If you’ve been following our #16DaysofActivism campaign, you would have seen that we’ve been raising awareness of a much-neglected aspect of gender-based violence (GBV): #ObstetricViolence. Obstetric Violence (OV) refers to the mistreatment of birthing people by health care providers during pregnancy and childbirth and is a violation of their reproductive
This normalised state of violence against women and birthing people seeking healthcare has an enduring, negative impact on maternal health outcomes and early childhood development. The abusive treatment of women and girls in maternity services is a form of gender violence that reflects the broader societal devaluation of women and girls in South Africa and the normalisation of violence against them, particularly marginalised and impoverished women and girls.
I struggled with postnatal depression and I still struggle with the trauma I experienced. It haunts me. I felt like I was in a nightmare that just wouldn’t end, straight from a horror movie. I kept asking myself if this was a dream, this couldn’t possibly have happened to me.
I have decided to share my story and join the movement of advocacy for obstetric violence and birth trauma because I need to know that there is action and advocacy for a better experience the next time around. For my next baby and for other women from all walks of life.