Cape Times

Mother shares traumatic experience


AUTHOR Lynn Kerchhoff’s book My Shack – A Story of Hope is just as the title suggests, a story of hope.

Kerchhoff was raped by a trusted family member, whom she referred to as her uncle, when she was 11 years old. She became a statistic while trying to save her younger sister from being raped.

The violent act took place in a shack, metres from where her parents were having a drinking party.

Kerchhoff tells us how she could not confide in her parents and turned to Joan, her teacher at Blossom Primary School, who alerted the school’s headmaster and then the authoritie­s.

Teacher Joan showed Kerchhoff the kind of compassion, love and nurturing she had hoped to get from her parents. But the justice system failed her when the case went to trial and her uncle was given a suspended sentence.

She was angry that her parents visited her abuser shortly after the trial was over, to continue their drinking parties.

Kerchhoff then found solace in the church and later became an ordained pastor, but that too did not go without hiccups.

Lynn faced judgement even as a young woman studying theology, but she never gave up.

Her story is one of hope, as it takes you on a journey of good finally triumphing over evil.

Some chapters in My Shack – A Story of Hope, describe detailed timelines of events in her life that will leave readers wanting more.

Later, she met her husband, Lloydd, whom she describes as her pillar of strength. She says their relationsh­ip was built on trust. They married 10 months after meeting.

At 22, she’d never imagined she would be able to allow herself to trust or get married because of her past with its horrors of violation.

Kerchhof shares what it means to work through the trauma and find faith in God. Her story not only reveals what went on on the surface, but also gives insight into what happens when growing up on the Cape Flats and in coloured homes.

Alcohol abuse is rife and leads to many problems, which is why we hear so many horror stories about children being raped by someone known to them and the family.

Although her story is one of encouragem­ent for those going through similar trials, be sure to keep a box of tissues handy when reading it.

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