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Telenova targets abusive marriages

Publishing Date : 07 October, 2019

Author : TLHABO KGOSIEMANG

Section 82 is a telenova about the injustices that women caught up in abusive marriages battle with. It tells the story of a highly educated woman who gets married to the man of her dreams until she wakes up a slave in a world completely new to her.


Written and directed by Mental Health Activist Mmakgosi Tau, Section 82 is also inspired by ‘’Bokgoba-Ba Golegilwe’’, a documentary on minimum wage by CineScent films. According to Tau, the 24-minutes telenova Section 82 is a fourth year final graduation film by a group of AFDA Botswana students called CineScent films. It is written in Ikalanga, Setswana and minimal English.


Produced by Mompati Rantuana, Section 82 unveils lot that people can’t see from the outside. ‘’On the surface it’s shocking, but once you understand the background it all makes sense. It is important to consider how someone’s upbringing, past exposure to abuse, and emotional capabilities might influence her decisions. From the outside, you might think it’s obvious and simple to avoid pursuing a relationship with someone who is abusive. But it’s not clear for everyone’’ she said


According to experts, domestic violence does not have to be physical; abuse comes in emotional and sexual forms as well. Low self-esteem isn’t the sole or even primary reason someone becomes a victim, say other women who’ve suffered abuse. Other factors include the inability to set boundaries, feeling incapable of saying ‘’no’’ and a person’s troubled relationship to authority figures. Tau underlined ‘’If cruelty and bad behaviour are familiar to you, you may feel comfortable being stomped over. You just do not understand any other way, you do not know how to set healthy boundaries’’


She further noted that the pressure of fixing abusive relationship is often placed squarely on victim’s shoulders, with the world still asking why victims do not make better choices. The truth is domestic violence doesn’t always end when victims make good choices. Section 82 telenova was produced by Mompati Tantuana and written by Mmakgosi Tau. This telenova’s cast consists of pretty Phuthego, Omphile Mabine, Karabo Sasebola, Chuka Mmolotsi, and Moanamise Machola with an appearance by Jethro Ndebele. The film’s cinematography was done by Benjamin Sediba and edited by Leano Ennetse.


Meanwhile, according to Gender Based Violence Indicators Study Botswana by the Women’s Affairs Department and Gender Links, over two thirds of women in Botswana, approximately 67%, have experienced some form of gender based violence in their lifetimes, including partner and non-partner violence. A smaller, but still high, proportion of men, at 44% admit to perpetrating violence against women. Nearly one third of women, 29% experienced violence perpetrated by an intimate partner in the 12 months to the prevalence survey that formed the flagship research tool in this study. In contrast, only 1, 2% of women reported cases of Gender Based Violence to the police in the same period. Thus the prevalence of GBV reported in the survey is 24 times higher than that reported to the police. This suggests that levels of gender based violence are far higher than those recorded in official statistics.


Most of the violence reported occurs within intimate relationships. About three in every five women experienced violence in an intimate relationship while about half of the men admitted to perpetrating intimate partner violence. Emotional violence is the most common form of IPV experienced by women and perpetrated by men, at 37% in the sample in their lifetime. Similar proportions of women, 11.4% and men 10.7% reported experiencing or perpetrating non-partner rape respectively.


Of all the women interviewed, 16% experienced attempted rape, while 8% of the men in the sample disclosed attempted rape of a non-partner. Almost a quarter, 23% of all women interviewed said they had experienced sexual harassment at school; work, in public transport or at a traditional healer. Almost a quarter of women who were ever pregnant, 24%, experienced abuse during their pregnancy. Despite the high levels of rape, only one in seven women seek medical attention.


Patriarchal attitudes are a significant underlying factor driving the incidence of gender based violence in Botswana. While women and men affirm gender quality in the public domain this has not translated in their private lives particularly in their intimate relationships. These are among key findings of the Gender Based Violence Indicators Research project in Botswana undertaken by the Women Affairs Department and Gender Links.


The report said these findings show that GBV has reached pandemic proportions in Botswana and needs to be treated with the same urgency as HIV and AIDS. As a key building block in the achievement of Vision 2036, gender based violence needs to be placed high on the political agenda.


About one in every ten women interviewed said they were forced to have sex with someone who was not their partner while one in thirteen men disclosed perpetration. Three per cent of women were raped under the influence of drugs and 5% of men admitted to raping a non-partner when she was too drunk or drugged to consent. Two per cent of women were gang raped while 3.4% of men admitted to participating in gang rape.

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