Despite winning silver at Rio this lesbian javelin thrower still faces physical abuse in her own home
A lesbian javelin thrower who won silver for South Africa on Thursday, has opened up about facing abuse at home for her sexual orientation.
Sunette Viljoen won silver on Thursday with an impressive distance of 64.92 metres.
She previously represented South Africa in the cricket world cup back in 2000, but she has recently opened up about rejection from her family for being gay.
Viljoen wrote on Facebook earlier in the summer that her brother had hit her in the face during an argument over her sexual orientation.
She writes: “God help me… My brother has just lifted his hands to me again… [and] slapped me through the face.”
The 32-year-old also said her father had previously hit her, calling the situation “hell”.
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She has a good reason for speaking out, however, writing: “I’m speaking out for every person out there who is being broken emotionally or physically over who they love.”
“I will fight for you till my hands are stubs and dedicate my Olympic year to you.”
“It is a month before the Olympic Games and I know the Devil is trying to work through other people to make me take my eye off God and the finish line,” she wrote.
Viljoen thanks her girlfriend LiMari Louw, a TV news presenter, for supporting her through after she placed fourth at London 2012.
“LiMari knows me inside out and she knows exactly what to say and when to say it‚ how to handle and how to see situations,” she said in an interview with TMG Sport back in 2015. “She’s literally my psychologist.”