‘Boys also get abused’

2018-11-27 06:01
Hannes Botha

Hannes Botha

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With the current scourge of child abuse in Cape Town and the country at large, retiree Hannes Botha found the courage to write down his experiences to raise awareness of the issue.

He recently launched his book, I Never Learned to Dance, at Kenilworth Presbyterian Church on Thursday 15 November.

“I had a strong need to break the silence around the abuse that my brothers and I experienced as children.

“I would like readers to see that boys are abused as well as girls.

“I would also like to expose the structure and rituals of abuse. Hopefully more abused children will feel free to speak of what they have experienced and will not feel so alone.”

He has first-hand experience of abuse from his parents while growing up with two older brothers in a household affected by domestic violence, in the Zonderwater prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World War.

In an attempt to silently deal with the after-effects, he spent over 28 years offering counselling and 20 years working as a remedial therapist free of charge to help those in need.

It was difficult for him to openly speak out about the
topic.

Yet he toyed the idea of writing this book for 10 years.

His story is an example of the fact that, regardless of time and any attempts to deal with the past on your own, it will haunt you until you take the first step in openly dealing with it.

“It took courage to take the first step.

“A big challenge was that I became retraumatised by dredging up the memories.

“It took 10 years to complete the book.

“This has been a great help.”

Botha was assisted by his wife Liz Botha and her sister, local resident Joan van Niekerk of Childline, who wrote an afterword for the book about abuse and the boy child.

The book has already sold 100 copies of the 150 printed copies and is also sold online on Amazon. V For more information visit his Facebook page: JhandLiz or visit https://amzn.to/2S2mOyC.

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