Ever since her character on Skeem Saam has been the victim of domestic abuse, actress Innocent Sadiki said she has received an outpouring of messages from female fans who have undergone the same thing.
Innocent’s character recently landed in hospital after being beaten to a pulp by her onscreen partner.
Viewers have followed Sthoko’s story, relating to her endurance of emotional and psychological abuse and recently witnessed her near death experience at the hands of her abuser.
The actress said the misinterpretation of an abuser’s action as love was one of the biggest factors landing victims in danger.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE Innocent said she hoped to help educate women that love should never be an excuse to become victims of abuse.
“I get messages of women saying I went through the same thing (Sthoko – her character) is going through and how they were lucky enough to make it. Others stories are scarier: Some women have shown their scars and bruises while others were burnt and poisoned by their partners… some are even disabled as a result. They relate to Sthoko and that is what pushes me to help teach someone about abuse,” she said.
“There is one thing that we use an an excuse for abuse and that is love. People stay and keep telling themselves that I am with this person because they love me. That is Sthoko’s problem as well. She keeps asking ‘who else is going to love me?’ and ‘who is going to love me with my two kids?'”
The actress, who often takes to her social media to encourage women to step out of toxic relationships, said she hoped Sthoko’s story could help raise awareness.
In reality, the actress is happily married to pastor Phindu Sadiki and said she had to dig deep to carry the emotionally heavy storyline.
As a pastor’s wife, she told our source that she uses every opportunity to share messages of hope and to speak to women.