The journey from Komatipoort if driven at the speed limit, even in those days, would not have been more than five hours no matter how careful the driver, it took Avery three days. He would leave Komatipoort at about ten in the morning, after loading his little red Datsun pickup with a tent, a few rifles, his camping gear and a case of assorted cigarettes. He would then drive until noon and then stop on the side of the road to pitch camp. Once his camp was established he would scout the surrounding countryside for his evening meal. In most cases he was happy with a few guinea fowl, but if a springbok or like sized animal presented itself he would bag that instead. He would then clean his kill and make his dinner.
The next day after a lengthy breakfast consisting of the leftovers from the night before, he would pack up and leave at about ten and would stop again at noon. He would continue this routine until he reached Johannesburg. Often arriving at our house just after noon with a deer attached to the back of the pickup. He would unload all his things and then he would drive us down to Basil’s with all the other kids living on our block to buy sweets for us all. All the children adored him.
Avery never occupied Granny’s room and always slept in mine. He always maintained that he could never encroach on what was Granny’s room as it was not right, my parents believed also that it was for the best.
What my parents were not aware of was the fact that Avery was a Paedophile.
His seduction began on his first night there, very innocently at first, then moved on when he had won my trust, asking me to allow him to play with my penis, telling me it was traditional in other cultures.
So began the abuse by a man that was highly decorated in war and held in high esteem among his peers. Every night it became more intimate, and he started to suck me before he went to sleep and eventually had me playing with him until he reached orgasm. He did not restrict his perversion to only me, as he was trusted by my parents he often took Karen and I out for picnics on weekends to the many rivers out in the countryside that were still uninhabited and unspoiled in the sixties, unspoiled, except by his perversity.
There he would convince us to go swimming naked in the rivers and when we returned would lick Karen’s vagina and suck my penis until it was hard, then co-opt us in to having penetrative sex, while he masturbated watching us ejaculating over our bodies when he reached orgasm.
When he had cleaned himself and us off in the river, we would be given all sorts of sweets and chocolates even the occasional Rand note, and told that what we had was very special and that our parents would punish us if they ever discovered that we were enjoying things that were reserved for adults.
Somehow making it sound as if we were being deprived of something that we were entitled to enjoy at our age and that we were being unfairly denied the pleasure. This went on for two very long years, as he died when I was in Barberton two years later, he never himself attempted to enter Karen, but at subsequent visits he had us perform more and more perverse things.
As I write this, I am aware of an organisation by the name of ‘Focus on the Family Southern Africa’ which is trying to get children as young as eight to pledge abstinence from sex until marriage that is causing consternation among parents. This program is being instituted at school level and is being targeted as being inappropriate for children of that age group. I beg to differ, if there had been a program of that nature when I was the same age I would not have been naive enough to have anyone even attempt to abuse my sister and myself, I would have been forewarned of the dangers that certain adults present to children. In the comment section of the Sunday Times, the largest weekend paper in South Africa, one of their writers had this to say a few years ago, “It is my humble submission, as a parent who has a seven-year-old daughter, that such a pledge would be too burdensome and befuddling to an eight-year-old child”. His name is Fred Khumalo, he carried on to say “Absorbing information related to her subjects at school is enough; to be assailed by a pledge-a very adult concept on its own-would be too heavy”.
I wonder how heavy Mr. Khumalo thinks the burden is when you grow old enough to realise that you have not only been the victim of abuse, but had committed incest with your own sister. I wonder how that fact would influence his future relationships and how heavy that burden would become.
NO, in today’s world of unlimited access to all forms of pornography and gratuitous sex, children need to be educated to the dangers at progressively younger ages. What makes Mr. Khumalo think that the savages who rape two month old babies will somehow stop at corrupting an eight year old?
Paedophilia was probably no worse in the sixties than it is today, it definitely was no better, I once read a statistic, that two out of every three women had experienced some sort of sexual abuse by the age of sixteen, perpetrated by fathers, brothers, uncles friends and in our case a trusted grandfather. I know of a woman who was once very close to me, and whom I still hold very dear to my heart that was abused by her father and brother. Today she is not capable of having an orgasm while making love to a man, no matter how much she loves him. She can only reach that state on her own, which shows the emotional damage that child abuse causes.
It is not only the physical damage to the child, but the emotional one that some victims are unable to overcome. Child abusers in the sixties were not prosecuted as I would like to think they would be today, rather the crime was swept under the blankets to spare the families the shame, while the perpetrator was allowed to walk free to continue abusing others. Often the child was left to bear the guilt or was punished for bringing shame on the family name.
Parents today seem to have no qualms about the amount of violence that their children are exposed to, whether on television, movies or the violent games played on Play stations. Mind you every newspaper and television report beams murder and death into our homes, so violence is very hard to protect against. We as parents seem to be saying that even though violence is not only unnatural it’s OK, but sex which is the most natural thing in the world is dirty and our children must somehow be protected from its carnal knowledge even though sooner but preferably later they are going to indulge in the practice.
Surely it is the duty of any parent to impart all the knowledge that they have to their children, so as to equip them with the knowledge that they need to survive in today’s immoral world. I cannot stress the importance of talking to your children about sex, for forewarned is still forearmed.
Lots of Hugs and more,