Dear Karabo, I’m sorry that we let you – and many others – down

By Edinah Masanga

Dear Karabo,

I’m sorry that we let you and many others down.

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The late 22-year-old Karabo Mokoena who was killed, burnt and buried in a shallow grave by an ex-boyfriend.

I’m sorry that the system tells women to remain silent and toughen it out.

That we must soldier on, that a so-called “decent woman” does not air her dirty laundry in public, banning women from speaking out – diminishing domestic violence from being a crime to just ‘dirty laundry’.

I’m sorry that women get blamed and asked invasive questions like, “what did you do to provoke him? Instead of asking him, “don’t you know that you have no right to beat another human being no matter how you think you have been wronged?

I’m sorry that it’s hard to report domestic violence because the police interrogate victims like they are the perpetrators.

I’m sorry that I am writing this post in tears because I know you will not be the last nor are you the first.

I’m sorry that the system shames women who leave abusive relationships.

I’m sorry that society keeps telling us that if he beats you it means he loves you.

I’m sorry that we don’t tell young women how to spot abusive behaviour early enough, instead, we tell them; “to focus on loving him,” “he will change with time,” “all men are like that,” “men are like children don’t blame them for their actions.”

I’m sorry the system is not focusing on empowering women to stand on their own, to walk away, to leave it all and be congratulated and not ridiculed.

I’m sorry that what we are doing to end violence against women is not enough because the system allows a man who was accused of rape to sit on the presidential throne.

I’m so sorry.

I’m sorry we let you down…

#domesticviolence #violenceagainstwomen #women #genderbasedviolence