Pretoria woman’s heartbreaking tale: ‘I grew up living in the same house as my rapists’

2017-08-30 11:16
PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images

PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images

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In a perfect world, parents are meant to protect their children against anyone who might threaten their safety – but this is not the world that 43-year-old Rachel* from Pretoria, knew while growing up.

From the age of three, her uncle molested her, eventually raping her when she was seven years old . He was arrested but subsequently bailed out and brought back into the home by her parents – forcing young Rachel to grow up in the some household as her abuser.

Now she tells her story: “The abuse started when I was about three years old.

My uncle, who was supposed to babysit me, used to take me to a guest bedroom once my parents were away working or running errands. He would undress me and perform oral sex or try to penetrate me with his fingers.

If either one of my parents drove up, he would stop and tell me it's a secret and never to tell anyone. This went on for years.

When I was seven, during holiday season my whole family went away. I was s sharing a room with my brother, when my uncle just walked in one night, pulled my pyjama pants off and raped me in front of my brother. I was crying and asking him to stop, telling him he's hurting me. To no avail. Afterward he just walked out again.

My brother did nothing.

I have a memory of my mother taking me to a GP and the GP investigating my private parts and just saying the word "Yes" to her.

I have a memory of my uncle being in the police cells for a night.

But my most prominent memory is of my father posting his bail, dropping charges and bringing him back home because "he's family" and "it's the right thing to do".

 I grew up living in the same house as my rapist.

When I was eight  and my brother 11, he took over where my uncle left off. The abuse lasted for another two years. Then stopped.

This made no difference to me though, as the damage was well and truly done.

 I cannot begin to describe the loathing and disgust I have for my father to this day. He is a despicable being. When he should have protected me, he threw me to the wolves. I cannot wait for him to die so I can spit on his grave.

I hate my brother, the hypocrite, who is oh so holy in church every Sunday. He makes me sick.

My ‘wonderful’ uncle eventually married and had kids but then tried to kill them and ended up in jail. He later came out and now has been out for more than two decades.

It is no surprise to me that my brother has been trying hard to track him down so they can reunite. They are birds of a feather.

And my biggest betrayal? My mother acting to this day as if none of it ever happened.

In case you’re wondering, I have no self-hate, I adore myself, I am here, I am alive, and I am coping. I haven’t ever spoken about this to anyone and only my family knows about it.

If I could torture them to death with no consequence, I'd do it in a second. F**k them all.

 If there was advice that I could give to anyone going through right now it would be that do not be angry at yourself and do not make excuses for them.”

*Names have been changed

This story was submitted to YOU by one of our readers and has been minimally edited. Do you have an incredible story or heart-breaking obstacle you were forced to overcome, to tell? E-mail

Read more on:    rape  |  molestation

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