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Sexual Abuse of Minors

Firstly I would like to thank you for sharing your story, I watched the series on Netflix and am astounded at the amount of abuse there is in the world.
I am a woman of 56 years old and my sister is 59 years old.
We grew up in Zeekoevlei in Cape Town after our mother left us with my father who then remarried. Our abuse was horrific as from the age of 4 and 8 years old we where forced to do manual labour, not allowed to sit on furniture, no be allowed in the house during the day, could not enter the home through the front door, clean beer bottles all day during the holidays. All our this mental / physical abuse was horrendous but the worst was to come.

In 1974 my stepmothers two brothers broke into our room and molested us. I was 11 at the time as was finger penetrated numerous times whilst they masturbated. My sister being a little older was able to fight off finger pentration but did have hands rubbing her intimate parts.

They even went so far as to steal the keys of our bedroom door so that we could not protect ourselves. At such a young age we used to push furniture up against the door whenever they were there but this made no difference as they pushed there way in.

In 1976 my sister went to boarding school and we moved to Durbanville. Now I was on my own and had both of them breaking into my bedroom by inserting a knitting needle into the hole in the door to pop the lock. Both would pin me down and molest me.

In 1978 my father caught the one coming out of my room and hit him. This resulted in me getting a box of proteas and the matter never been spoken about again. I was treated like I was the guilty party. It became so much that I tried to commit suicide by drinking mercurochrome and various pills. I was rescued by a friends parents who were worried about me as I didnt answer when they tried phoning.

The physical abuse ended after 4 years but the emotional abuse continued until I ran away in 1979.

In SA there was a 20 years prescription period for these kinds of cases so I phoned the one brother and asked why, his response was ” he was having fun”.

Fast forward to March 2018. The law changed and I laid a charge of sexual abuse. Our case was evaluated and we are going to trial 25,26,27 March 2019.

Our case is the oldest in SA history (44 years) but we got our voice back and will get justice.

Never ever give up hoping, I will hold my head high in court and look them both in the eyes and say ” IT IS MY TURN NOW TO HAVE SOME FUN”.

It has been an incredibly long journey with the constant anxiety, flashbacks etc but since laying the charge and being heard I am way calmer now.

My sister and I did not have a relationship for 25 years as we took our anger out on each other, we lost so much but now we are united and are so grateful to God for bringing us back together.

Much love Lisa van der Merwe


  • Slim Shady
  • Sharon
  • Alexis


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