Vakacegu Speaks Out After Enduring Years Of Abuse

The words of 42-year-old Adi Sova Vulawalu Vakacegu resonate the abuse and pain she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband for 11 years.
07 Sep 2019 12:37
Vakacegu Speaks Out After Enduring Years Of Abuse

When you are in that mo­ment, where you know you could lose your life any minute, you forget about mon­ey, forget about your marriage, for­get about society and you just run.

The words of 42-year-old Adi Sova Vulawalu Vakacegu resonate the abuse and pain she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband for 11 years.

She escaped that life six years ago, but the wounds are as fresh as the day they were inflicted.

Ms Vakacegu finally decided to come forward, share her story when she could no longer see women lose their lives to domestic violence.

She is mother to six children – five boys and a daughter and the family lives in Suva.

Ms Vakacegu married her ex-hus­band after the pair dated for a cou­ple of months and fell in love.

She said the first five years of their marriage was peaceful, but after the birth of her second child, her husband changed.

“I don’t even know what triggered him. Sometimes it was something I said or the questions I asked, but once the punches started coming, there was no stop,” she said.

“At one point, he made me sit na­ked on the tiles for five hours in front of my kids.

“I sat there, scared to move un­til the wee hours of the morning. When he went to the washroom, I covered myself with a bedsheet and ran to his brother’s house for help.

“They came outside and my hus­band came after me. He just smiled at them and said I should come home and get ready for work.

“I went inside the house and did just that. He smiled and talked calmly, like nothing had ever hap­pened.”

She claimed she was punched, kicked and in one instance, was stabbed on the thighs with a pen.

Ms Vakacegu even had seven stitches on her forehead and the scars have just begun to fade.

“Now, I wish I had walked out the first time, but like all women I thought of my children. My chil­dren were young and that thought alone was enough to make me stay,” she said.

“But there comes a time when you have to make that choice. You can get your children back, but if you are threatened you have to save yourself.”

She said once they did end up in Nadi Magistrate Court, but recon­ciled.

“My mind was telling me to go back because no one was going to feed my children, he was not work­ing that time,” she said.

Her story is a first-hand lesson for the hundreds of women who are living the same violence.

She had been struggling, but the final blow came when he locked her in their home, chased the children out and prepared to do what Ms Vakacegu thought was an attempt to set her on fire.

“I saw kerosene and matches and I saw him go out to look for some­thing. I heard my children crying and, in that moment, I broke out of the window and literally ran, did not take anything with me.”

From then on, she separated from her husband and worked and lived in Nadi.

After two years, she managed to get all her children back.

Love knocked on her door again, and Ms Vakacegu is now happily married to a man who she said has been a blessing to her.

“I had only shared details of this with my close family and friends until a few days ago when I shared it publicly on Facebook because I felt so sick of mourning alone, reading about the victims who were stabbed to death by their partners,” she said.

“I felt there was no use hiding the truth, when there are a lot of vic­tims out there who could learn and do what I did, stand and run.”

She said the responsibility was on her now to teach her five sons to be men who respect women.

“There is help available, we wom­en need to be strong,” Ms Vakacegu said.

“Report domestic violence the first time it happens, because after that it becomes a routine.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa



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