16 Days of Activism: Shedding the weight of an abusive past

A Cape Town GBV survivor is helping hundreds of women shed physical and emotional weight. Anisa Essop is a fitness instructor and motivational speaker. 15 years ago, she was battling her weight and an abusive ex-husband. After her escape, she took steps to regain control of her life and is now helping others do the same. eNCA's Monique Mortlock has the story. Courtesy #DStv403

 

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town GBV survivor is helping hundreds of women shed physical and emotional weight.

Anisa Essop is a fitness instructor and motivational speaker.

15 years ago, she was battling her weight and an abusive ex-husband.

READ: Cheryl 'The Shero' fighting GBV

"I was married to a very abusive drug dealer, a drug addict. I kept the weight to keep the marriage," Essop said.

"Every time I used to lose weight, I used to be physically abused. I was also verbally abused, I was ridiculed.

"I was always belittled, made to feel like I'm not worthy.

"And I just kept gaining. And then I got two beautiful children from my marriage, hoping that things would change, but nothing changed."

After her escape, she took steps to regain control of her life and is now helping others do the same.

READ: Safe spaces created for GBV survivors in the WCape

She leads daily fitness classes, gives motivational talks and holds free wellness sessions in communities like Khayelitsha and Langa. 

She also inspires thousands of followers on social media to look after their minds and bodies. 

Essop's advice to others caught in abusive homes: Reach out for help because there are many people like her willing to lend a hand. 

* eNCA's Monique Mortlock reports.

Source
eNCA

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