The young woman who accused her grandfather and his brother, both well-known members of the Bo-Kaap community, of sexual abuse and child molestation is speaking out again. In a new video uploaded to Youtube, she explains how her life has changed since she spoke up.
She says she has been intimidated and received threats since sharing her video, but refuses to back down. She says that she has had family members reach out in anger over her claims, to which she says that what she did was to protect their children.
“What kind of person would I be if I remained silent? If you knew, you know what kind of pain this is and that it never goes away… how would you be okay with it happening to just one more person?” she asked.
The woman thanks all those who have supported her and created a safe space for other victims to come forward and speak out about what they’ve been through. She urges those pressuring victims to come forward to wait until the victim is ready to do so.
“I’m asking that you have understanding and compassion and empathy for the situation because some of them have never spoken about this until this week. Some have never gone to therapy, some have not started to heal from all of this,” she said.
She also explains that because she is not in South Africa anymore, she cannot formally lay charges against the alleged perpetrators.
The woman then delves into how communities often contribute to silencing victims, intentionally and unintentionally. She warns those maintaining communication with known molesters that they are putting their children at potential risk.
“There needs to be an understanding of how a predators mind works and how you as a parent or guardian of a child can protect children and can make the right decisions. You still have people who think that it’s ok for their children to be around them because ‘oh, nothing will happen if I’m with them, this is a family member or a man I respect, he’s not going to hurt my child.’
“At the end of the day, you cannot have a child molester around your child. It is not appropriate. It is sick. We’re not going to keep silent. For any other survivors, I believe you,” she concluded.
In her original video uploaded on October 20, the woman alleges that her paternal grandfather sexually abused her, and that his twin brother is also a child molester.
Many in the Bo-Kaap community rallied behind the woman and hosted a protest in support of victims of gender-based violence on Thursday, October 22.
The men accused of sexual abuse have been removed from their positions in the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association, and one of the men has been suspended from his position on the Muslim Judicial Council for South Africa.
Since then, several other women have come forward to corroborate the young woman’s harrowing story. The identities of the women are being kept private, but one victim, who is 29 years old, said she confided in a confidant about the abuse suffered at the hands of one of the brothers at the age of just 11 years old.
If you or someone you know who suffers from domestic or gender-based violence, The Warrior Project is a free legal helpline service.
– Free Legal Helpline (LawForAll) 0860 333 353
– Free Legal Advice on WhatsApp (LawForAll) 063 603 3759
– Stop Domestic Violence Helpline (Lifeline) 0800 150 150
– Childline 0800 055 555
– Report Child Abuse and request call back: SMS ‘help’ to 31022
– Report Abuse of Persons with Disabilities: SMS ‘help’ to 31531
– HIV/Aids Helpline 0800 012 322
For more information from The Warrior Project, click here.