Mariaan and Andre and Gender-Based Violence on 7de Laan

Mariaan and Andre’s romance started out very sweetly. Both seemed to need and deserve their easy relationship after Connie cheated on Andre and years of emotional abuse that Mariaan seemed to think she deserved from Chris Welman.

But when you look more closely at it, this relationship was bound to be difficult once the first feelings of romance had settled. One, because Andre hadn’t dealt with his anger issues and refused to do so. And two, Mariaan was vulnerable after her Damascus-like change in prison.

Before I continue, let me just say, 7de Laan has really grown up from the days of Oom Oubaas talking like someone with developmental issues and manic fashion shows. This GBV storyline 7de Laan is currently doing is one of the most realistic portrayals on TV. Marcus Muller and Deidre Wolhuter were brave and did an excellent job – with the writers – of portraying how gender-based violence can creep up in a relationship and then changes it.

While Andre’s relationships with Connie and Alexa didn’t result in any relationship violence, his anger issues were always there. Andre came from an abusive home where his dad was abusive towards him and his mother. And Mariaan came from a similar background. So while the beginning of their relationship was sweet and fun and respectful things started to unravel when they moved in together. The first time Andre slapped Mariaan we knew it was the beginning of the end.

But unfortunately, as in the case of most cases of GBV, it doesn’t end there. Mariaan left for a few days. She even confided in Erica. But after Andre begged and promised that things would change, Mariaan went back. And so the cycle started. From the outside, it’s easy to see what’s going on, but it’s far more difficult for those involved to change the pattern or to get out of it. Mariaan wanted to save boy Andre and Andre wanted to have someone to hold onto.

In 7de Laan, the characters will get a solution because we know that men who are abusive, once they’re outed, have to die or leave. I do hope that people who are in abusive relationships take themselves out of the situation completely and get help. We’ll soon find out how Mariaan and Andre’s story is resolved. We do know there’s no happy ending for those two, like most relationships where that line was crossed.


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