Abduction of young girls by older men has been thought and also defined as culture, by those who believe in abduction. However, some people have come to realize that it is not culture but violence and abuse of women by male species. For too long, women have been treated as second class citizens and or objects. One day the researcher witnessed six men abducting a fifteen year old girl, while she was on her way to school. The girl said “no” but no one cared. She cried bitterly but they continued to drag her away. The girl shouted for help but the adults who were there turned a blind eye. One of the women who were there said: “we were also abducted too and this is the way how things are done. The researcher is ministering among the Bhaca people who are no strangers to this cruel practice. Some parents do not care about their children’s education, in a way that they orchestrate their children’s abduction. Their concern is the number of cattle they will get for their daughters. Perpetrators too do not care that they a ruining the girls future and their program of education is disturbed. The girls’ childhood is cut short, and they become mothers too soon and this leads them to traumatic experiences. Ministering among broken souls made the researcher’s pastoral work difficult hence, ninety percent of the congregants bear scars and hatred caused by abduction experiences. The whole community needed to be educated about abduction; men, women, young and old. Young women needed to be educated about their rights, restoration of their dignity, and the importance of their education. Some of the girls manage to escape from their forced marriages, when they arrive at their homes, their parents or relatives force them to return to their husbands. The church decided to build a care centre to accommodate those who are not welcomed at their homes. The government has passed a law, which stipulates that whoever abducts a girl, should be imprisoned together with the parents or relatives who orchestrated the plan. The girls are learning about their rights. The care centre is sheltering 34 girls under the age of 20years, who ran away form their forced marriages. These stress survivors decided to pursue their dreams. Some are taking part in athletic sport and some are helping newly admitted victims to deal with their pain, and focus on hope and a brighter future. Those who decide to stay in their marriages, are taught forgiveness, so that they can move away from their pain and learn to depend on what they can achieve, rather that their husband’s money.
Dissertation (MA(Theol))--University of Pretoria, 2011.