received from OTHER women and organizations gave me the strength I needed to move from a victim to a survivor. I found the strength to forgive ALL and I aquired the wisdom to see the bigger picture . I stopped focussing on the petty and honed in on the progressive (which has now become synonynmous with my character. Ende Handidzokere shure )
Today I run my own organization SpeakOut-Handinyarare a non profit making organization focused on eliminating domestic violence through awareness campaigns carried out through creative skills in creative spaces. Funds generated from these awareness activities are for the construction of safe houses in Zimbabwe which serve as an active resources center for victims to survivors of domestic violence.
Unfortunately , to date we have not yet managed to build a permanent structure but through creative spaces we have been able to reach out to many women from all walks of life experiencing abusive relationships . We have been able to facilitate counselling services and step forward programs.
From Wednesday 7 Dec – Friday 9 Dec, I return to the stage with the acclaimed one woman play HOT WATER BOTTLE .
Proceeds from this production are forwarded to Speak Out -.HANDINYARARE .
I haven’t been on stage or mastered a script in almost 6 years so my nerves are definitely doing scales . I so look forward to seeing you on one of these nights . Please come support me. Please come help me realize my dream to build Speak Out – HANDINYARARE safe house”.