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'I was also abused by a swim coach and I'm fighting for justice' says survivor

2 December 2020 11:26 AM
Tags:
Sexual abuse
Survivor
durban swim coach

'Iris' was abused at the hands of a swimming coach and has tried twice over the years to get justice but says she wasn't believed.

It's been a week since sexual abuse survivor Debbie Wade shared her story of abuse at the hands of a Durban swimming coach with CapeTalk's John Maytham.

Since then, upon hearing Debbie's story, another survivor, 'Iris', has come forward determined to get justice for the abuse she was subjected to, also by a swimming coach in Durban.

Iris says she finally spoke about the abuse in 2001, telling her parents who, in turn, told the chairman of the swim school.

She says the chairman then carried out his own investigation, without involving the authorities.

He did not at any point ask me what had happened...he personally took on what should have been handed over to the criminal legal system.

'Iris', Abuse survivor

The chairman was interviewed and his response was that they investigated the matter by talking to other children...and they voted unanimously against my claims.

'Iris', Abuse survivor

Iris says that as a result of not being taken seriously by the swim school she stayed silent about the abuse for another ten years.

The power of abuse lies firmly in it being kept a secret.

'Iris', Abuse survivor

In 2010 Iris heard about another incident involving allegations of sexual abuse against another swimming coach.

This time she went to the police.

I thought, oh my gosh, I wonder if this is the same coach.

'Iris', Abuse survivor

I was told I would only be able to be a corroborating witness, that it was so long ago that it would just be my word against his.

'Iris', Abuse survivor

Again, Iris felt disheartened and unheard, but when she heard the recent story of Debbie Wade she decided to try for a third time to bring her perpetrator to justice.

On Sunday, officials confirmed to The Times Daily that Iris’s case had been reactivated and that an investigation was “pending”.

We need to create a cultural shift for providing a foundation for people to be able to report abuse.

'Iris', Abuse survivor

RELATED: [Woman says sexual abuse claims against top swim coach ignored for 17 years](http://Woman says sexual abuse claims against top swim coach ignored for 17 years)

Listen to the full conversation below:


2 December 2020 11:26 AM
Tags:
Sexual abuse
Survivor
durban swim coach

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