A man who was supposed to be a role model meant to protect and keep his daughter safe from danger is a Mitchells Plain teenager’s worst nightmare.
Shannon Addeman was allegedly sexually assaulted by her biological father, Travis Martin, six years ago.
“When I was 13 years old, I lived at my grandmother’s place because I had to attend school in the area. I woke up at 5 am to someone touching me one morning – it was him, my daddy.”
Shannon said when she woke up later in the morning, she told her grandmother, but her response to her was that ‘just a dream’. She was also met with disbelief after telling her mother of the incident later. They never opened a criminal case.
Shannon said he once again sexually assaulted her last year while sleeping at her grandmother’s house. But, being older this time, she confronted him.
“I asked him why he would do it again,” she remembers. “And he just walked out. So I called the lady I am currently living with because I knew my grandmother would not believe me,” she said.
Shannon moved out of her mother’s place because her mother still did not believe that Martin had sexually assaulted her daughter.
“We had a huge disagreement, and l left, and a woman next door took me in and understood the situation. So I see them as my family now. However, when I step out of her house, I know my mother and father are next door. There are times I see him, and I literally ignore him,” she said.
The police opened a case in November 2021, and the investigating officer called Shannon for a consultation.
“I was so scared to report the matter, but eventually, months later, I went to the police station,” she said. “I was called in once, and when I try to get hold of the officer, he does not get back to me. So I don’t know what is happening with the matter.”
Shannon said she has up and down days, and there are times when she wants to give up, but she chooses to keep going. The teenager has dreams, and despite her mother refusing to pay for her university fees, she is determined to one day become a lawyer to defend young girls and boys from perpetrators like her father.
Action Society has been assigned as a watching brief on the matter and will work with SAPS to establish what has happened, where the case is, and follow through.