Athlone mom pens her pain ahead of 16 Days of Activism, Newsline

CAPE TOWN – A Cape Town mother who has spent her whole life trying to forget her trauma has now written it down, to inspire others.

Lynn Kerchhoff, 44, has written and self-published her own book, titled My Shack – A Story of Hope.

While her journey has not been easy, the mother of two believes this book will not only inspire other victims of sexual abuse but also assist in their healing.

The first part of her book explains how she grew up amid the remnants of apartheid, poverty and more.

However, the main focus of the book is when she was sexually abused by someone known to the family at the age of 11.

“Back then we built corrugated-iron sheet houses as the houses we lived in were too small for large families, and that is why the book is called My Shack.

“In the book I detail what happened to me, I describe how he smelled and I detail the horrible ordeal I went through and how, within myself, I found strength to go forward,” she told African News Agency (ANA).

Athlone mom pens her pain ahead of 16 Days of Activism, Newsline
My Shack – A Story of Hope details Lynn Kerchhoff’s journey after she was sexually assaulted. Photo: supplied

Kerchhoff explains how the trauma followed her well into her adult life, but she made her way through and gave birth to two beautiful children.

“I speak about how my life changed and how I overcame my trauma. Life is for the living,” Kerchhoff said.

She said her children, who have become activists for the Black Lives Matter movement, made her realise she needed to pen her experience of gender-based violence.

“I kept thinking about my beautiful daughter and didn’t want this to happen to her, or any other beautiful young woman for that matter.

“Cape Town is already so broken with the violent acts against women and children and here I was sitting on a powerful story that could perhaps inspire or help someone else,” Kerchhoff told ANA.

While it took her seven years to build up the courage, she managed to write the book in two days during the national lockdown, but the editing took four months.

“I am ready for this book to be launched. I don’t have any regrets.

“This book is not only for those who have been sexually abused, but mothers who failed their children, people who experience horrific things in life and also for the men who choose to accept and love women who have been violated,” Kerchhoff added.

The book launch, which is set to take place on November 13, comes two weeks before South Africa embarks on its annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children from November 25 until December 10.

My Shack – A Story of Hope is available on Amazon from the launch date. Pre-orders and orders can be done on Kerchhoff’s website: http://www.myshack.co.za and will be retailing at R180.

African News Agency