This is the story of a mother whose son was raped in 2010 at the age of 12 and whose case has been postponed and botched by the Court ever since. Please read it and help turn on the pressure, so that justice will be served soon.
“Sometimes it is difficult to understand why things happen as they do. During the past four years, I have learnt so much, not only through what happened in our own lives, but also through our ministry, our paths crossed with those of many broken people, who have been through deep waters: People, who have nothing and no-one to comfort them and who turn to the world in search for comfort and peace.
We have been called during a very difficult time and realised that the Lord was not only preparing us for what lay ahead, but also training us to help His other broken children. Our own son entered a dark time in his life, when he was raped in 2010 by a man that worked for me at the time.
The pain was too great for him to share what had happened to him and he descended into a pit of depression, where drugs were his only comfort. This continued while his rapist still worked in my office for two further years, manipulating him and threatening him into secrecy. In the meantime we started our ministry and only in 2012, the boil burst open in Magaliesberg during a prayer meeting, when my son began crying out for healing. Since March 2012, when the old wounds opened up, he has been on a roller-coaster ride.
Initially, we spoke to our son’s rapist and he admitted everything, promising to take up the matter with his family and go for help. He asked if he could speak to our son to ask his forgiveness and asked him not to take the matter to the police.
As parents we denied this request and honoured our son’s request that the man who did this to him, and destroyed his life, should pay for it and reported the crime to the police. Some people criticised us because we were in ministry and they said the Bible teaches that we should forgive. Although God indeed took us on a road to forgiveness, He also confirmed that the country’s laws have to be followed and a crime had been committed against our child and the laws of the country.
There are so much going through one’s mind when the realisation that someone whom you trusted, was directly responsible for the fall of one’s child. Sometimes I would ask myself: “What would Jesus do?” but each time, my heart broke as we had to witness our son’s desperation increased and his brokenness deepened as the pain and questions consumed him. The most painful of these questions, over the past years, while the case dragged along, was: “Mom where was God when Uncle … raped me? Where is God every time when my case is postponed?”
These are times when I don’t have answers. But one thing I am sure of is that God has not given permission for rapes and murders to take place. Each person, even our Justice System, have their own will and God cannot change anyone’s will. This is what causes all the broken vessels. I also do understand why there are so many people who cannot trust anyone and who end up in prostitution, drug addiction and even give up completely on life. They struggle to find God, because their experience in life is so unjust. It is only through accepting Jesus and having an encounter with God that this brokenness does not become a part of your life.
There are so many children that are raped each day and still it is not important to our country to protect these children and adults from rapists. Since my son’s case came before the court in March 2012, several important pieces of evidence have been lost, the case have been postponed 12 times and the worse, still, through the negligence of the court, one of the main witnesses had to withdraw, because he emigrated. Some of the reasons given for postponements included: documents lost, no Afrikaans translator available, no arrangements made for a social worker to be present etc. Once, my son had a melt-down in court under cross examination, as he was alone, locked in the adjacent room. He had a panic attack and began screaming. A police officer came in to subdue him and when my son pushed him away, he claimed and lay charges of assault against the child. We had to find a lawyer to defend him over night and the irony was blatant. My son’s rape case dragging along for years and a so-called assault charge against him, processed in less than a day. Only the intervention of the Chief Magistrate, who threw the assault charge out, put an end to that travesty.
The latest excuse, had it not been so frustrating and tragic, would almost be funny: “It is a blue Monday – the TV monitor does not function and cannot be replaced and there is yet again, no Afrikaans interpreter available” – all of this, after the Senior Prosecutor confirmed to me that everything is in order. The case has been once again postponed – this time, another three months. My son has turned 17 in the meantime.
Five years of agony, depression, suicide attempts, anger and futile “therapy” attempts from counsellors that cannot address the case as it is on-going. I once found my child in the bath, the water stained red with his blood from cutting himself.
How many children, women and men go through the same trauma each day of their lives – lives lost not only for society, but also for God? People, who rather give up, commit suicide, choose the streets rather than being taken back, month after month, to the time and place of their pain, forced to relive what happened. These victims suffer nightmares, pain, fear, humiliation and all the court said to us is: “sorry, our system is falling apart and if you want to go to the newspapers, you can, or you can write a letter to the Minister of Justice.”
Today I ask questions as a child of God, working with broken people, but also as a mother who has to witness her child’s pain, each time the case is postponed, or a mistake has been made: Is it worth continuing? Is it worth standing up to this evil and trying to make the world a better and safer place for our children? Is it worth putting a boy through this? A boy who stood up, broke the silence, not only for himself but for so many others, who are being hurt even more by the Justice System than the rape that brought him there? Is it worth it?
Is a child’s life worth so little? How will broken people know that God is on their side, when mankind transgresses so blatantly against His principles? Is the verdict against his rapist worth the 5 years that has been stolen from him thus far? Is it worth letting the enemy and this rapist, rule further in my child’s life, through this on-going court case? Is it time to let go? How many other souls are lost through this kind of injustice and pain? People it is not time to judge, because believe me, I don’t judge the rapist or the people botching the court case. But I do judge the actions and the circumstances. We know that God loves murderers and rapists just as He loves us. But God says we are free from our sins, if we confess them and ask forgiveness. My prayer is that every rapist, murderer and thief will realise that it is not necessary to cut others with your own broken glass, but rather to turn to God for healing.
And so I also pray for every person that has been abused, raped and have gone through the loss of a loved one, to experience God’s love and healing. I pray for our country’s systems, that people, who do their job as if for God Himself, will come into power and positions. And finally I pray that God will help us as a family to make the right choices.
This I had to share for everyone who has suffered pain.