File picture: ANA Pictures
Johannesburg - Someone asked me recently how I come up with a topic for this column every week. The answer is fairly simple; it depends on what is topical, what happened in my life and sometimes what I overheard in a coffee shop.

The same week the highest appointed Catholic representative in Australia was arrested on many charges of sexual assault.

A colleague who works in sexual healing reported that she was burnt out from all the sexual abuse cases she was treating and I heard a man being exceptionally nasty to a woman he was with. Sexual abuse was bound to be on the cards.

I’ve been trying to write it for weeks now. I get to about this point and get so angry that I have to stop. When you work with sex and sexuality you learn to recognise almost at a glance someone who has been abused sexually.

The abuse usually happens really early on and it is inevitably at the hands of a trusted member of the family or close friend. These women carry these scars deep in their psyche for the rest of their lives. How these scars play out is a debate all on its own.

There is a documentary you can download at the moment called 'A Place for Paedophiles'. It’s about a prison built to house these creatures of men. They have to be imprisoned separately from the general criminal population because their lives are in constant danger.

I have to say that as far as prisons go this one is luxury.

I am very angry about that. I am very much an eye-for-an-eye kind of girl and I see no reason why these bottom feeding predators should be protected in any way or form.

They should pay for their deeds in ways that leave as many scars as the ones they leave on their victims.

Which brings me to the question that has haunted me since the aforementioned week, where are all these predators? We see their prey often.

We see the horrors and the daily battle these little girls now women have to overcome. We deal with the sexual dysfunction, self loathing and confusion.

These women may as well be branded on their foreheads if you know what you are looking for. But where are all the men who perpetrated these violations?

Where are the fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, gardeners, friends, teachers and priests who couldn’t keep their penises in their pants and abused little girls and women? Are they sitting next to me on the train or at the next table over at the coffee shop? Is he sitting next to you at the boardroom table, at the same dinner table?

Because let’s face it, they have to be somewhere! What I find astounding is that in families where the abuser is more often than not also the breadwinner, he is protected at all cost. He is never named and shamed. He is never pulled into the front of an audience or congregation and denounced as a child molester.

He is usually so clever that he has groomed the poor victim and when the act is committed there is so much shame and guilt perpetrated on the victim that they very seldom recover. If they do it is through years of therapy and ultimately forgiveness. Forgiveness for themselves, not for the paedophile.

It is such a difficult call to make because let’s face it, it is fairly easy to call wolf and who wants to believe that your husband is abusing your daughter. I’m begging you to watch closely. Behaviour will change.

Give your daughter the benefit of the doubt because if you ignore it and you allow it to continue you are as guilty as the perpetrator.

I know someone who was abused by her father and her mother knew for years. These girls (and not for one second do I think it doesn’t happen to little boys) are being abused in someone’s home, church yard or classroom and for as long as we don’t educate about sex and sexuality from an early age all this harm will simply continue.

If an adult tells you it’s a secret, it’s not - run and tell someone loudly. Point fingers and make it known. We allow women to carry the scars for the rest of their lives and the person responsible goes to work and church and the gym to find new prey.

If you have been abused and have never sought help, if you ever want to have a functional sex life or life in general you have to get help. It doesn’t matter if it is 30 years later.

If you were sexually abused at a young age here is what I know for sure - it may have been painful but if the paedophile did it right it was pleasurable. It is meant to be. That is what your body is meant to do.

Chances are that a large percentage of the readership this week has been abused in one way or another.

I am so sorry you had to experience it but do not let it define you. An equally large percentage is the ****hole who perpetrated the abuse.

May your penis rot and may you burn in a very particular hell. May your prison cell be in the general population who find you attractive.

* You can always share your story [email protected]

Saturday Star