Case begins as sisters seek justice for 1970s abuse

Lisa van der Merwe and her sister Claudine Shiels say their relatives molested them between 1974 and 1979.

The ladies are in their 50s now and seek justice in a case that will begin in the Wynberg Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Women & Men Against Child Abuse held a media briefing today and Van der Merve joins Joanne Joseph on the line for more.

I followed the Sidney Frankel case quite stringently and also the Bob Hewitt case. I needed to speak out years ago but the law did not allow me to.

Lisa van der Merwe, Sexual abuse survivor

When the Constitutional Court removed the 20-year prescription period, it opened the floodgates. It gave me this hope that finally, we can tell our story and start claiming back all that we had lost, which is our dignity.

Lisa van der Merwe, Sexual abuse survivor

We suffered an incredible amount of abuse from a very young age, I was 11 and my sister was 15. My abuse carried on for close to five years. I can't remember a childhood without any form of abuse. My entire life was about abuse.

Lisa van der Merwe, Sexual abuse survivor

It is a bit of a tragic story and sometimes it feels surreal, particularly when I sit and write things down.

Lisa van der Merwe, Sexual abuse survivor

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