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Author Topic: vulnerable wife  (Read 5118 times)

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Offline alonedee

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  • Posts: 24
vulnerable wife
« on: March 08, 2012, 05:11:45 AM »
Hi ladies its midday here in Botswana(southern africa) and as a positive wife to a negative husband i am having one of the worst days of my life and ths is 28th day of me on atripla, u see i am unemployed and my husband pays for my meds, well we married in community of property and  i feel i have the rite to know where our finances go, for the past 2 yrs he gets loans from cash loans where no spouse consent is needed and ths past dec ws my last straw, i got hs payslip yesta only to find that he topped yet anotha loan while he promised to do that for our 11yr old skul fees, we hvnt bin intimate ever since i testd positive in 08 and its evident he gets its smwerelse, he doesn tok he doesnt hit me but he makes sure that he doesnt support me financially, he leaves very little at monthend and we suffer with the kids, i donno wat to do, ve no where to go,bin married 12 yrs and were planning to buy a house ths year, m exhausted, ve nowhere to go bt here

Offline emeraldize

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Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 05:49:14 AM »
Hello Alonedee,

Welcome to the forums. Glad you found the forums. I am sorry to learn you are going through such stress in your life. You certainly could use support of all kinds it seems.

I write from the US and do not know what Botswana's laws and/or culture provides for its women, whether or not they have HIV. So, I have questions for you.

First, you say he is getting loans. Do you mean he is cashing his paycheck at the places that charge a fee rather than putting his money in a bank? Is your financial life all done in cash? It's a little unclear to me that you learned he got a loan by looking at his payslip.

Second, it seems as if you've written that he promised to pay for your eleven-year-old's school fees, but has not. That is one thing a friend of my in Tanzania has taught me that if school fees are not paid, a child may not attend school. I will assume it is so in Botswana, too. Is your child still in school? May I ask if you have more than one child? You do use the word 'kids' so it makes me think you have more than one. Does your eleven-year-old know that you are HIV positive?

Third, is there any emotional support for you as a woman or as a woman with HIV? I do understand that the cultural stigma can be far greater in South Africa and I wonder if you have a resource whether a counselor or religious advisor or a relative whom you can confide in. I ask this because if you are vulnerable on multiple fronts, it makes it harder to stay strong and keep seeking solutions. If you can get some dependable emotional support that will be a start. And, could that person help you to sort out your options?

Since I don't know the legal system in Botswana, I do not know if you can take your husband to court nor if that is the best option. Perhaps the first step is counsel for him.

I know it must hurt deeply that the two of you are no longer intimate, that you suspect he has sexual relations outside the home, and that he is not fully caring for you as a spouse. To add that on top of dealing with your health is a heavy burden. I notice you say you are on your 28th day of taking Atripla. How are you feeling in relation to the medication? Are you sleeping well? How soon will you see your doctor for a follow-up visit? (As I promised, I have questions! :) )

My last question is this. You note that you are unemployed. Were you employed at any point in the last twelve years? Is it possible for you to gain some form of employment? I realize childcare, physical capacity, etc. may be barriers to you working.

No more questions. I want to note again that I realize, and all of the women who will read your post realize, that you are in a tough spot. Reaching out for advice, for insight, no matter where or how you do that, is a good action. I hope you can forge a way forward.


Offline alonedee

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  • Posts: 24
Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 04:14:00 PM »
thnx em, my husbands s inthe army and hs salary goes into his bank account which i have an atm card for, there r some financial aid places that he cn get small loans from and the installments get deducted from the payslip or say employer, i.e b4 hs employer sends the salary to his account the deductions hve already been done and i get very little to support the children, its been 6 yrs since i stoppd working as my contract hd ended and bin looking for work since, my older daughter 24 is in malaysia in her final university yr and only she knows bout my status, the 11yr old still goes to skul ve to go and tok to the skul cz nw there is not a chance that hubby can get a loan from any bank, hes beyond limit and y he did that he hsnt told me, we stay in an army house, he don even qualify for mortgage cz of all hs debt that he kips topping up every year, m doing well with the meds and seeing my doc tomoro, we married in community of property bt he doesnt consult me with all these

Offline BT65

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Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 04:58:02 PM »
Hi alonedee, the whole situation sucks.  I work for an Aids Service Organization and have several female African clients, so I know how precious HIV care can be in that part of the world. 

