For me, three months ago I would never have considered prosecuting the man, my step-dad, who sexually assaulted me 11years ago. I was too afraid that no one would believe me and that because he didn’t rape me, I would have no chance of getting justice.
My grandparents had heard about The Guardian from Marc Hardwick’s in-laws at church and passed on the information to my mom. When we came to Durban to visit in December 2012, we decided to see Marc at the same time.
I had so many questions I wanted to ask before I could decide what to do. Marc explained everything that he did and how he came to doing it. He further explained what the process would be if I went the prosecution route. He answered all my questions that I needed answers for before I could decide what direction I wanted to take. After some thought and plenty prayer I decided that taking action and going from victim to survivor would be best for me in the end.
I felt very comfortable talking to Marc while he took my statement as I really felt I could trust him. I left his office with a bright smile because I felt lighter already. Marc had helped me feel empowered and strong enough to do something about it, not hiding the truth anymore. What was more for me was someone, outside of my close family who believed me and felt my case was strong enough to get justice. But more important than winning a case, Marc made sure that emotionally and psychologically I was ready to go through this process. Within a few weeks he had gotten all the things prepared, flew down to PE to get the rest of the statements and helped me file the docket at the police station. Marc was with me every step of the way.
Even after his part of investigating the case was over, when things arose like whether the police would arrest Keith because it happened so long ago. Extremely confused, I knew I could phone Marc and he helped me understand what was happening and why.
I am still busy with the process of prosecution, but I know that the role Marc played was essential and he did really awesome work and I trust that the right results will come out.
But more than ever, no matter what happens in the end, I know that I will no longer be a victim but a survivor. And this is all thanks to Marc for helping me the see that need to be free and safe.
Thanks again so much Marc, you’re really awesome! And forever I will be grateful for all that you did for me. You really are a Guardian Angel for many children out there, including me.
To contact me please contact the Guardian and I will be happy to talk to you.
Name withheld 26/06/2017