Woman tells of her horrific past: ‘I was sexually abused by my cousin’


I have the best siblings in the world – all thanks to my mother who taught them to love, respect and support each other no matter what happens. And that is exactly what they did.


I am the second youngest of my six siblings. My mom passed away when I was three and my youngest brother and I went to live with my granny. Four years after the death of my mother, my aunt also passed on.

Read more: Daughter who was raped four times a day by her father gave birth to his son when she was 13

Her two sons then came to live with us. My cousins were very naughty, especially the older one who was 12 years old at the time. One evening while we were watching TV, I fell asleep. I was woken up when I felt something touching me.

I realised it was my older cousin who forced himself on me. Even though I tried to scream for help, he wouldn’t stop raping me. He threatened me with violence if I told anyone. I was so afraid when he was around the house and avoided him at all cost.


My grandmother had no idea what was happening until my younger brother told her. I remember her searching for my cousin in my room and when she couldn’t find him, she beat me up with a stick saying that I was a naughty girl. I was heartbroken.

Read more: ‘I was raped by my ex and didn’t realise it until 3 years later’ – this woman tells us how she is coping with the ordeal

I felt like nobody loved me. My grandmother told my older sister about what was happening. But my sister only believed me when she saw my cousin forcing himself on me one night. My cousin then ran away from home. That night I moved to Pretoria with my brothers and sisters.


Healing was difficult for me. Talking about the incident was impossible because I didn’t know how to put it in words. I was in pain and the only way I knew how to react was with anger. I was frequently told that I had no respect; and that I was rude.

One day my older brother asked me what I would like to become when I grow up. I guess that gave me some hope for the future. From that day onwards we talked about everything. He was the only one I trusted. My older sister is a pastor and encouraged me to pray. We would pray together and just talk. Through prayer I found healing and forgiveness.

*Not her real name

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24