Helping sister confess abuse by favourite uncle could destroy family

The reader would like to help her sister overcome abuse
The reader would like to help her sister overcome abuse
Image: 123RF/WAVEBREAK MEDIA Ltd

The recent #MeToo campaign has encouraged my sister to come out and confess that she was molested by our uncle who was the darling of the whole family before his death in 2014.

She has asked for my help to call a family meeting, but I do not know where to start as he was our mother's beloved brother and she is still mourning and has not gotten over his death. This will destroy our family. What should I do?

Boitumelo Replies:

It takes great courage to disclose any kind of abuse, especially against someone perceived to have a great reputation in the family. The fact that she is willing to disclose further to the whole family, knowing how it would affect her mother, shows that she is ready to deal with whatever comes out of the situation.

You can only support both of them through the whole process. You should be a pillar of support for your sister because some of the family might reject her. You must also make it clear to all that this is not a fight or a judgment to determine what is true or false, but it's about listening to what your sister went through, understanding why she is disclosing now.

I can only imagine your mother's heartbreak upon hearing of her daughter's ordeal, perhaps it would be best to break the news to her first, before the family meeting, to help soften the shock.

MOM Replies:

It's time for you to decide who you love more between your sister and your mother. If you love your sister more, call the family meeting. Or you advise your sister to find other ways to deal with this painful past and to still get some healing. Unfortunately, the uncle is dead so he can't be punished anymore. Please help her pick up the pieces and build a better future for herself.

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