I wish I had some magic advice to get you in a much better situation. I'm not familiar with the laws there as far as marital laws, support laws etc.  I hope he will pay your child's school fees.  And I wish there were more people you could talk to.  I'm so glad you're getting medical care, I know how important that is.

Do you love this man?  Or do you stay with him mainly for financial support?  I sure hope you're able to find employment, maybe you can go solo and not have to stress over this.  You don't need the stress.  Do you have a large family, I mean parents, siblings etc?  You've told none of them your HIV status?  I wonder if they would be additional supports for you. 

Keep checking back in.  We're here.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

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Offline karry

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  • Posts: 344
Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 05:45:01 PM »
Hi alonedee,

I am of african origin. To some extend, I understand what you are going through.
Unfortunately in most african countries, there is often no law binding a husband/father to take care of his wife/kids. Even where these laws do exist they are never enforced, and it falls on the woman to take care of herself and the children, should the husband choose to squander his money elsewhere.

I wish you could get a job, or some sort of commerce to enable you to have some financial stability and independence from him. That might be a way out.

I wish you the best.
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline emeraldize

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Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2012, 11:41:17 PM »
Hi Alonedee,

Thank you for answering many of my questions. In an effort to learn more about Botswana I found the article, which is timely and tied to International Women's Day which Karry so kindly acknowledged in a post to the women involved in this forum.

I'm not sure whether your noting the unpaid school fees means your child will be prevented from attending school until they are paid OR if there is a grace period. Does your husband have a close relationship with the child? I believe based on the length of your marriage it is his child, too, yes? May I ask if the child is positive or negative? Male or female?

I'm wondering if you can appeal to his sense of loyalty to your child in order to get the school fees addressed. Has he ever been cruel or violent toward you in a physical way? Do you feel at risk in this way?

Does the military turn a blind eye to domestic issues? OR do they interface with spouses supportively? I'm asking to get educated. I have my doubts, but if a program exists is it something you could see yourself accessing?

The article follows.


BONELA accuses state of sanctioning violence against women


The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) has accused government of sanctioning violence against women and girls.

Commemorating this year's International Women's Day today, themed "Connecting Girls Inspiring the Future", BONELA director, Uyapo Ndadi said the state in its failure to put in place measures to realistically alleviate poverty, has sanctioned violence against women and girls.

He added that this has left them to resort to commercial sex work, transactional and intergenerational sex, which have in turn contributed to the prevalence of HIV in this cohort.

"Further, by not instituting policies and laws, as well as specific interventions to incorporate relevant and comprehensive empowerment of girls on sexual and reproductive health and rights in school curricula, to inform future choices on sex and sexuality, government has abdicated its role of fulfilling, protecting and promoting the right to information of women and girls as enshrined in the Constitution of Botswana," said Ndadi.

The organisation says it has therefore continued to advocate on behalf of women and girls in spite of the enactment in 2008 of the Domestic Violence Act, for a holistic approach to address gaps in the socio-economic and cultural landscape that remains unaddressed and enhance their vulnerability to HIV and AIDS infection.

"Their marginalised socio-economic status thus renders them powerless in certain circumstances to negotiate for safer sex. BONELA's legal aid clinic has handled only 23 cases of gender-based violence, including marital rape between 2010 and 2011.

This low figure is not reflective of low incidence of violence against women and girls, but rather points to under reporting and withdrawal of reported cases as a result of the adverse socio-economic and cultural issues affecting women," said Ndadi.

BONELA reiterated its call for the enactment of a comprehensive HIV Employment Law that will amongst many things provide protection from unfair dismissals based on one's HIV status, and women are the majority of victims of such reported cases.

BONELA says women and girls bear the burden of HIV/AIDS in terms of incidence and prevalence rates, as well as providing care for those who are sick.

"Their susceptibility to HIV has also been enhanced by their marginalisation in accessing education and other economic amenities, and exacerbated by the lack of political will to enact adequate legislation that will guide systematic empowerment of women and protect them from abuse," said Ndadi.

