A quest to heal the spiritual wound of sexual violence.
The initial seed that inspired my activism as an advocate against gender-based violence was planted when I practiced as an emergency care nurse at George Mkhari (former Ga-Rankuwa) Hospital where I witnessed a woman wheeled in with an axe stuck in her knee-bone. I remember feeling helpless. My training as a health care practitioner did not equip me with skills that goes beyond treatment of physical injuries.
A few years later, I worked as a Research officer at Wits Medical School. During that time, I undertook research on woman battering as a public health concern. In the study, I reviewed 389 medical records of women who presented with a history of assault at Alexandra Clinic during October and November of 1991. 18% of the women sustained injuries that required hospitalisation. These injuries included fractures (skull, jaw, forearm, sternum, ribs, and nose), deep scalp lacerations, and penetrating chest injuries. The weapons used ranged from fists, knives, hammers, axes, bottles, and screwdrivers. Some of the women who were pregnant during the assault were kicked on their abdomens.