Her unhappy childhood is recorded in neat handwriting. One of the entries reads, ‘‘There were many demons in our home but Mom didn’t care. He always came at night and my sister told me not to cry.’’
One of the ‘‘demons’’ was alcohol. Another was her father, who couldn’t keep his hands off his little girls – four and five years old at the time.
‘‘His heavy hands hurt me and I still have burn marks in my heart,’’ she recalls.
‘‘Sometimes it happened during the day in my parents’ room while my mother was smoking on the stoep.’’
Antoinette Minnaar* (28), estranged from her father for many years, had made contact with him again and was prepared to forgive him. Then he sexually molested her four-year-old daughter, his own granddaughter.
Twenty years ago her father was convicted of two counts of sexual molestation involving Antoinette and her older sister, Elize*, and sentenced to seven years in jail. He served two years.
The girls were put in foster care and adopted – but a few years later they had to ward off their adoptive father’s advances too.
Now Antoinette’s own child has been sucked into this vicious cycle of sexual abuse.
‘‘Everyone asks if I didn’t expect it,’’ she says. ‘‘You want to believe he could be cured. I think God has different plans for me. I write a letter to God every morning. He says you must ask and you will receive. I ask that I am able to give my kids the emotional stability I never had, that I will be able to protect my children and we can begin over again together.’’
Antoinette has been granted an interdict against her father. * Pseudonyms have been used to protect identities.
Read the full article in YOU, 9 December 2010.