Male rape victim breaks silence

The latest story of sexual abuse to emerge from Rehoboth involves the often taboo subject of male rape.

04 February 2020 | Crime

A 43-year-old married man and father of four alleges he was repeatedly raped by his male cousins. He says he was only five when the torment began.

In an emotional interview with Namibian Sun, he said he has made peace with what happened to him, but not with his rapists.

It was not until 37 years later that he first opened up to his family in a letter, confronting them with this dark, dark secret.

His family has since branded him as “crazy”, he says.

“The tragedy about this letter is that no one asked who did it. It is as if they do not want to accept that this happened in their family,” Jade Izaks told Namibian Sun.

He said he was raped repeatedly by three of his male cousins and that he could not escape this as he was raised in his grandparents' home, which was open to anyone.

“I was a very frail child,” he said.

His story of sexual abuse is just one of many coming to light at Rehoboth in recent weeks.





According to him, the first time it happened was when he was in grade one during a family gathering on the family farm.

“He first came to me and started beating me and said I should go sleep with him. Then he did his things… I was so disgusted. When he was done, we stood up and he took me to the kitchen and gave me salt water to wash myself. The next day, I went to sit in the river, sobbing. His father even came to beat me because I was sitting alone in the river,” he said.

Izaks added that this continued unabated because his grandparents' home was 'open to all', and he could never speak out because he came from a respected family.

“He came again with his friend and they raped me.”

Two of his rapists are still alive, while the third passed away.

“I was so constipated and my grandmother treated me by pushing up the sunlight soap without knowing what the real cause of the constipation was,” he said.

“After that, the [rapist] also came to sleep at ouma and oupa's house and I could not do anything about it. They did it to me when they felt like it,” he related.

Izaks recalls that his grandparents, who had no idea of his misery, beat him when he cried and said he did not want to visit the families where the abuse took place.

“Now explain to me how a small child must explain what happened? How and to whom do you explain what happened to you? I tried, but you do not have words to make people understand,” he said.

Even when he tried to open up to his mother, she didn't believe him, he said. He then he started acting out and ran away from home to escape the abuse.

He shared he never had any form of privacy and was forced to visit families over the holidays and was disciplined when he resisted.

“I do not blame my grandparents. It was not their fault at all.”

He first ran away from home when he was nine years old and become what society calls a drunkard and druggie at the age of 10.

“You just want to be away from those people. When my grandparents went to bed, I would leave the house and sleep under a tree and return by sunrise just before school,” he said.

He roamed the streets and used alcohol because “it was safer on the streets” amongst the gangsters and the homeless.

“I hid from my children for years. I didn't want them to see my body, full of scars and marks from my years on the streets of Rehoboth and Windhoek.”

For years, he lived with anger and resentment.

“But I have made peace with what I have endured.”

He shared how he couldn't sleep since the abuse started and only managed to sleep through the night after he went to see a psychologist who put him on medication.

“At night when I go to sleep, I double-check my surroundings to see if my dogs are around and the house is locked. I know nothing will happen but your conscience tells you that you have to watch out,” he said.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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