She carries ten years of abuse by her ex-husband – and now she’s accused of assault by her teenage daughter.
Even though Martin divorced her first physically abusive husband four years ago through Islamic law, they were only legally divorced on 30 May 2022. However, despite the legal document, he continued to harass her.
She said her ex-husband was granted visiting rights since the start of the year even though she had informed the social worker that the father of her three children is abusive and violent.
“I told her that she was placing us in a difficult position after we just recovered without my former partners’ abuse and that this was going to traumatise my children,” she said. “I told her to check why our previous social workers gave him supervised visits, and she said she will council my children and monitor them.”
Martin said the children would come home unsettled every Sunday because her former partner would question them about her.
“He would ask them to lie to social workers telling them to say my husband is hitting them. But they did not; they used to come home and tell me. He is manipulative; I know him; I was married to him for years,” she said.
When her 13-year-old daughter came from her father’s place in June, Martin said she was moody and frustrated as she had not eaten the entire day. After being served food, she went to her room and prepared school items for the next day.
“She could not find her tie that evening and threw a tantrum from around 7:30 pm. We searched for the missing tie for an hour and a half but could not find it. At nine o’clock, I told her it was sleeping time, and she could go without the tie the next day. She started throwing stuff around and making rude comments. I left her until 11 pm because I knew she came home frustrated from her dad,” she said.
Martin went to her room again and told her to go to bed. She said after her daughter refused, she walked to her, picked her up and put her in bed.
“She started kicking at me. I held her down, and she started choking me. I called for my husband, and he came up and told her she was a child and had to go to sleep. He switched off the light, but she switched it back on. This continued until he turned out all the lights and came downstairs. Everything was quiet then.”
The next day, Martin realised she could not bend her hand when she got into the car to take the children to school and opted instead to walk them to school.
“My daughter was mumbling on the way, and I told her to keep quiet because she was rude the previous night, and we all had to suffer because of her behaviour. She attempted to fight with me, but her stepbrother stopped her and asked if she couldn’t see that I was hurt. I was very angry,” she explained.
Martin said her daughter ran away after school, and the police removed her daughter’s clothes while she was not home. The next day, she was informed that her child was in a safe house.
“I cried so much. I could not understand what was happening. They never asked me what had happened. All they did was remove her without documentation. So I went to the social worker’s office, and they informed me that the father and child were here to report an abuse case, but they did not open a case,” she said.
A few weeks later, Martin was arrested, but she was released.
Martin said she was shocked when she discovered her daughter was living with gangsters at the safe house. Her father leaves her there during the week and fetches her on a Friday evening.
“I have had no contact with her besides seeing her walk in the street. I stopped once because her siblings asked to greet her, and she came to the car and hugged me. I could feel my child’s yearning,” she said.
Martin said while her daughter’s case against her continues, she is still her child and will never stop caring for and loving her.
“She saw her father’s violence towards me in those ten years. Her father manipulates and plays the children against me because I got away. I got them away from the abuse. But things have gotten worse for my child, and she is now also being cyberbullied,” she said.
In September, Martin went to school because her daughter was cyberbullied. As she lives at the ‘gangster’s house’, she is being labelled a prostitute. Martin showed Action Society the horrible posts on Facebook about her daughter.
Martin has been to the Department of Social Development, the police and the courts – she’s at her wit’s end.
Action Society has stepped in and is assisting the mother, who is desperate for help. Action Society has enquired about the matter and is in contact with Martin. The case in the Children’s Court is set for 26 September, and the case of assault against the mother will appear on 4 October.
The suspect appeared for pointing a firearm at Martin on 21 September.