BONELA is calling for Botswana to put a stop to economic, physical and sexual violence targeting women and children, in the country and in the region that manifests as rape (including marital rape); domestic violence including passion killings as well as human trafficking and the increase in the use of rape as a weapon of war in war torn countries.

Ndadi said; "as a human rights and HIV/AIDS advocacy organisation that seeks to create a just and inclusive environment for people affected by HIV and AIDS, women form a critical component of our work and this commemoration is a platform to raise awareness on human rights issues affecting them that exponentially increase their vulnerability to HIV infection". He added that Botswana, as a country, should roll up its sleeves and be proactive in addressing the historical, cultural and economic imbalances that have rendered women and girls victims of sexual and gender-based violence. However, he cautioned that in doing so, a gender-based approach that embraces men and boys is imperative in elevating the status of women and girls as they do not exist in a vacuum, but live in a society that has over the years held dear values and beliefs not necessarily aligned to the aspirations of women's equality and equity.

Ndadi said: "To this extent, BONELA will continue advocating for the recognition of marital rape as rape so that we end this continued violation of women's sexual and reproductive health rights, couched in archaic traditional perceptions of the role of women. This has seen limited access to Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for survivors of marital rape. We also call for the government of Botswana to commit to ratifying and domesticating the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Gender Protocol as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)."

He said the call is based on the premise that for a holistic approach in the response to HIV and AIDS, issues of women and girls as well as other development issues such as socio-economic empowerment have to be addressed. (Sila Press Agency)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 07:27:00 AM by emeraldize »

Offline alonedee

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  • Posts: 24
Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 04:55:18 AM »
Thanks to all of u guys, yes my child wl be prevented frm skul and al becoz he took out every possible loan and nw he cnt get anything with the lil salary hes left with, my daughta is negative and no hubby doesnt hit me, he just ignores me and makes sole discrection wen it comes to finances and doesnt consult or explain to me, stays out whole weekend jus so i cn pack and go, inlaws not supportive, the army can only advise bt cnt enforce anything on him, i jus nid ajob

Offline karry

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  • Posts: 344
Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 08:47:38 AM »
Once more, I am sorry you have to go through this.

Have you spoken to anyone from your side of the family? Maybe you could get support from family.

Hope your situation gets better.

I don't want to steal the thread but I will share a personal experience:
When I was a kid, my dad wanted nothing to do with paying for my tuition. I was sent out of school very often. No one could force him to take care of me. My mum had to pay for my education herself. When she could not (due to a lot of responsibilities) she often asked her relatives for assistance. My uncle took turns with my mum to pay my tuition.

I dont like to talk about this because it hurts me deeply to remember how he preffered  to spend his money on other women rather than take care of his kid's basic needs.

Please ask your relatives for assistance for your kid.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 10:14:21 AM by karry »
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline alonedee

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  • Posts: 24
Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2012, 03:47:51 AM »
Thanks Karry bt my brothers are eitha unemployed, or deep in their own debts, its chaos here, they see my husband drunk every weekend hes up here and its kinda difficult for them to do this for his child u see, they feel he nids to take responsibility, at the moment hes attending a 6months work course(till June) at a college about 80ks frm gaborone where we stay, he cums on weekends drunk in the wee hours of the morning and goes bak on sundays, he doesnt wori bout wat we eat or what the child needs and hes one of the high ranking officers in the army, hs superior says they cnt tel hm hw to run his family affairs..

Offline chocaholic

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  • Posts: 19
Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2012, 05:28:53 AM »
so sorry about your situation dee. men can be so evil.  is there a way you can get the bank to automatically deduct the school fees from his account into the school's.  i hope you find a job and don't need to depend on him.

Offline alonedee

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  • Posts: 24
Re: vulnerable wife
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2012, 05:18:36 PM »
Thanks but the law doesnt allow the bank to do such, i pray every day to find a job with a salary, at the moment i am a life insurance agent and get paid on commission, which mins no client no pay for me, so ryt nw i depend on hm to pay the school fees, but i am working on the situation and hope that one day ths wil al be history

Thanks choco


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