Advocate Barbie’s “pain” – a sneek peek at a victims’ pain.

Februarie 26, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

(With reference to the article in this morning’s Beeld on how degrading it was for her to be handcuffed in public)

Whilst I have a degree of sympathy with Barbie because she was to some degree a victim of an abusive relationship, I must also remind her of a few other facts.

a) The fact that her victims were also degraded and traumatised beyond comprehension by deeds much more horrible than being handcuffed and led away in public. Worst of all, they were already traumatised, and thought wrongly that she had their interests at heart.

b) The fact that in SA child abuse victims who must testify in court cases can only start therapy once their testimony was heard. So, for years these kids had to go without help. One of them was interviewed by Beeld or Rapport a few months ago, and she has no life to speak of.

c) The tiny, often forgotten fact that their lives will be screwed up for the rest of their lives as a result of what Prinsloo and Visser did to them. (And because our legal system doesn’t allow for therapy before testimony.) Drugs, booze, a child out of wedlock, inflicting self-hurt, abnormal relationships in later life, eating disorders: that’s the kind of things that happen to kids who are abused and don’t get any help.

d) The fact that she wasn’t always as soft and nice as she now appears in the media. I clearly remember an almost arrogant woman with the first court appearances.

e) The fact that there was a time when she blatantly lied, even to the court.

Why, you may ask, am I not more sympathetic?

Because I know what damage sexual molestation does to a child’s life. It affects EVERY aspect of their little lives – psyche, health, even schoolwork. And this I know because my daughter was a victim of abuse by a family member. And no,  I don’t live in Danville and we are not maplotters and we are not common. Those are the myths about sexual abuse, but let me tell you, it is a crime and perversion that knows NO barriers. Not gender, not race, not class, not religion. In 90% of reported cases the victims knows their perpetrator, and yes, very often it is family members (according to the stats). 

And no, I was not absent or a bad mother or smoking boom or lying drunk on my couch while this took place. Paedophiles are very sneaky people who win everybody’s trust. At the surface there’s nothing wrong, and the child even seems to like the offender. He or she is always the last one that one could think being capable of this. 

It took three years and a lot of God’s grace to heal my little girl. For three years I drove from Alberton to Northcliff every Friday to get her to the best child psychologist I knew of. She had to go for occupational therapy, as she one day, out of the blue, started writing from right to left and doing other weird things in her books. She wet her bed until she was 9 years old. She was scared of the dark, wouldn’t eat certain things because it reminded her of the trauma, and she was angry. With us, with her little brother (then 3), with everybody. Sometimes even a smell evoked a traumatic memory. The stress of all of this also led to the final breakdown of my marriage and her dad reverting to alcohol once again, as he couldn’t deal with what happened to our daughter.

Somebody stole my child’s innocence, her childhood, the right to grow up in a happy two-parent family, and those are things she will never get back. Yes, she is a happy,very well adapted, sweet little kid, and she will probably use this experience to help people in future. But it could have been so differently.

My heart aches for the mothers of child abuse victims who are not in the same position as we were. At least we had a very good medical aid which even allocated extra money towards therapy. At least I knew where to start looking for help. At least we believed her (because victims are often not believed because their parents don’t want to rock the boat with family.) At least she could come to us to tell us of the horrors of her little life. At least I didn’t have a boss to ask for time off once a week to take my daughter for therapy.

So, advocate Barbie/Cezanne, I am sorry that your life turned out like this. That you were degraded in court.That you are probably going to jail. But there must have been a window of opportunity, albeit how small, where you could have turned to walk away from Dirk. It would have made you a much more believable “victim” and I might have had more sympathy with you.

(And with that, and 50 000 hits on my blog, I great you, dear bloggers. I am going on a retreat for people who lost loved ones, and am looking forward to a weekend of meeting with God, silence, enough sleep and just taking a break from my normal life. Don’t kill each other here in Blogville while I’m away. Although, it has been so slow lately, I think everybody’s bandwidth is finished… Or you all lost your oemf.)

13 antwoorde op Advocate Barbie’s “pain” – a sneek peek at a victims’ pain.

  1. Thanks LO! For the cyber-friendship and everything!

  2. Hop het gesê op Februarie 26, 2010

    Good post TM

  3. 10/10 vir jou skrywe. Ek stem saam, dit gebeur in alle families dit word net nie genoem nie. Geniet jou naweek hoor.

  4. Thanks HOP. Are you surviving deepest, darkest Africa?

  5. Thanks Poppie! Drink jy al daai gemmerjuice, en werk dit?

  6. My word… powerful stuff. It’s so sad that people who go through so much still get judged by others.

    Be at peace and enjoy your time out there… in the universe…

  7. rbh het gesê op Februarie 26, 2010

    you go girl! with you all the way…

  8. Thanks Ruth!

  9. I’m SO looking forward to it!

  10. kasper het gesê op Februarie 26, 2010

    Great post.

    Am visitor number 50 192, by the way!

  11. This is so sad but I really admire your inner strength and sense of purpose. That young lady is so lucky to have a Mom like you. Congrats on your 50k hits.

  12. I feel no sympathy with advocate Barbie at all, nor for any paedophiles/child molesters, rapists, murderers!!
    Tannemys you deserve a medal for doing your best to undo the damage to your daughter. God be with you.

  13. I’m so sorry that your daughter and all of you had to go through such an experience! It’s horrible and there is NO excuse for the perpetrators. I have no sympathy either for advocate Barbie.

    I hope your weekend retreat was all you needed it to be…

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