CJ Benjamin on Vanessa Govender: For women who have forgotten their self worth

CJ Benjamin shares her review of the powerfully moving book, Beaten but not Broken, by Vanessa Govender.

Read her review below

I purchased Vanessa Tedder‘s book on Amazon, the instant it became available, I read a short transcript from her book which rattled me intensely. My intentions to read the book were not voyeuristic but more related to having known the author as a colleague and therefore wanting to establish how she endured what she did without ever succumbing to the brutality of those experiences.

This was a powerful women, a seasoned journalist, someone I admired tremendously when I worked alongside her during my tenure at Lotus FM.

How did I not notice that she was a battered women!

She wore a mask and she wore it well, I had no clue at all that this talented powerhouse of a woman was suffering in silence.

After reading the entire book in one sitting,

I have to share that I was shaken to my core, I cringed, my stomach hurt and my skin crawled as I read in detail of how Vanessa Tedder was abused.

I felt sick!

I felt helpless reading page after page, as nothing could be done to save her from those experiences. I was horrified and repulsed at the monster who repeatedly assaulted her and degraded her.

The book is riveting, the story captivating with its brutal honesty and transparency, a personal account of trauma and survival.

This book needs to be read by every women and child as a prevention tool, a saving grace for those currently in abusive relationships. It is a glimmer of hope to those in despair!

So many women remain in abusive relationships far too long, the author reminds us of our worth, of our power and the ability to stand on our own – independent of those whose purpose is to keep us in shackles.

Take strength from her story and find the courage to leave and start over, as in Vanessa’s case, the new beginning is far greater than anything the past could offer.

Thank you Vanessa for this gift, I can’t imagine how painful writing and recollecting these events was for you but I am grateful that your strength was greater than your sorrow.


Vanessa Govender is a an award-winning television news journalist. She started her journalism career as a radio news reporter and news reader at the SABC, before she was recruited to join eTV’s Prime Time News team in Johannesburg.

In Beaten But Not Broken, this Indian woman does the unthinkable in breaking the ranks of a close-knit conservative community to speak out about her five-year-long hell in this abusive relationship.

Vanessa is now a full-time mom and the author of the children’s book The Selfish Shongololo.

ALSO READ:Vanessa Govender: Her story of sexual violence inside Lotus FM

Watch as CJ Benjamin gives you reasons as to why this book is an important read for you

Beaten But Not Broken is available at major book stores and on Amazon. 

ALSO READ: Vanessa Govender: Her story of sexual violence inside Lotus FM


About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

One comment

  1. I really don’t believe we need to read something in graphic detail to understand that the abuse is not on. We can send the message to our daughters without the need to depress and disturb them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.