I survived to tell the tale: Abuse is NOT love!

"I never thought I would pen this down because of the stigma associated with it. But, I realized that remaining silent only makes it worse. And now I know that I’m one among thousands who are repeatedly abused, more often by known perpetrators."

[Editor's note: This is the first time that the author decided to speak up about her story of abuse; the stony silence surrounding CSA does not help any. Every other child in India goes through some form of abuse, and the perpetrator is usually someone the child knows. CSA is not gender-dependent, boys are equally vulnerable as girls. It is time we spoke up - for our child and every other child whose childhood can be robbed. The content of this article is graphic, and we request the reader to treat it with the right sensitivity.]

Every time he came closer to me, I sensed an indescribable uneasiness. Every cell in my body screamed, wanting to get rid of him. His very touch made me hate myself for being so vulnerable. I was like a living ganglion of conflicting emotions. I was eight.
Having been born in a warm family where I expected every person to love me like my parents, I encountered this man, my cousin, who was 18 then, who seemed to desire my vagina more than anything else about me.
This cousin and his family used to visit us every week. And, he waited patiently for that chance to satisfy himself (sexually) and savour every bit of it. When my brother and I used to play, he used to ensure that he’s alone with me so he could abuse me as and when he wanted. Of course, I had no idea that I was even being abused at that time. He used to engage my innocent brother with some work and eventually make him go, locking both of us in the same room.
After my brother left, he used to trick me into playing a game, in which, somehow, I finally ended up sitting on his lap. Though I wasn’t intelligent enough to notice his urge to touch my private parts, I had an unusual feeling that something was wrong. I remember the disgust on his face whenever I told him I don’t like being with him and wanted to go and play with my brother. He used to adjust my skirt accordingly, unzip his pants and expose himself. He, then, used to tell me that if I would be with him for some more time, I could play with my brother. And, this continued for four long years, though it wasn’t regular. I was soon to realize I had been a survivor of child abuse.
Once, his parents and mine had gone shopping, leaving us—the kids (my brother and I)—in the house. It was assumed that my cousin, who was 19 then, would take care of us. Clearly, he took “care” of us by fooling my brother into something and locking him up in a room so he could have me for the entire time.
I remember him undress himself. He asked me to follow suit. When I refused, he began shouting at me. My brother, who was locked up in another room, understood that something was wrong. Though he couldn’t see what was happening inside through translucent glass windows, he managed to rescue me. My brother did not know I was going through any of this.
In another incident, he coaxed me into and playing on the terrace. I agreed, unaware of what was to happen. He made me touch his penis for the first time, undressed me completely, touched my vagina and fingered it. I was helpless. I wanted to escape but could not because he held me captive.
After some time, he heard my mother looking for me and quickly dressed up and asked me to do so. Though my mother was startled to see us on the terrace together, she could never have fathomed that anything like that happening. I guess she sensed that something was wrong, which gave me the confidence to stay away from him for quite a while.
My mother clearly understood that she had to keep me away from him. Eventually, she asked me about what had happened and I spoke about it.
In the days that followed, the reality of being at the receiving end of something I never wanted to, struck me greatly. Whenever he came home, I went to play at my friend’s place just so I could avoid his very existence. When he left home, I peeped through the window to ensure that he was gone so I could breathe again. He had cultivated fear in me—the fear that comes from feeling powerless. I loathed that. Whenever I saw him after that, my mother made sure that she was around.
I’m 22 today. I cannot avoid his presence because he is an unfortunate part of my family. But I make sure he feels guilty every single time he looks at me.
I never thought I would pen this down because of the stigma associated with it. But, I realized that remaining silent only makes it worse. And now I know that I’m one among thousands who are repeatedly abused, more often by known perpetrators. 

Though the fear in me had gradually vanished, it has changed my perception about relationships. I have difficulty in trusting men. Though I am aware of the fact that all men are not looking for an opportunity to abuse a woman/girl sexually, the fear refuses to subside.

Having survived abuse at such a young age and not being able to share it with anyone, I now know that most of us, unknowingly, are abused in some way or other but do not know how to react to it or stop it. And, when such situations arise, it is better to speak out than suffer because there is always a (hidden) danger of you being blamed for the perpetrator's act. And, if you are a girl, there are even more fingers that are pointed at you.
I have survived CSA to tell the tale. So, have the courage to stand up and fight for your rights and yourself.

NOTE—The author is a journalist working with one of the pioneering Newspapers in India, and the identity of the author is deliberately kept anonymous out of consciousness and in respect to the victim.

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  1. speechless,just wanna thank you for sharing this.

  2. Of course it is a story that has happened in an Indian community, and People believe it happens every day in the Indian community in India but I wonder does it happens in the Tibetan community in India or else too???

  3. That was the story of countless child abuse victims in India and all over the world... Well written too! Also try to attach some articles on ways to prevent such intolerable deeds and the necessary measures one should take when such an incident comes to notice....

  4. Thanks for the share..it will definitely spirit up those in same side of experience to open up to release themselves from dark side. It really helps to speak out than being silent about those issues. Greatly appreciate your decision to pen it

  5. I admire the courage of that lady to share her story to inspire and encourage other people to stand up against child abuse and sexual harassment. Family lawyers in Perth would always discuss that the family has an important role in molding the child's outlook in life. However, in such cases that even a family member do something bad to the child, it is important for her to be strong and decide what is the right thing to do. This kind of abuses must stop so that no more child would experience trauma or psychological problems because of what was done to them.

  6. As a long island divorce lawyer, I have encountered lots of cases and issues that involve child abuse and sexual harassment. It is sad that the innocent children in the family gets physically and emotionally abused with the problems their parents are going through.