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Lavender Hill abuse survivor encourages women to look out for each other

Veronica Kroukamp is one of the authors of 'Women Surviving Lavender Hill.'

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The Mduduzi Manana case has once again put the vulnerability of South African women in the spotlight.

It's timing, during national Women’s Month has deepened the outrage surrounding the deputy minister’s actions.

At the same time, an abuse survivor from Lavender Hill is calling on women to look out for one another.

Veronica Kroukamp is one of the authors of Women Surviving Lavender Hill. The book chronicles the experiences of seven women who've survived abuse and violence in their homes.

The 62-year-old Veronica Kroukamp says her marriage was "wonderful" for the first four years.

But after the birth of her third child, her husband lost his job, and things began to change.

“That was very bad for me, and he hit me with blue eyes. I went to go and pray the whole night and that night I cried and cried.”

Kroukamp, and sometimes her children, endured drunken beatings from her husband for more than 40 years.

Her situation changed in the mid-90s when a woman whose house she cleaned urged her to work on her personal development.

“She motivated me to go to cooking classes, and then in ‘94 I went for my driver’s license, and then she sent me for more courses.”

Kroukamp is still living with her husband and now runs her own NPO, Lavender Green Pastures, where she teaches community members arts and crafts skills.