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I remember the first time when I was kissed by my best friend’s grandfather. Although, I was too young to comprehend what really happened at that moment, but those memories have scarred me for life.

I saw him kissing a young kid, who was a student of my friend’s mom, but I never thought that I would be his next target. 15 minutes later, he caught hold me, brought me closer to him and kissed me for an exceptionally long time. I had no clue what he was doing and why he was kissing me, but it just felt wrong. It’s only when I grew up, I realized that I was assaulted by him.

The worst part, when I went back home running to my mom, all she had to say was, “Don’t go to her house for a week.” I couldn’t believe that my own parent chose to neglect the situation and didn’t take any action.

It must have just been a kiss for my mom, but the thought of it horrifies me even now. The whole incident still gives me goosebumps and traumatic flashbacks, whenever I think about it.

As a child, and particularly as a girl you instinctively know the difference between touches, and this one was not a comfortable one for sure! No wonder it has haunted me for so long.

And, right when I thought it was all over and I would never have to experience this again, something unexpected happened again. This time, it was not her grandfather, but her own father. I was sitting in a room with my best friend and her mom watching a movie. When we decided to switch off the lights, her father decided to join us and sat next to me.

All was well until, her father’s hand started to touch my feet. Initially, I thought it was a mistake, but it was repeated. I suddenly got up and told my friend that I need to go home and I left.

At that moment, I wanted to scream my guts out but I was scared to tell my friend and leaving was the only option I had. I wonder why I didn’t scream out and let them know what had happened, twice.

The two incidents still haunt me, but I am trying to get over them. All I can hope for is that other girls like me will choose to speak up. And, at the right moment! Don’t let the story stay in your thoughts and traumatize you, instead learn to speak up against any kind of abuse.

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It has been quite long I experience sexual harassment for the first time. I still wish I could erase those memories but can’t really do so.
As it is a usual case in most of the middle class families that in summers we like to sleep in open. Same is case with my family and we were all sleeping on terrace just like everyday.

But something happened that night which left me horrified and now I am scared even to be alone at home. I was sleeping and I don’t know in the middle of the night I felt a hand swirling around my belly and trying to reach my breasts. It disrupted my sleep and when I opened my eyes I was shocked to see a man of around 30 years of age and he was drunk. I was dead scared and wanted to call out for help but could not utter a word out of horror. Then I somehow managed to speak something and tried to wake up my mom but she was asleep and my dad woke up from my voice.

My father saw him and he ran away. He tried to catch him but he managed to escape. I told my mom then what just happened. She then advised me to not to tell anyone about it. The incident kept me in shock and fear for many days. I now think why did my mother tell me to keep quiet.

It was not my fault. It was not something that I did wrong but I don’t know why she wanted me to tell nobody about it.

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I was abused by my stepfather. The first thing I remember happening is when I was 5 years old he use to rub my legs and tell me that my legs were too hairy. He would touch me in weird ways and then he started to want to take my pants off and do stuff. Everything else was blocked out until I was 13 and I realized I was being sexually abused. When I went to school one day I had met a new friend and I told her how I felt. She told me that I had to tell someone so I finally told someone at school so it was easier on my mum.

He has been prison for 5 years now and I will never have to worry about coming home again!

I eventually realized that I was being sexually, mentally, and physically abused. I thought it was normal at first then when I realized it was wrong, I told my friend, and then it made it easier to get help. I have been in counselling for a little over a year and it has been going really well. My family understands that I need to be alone sometimes.

Without him there I didn’t have to worry about what was going to happen when my mum walked out of the house and he lunged after me. I didn’t have any more fears and I have been way more open to my mum.

What helped me most was my friend, who changed my life – she ordered me to tell even though I wasn’t quite sure that I was ready. I used to think it was my fault so I gained weight thinking that it would stop – but it didn’t. My mum helps me get stronger and stronger everyday.

My Advice: If you are being abused don’t think that it is your fault because it isn’t. The older person isn’t suppose to go after you, you should be strong and tell somebody at school. Its hard at first but after it is all over you realize it was definitely worth it!

 

*Name has been changed on request.

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I was abused when I was 12 by my own very close family member.

I had gone to my Bua’s (paternal aunt) place on vacation. It was a lovely holiday until the night when electricity went off. It was a dark night. I was sleeping in a room with no one around. Suddenly I felt someone along on my bed. He was no one but my fufaji. (Aunt’s husband) He started touching me and his hand moved around my waist..I did not like it at all.

I asked him what he was doing there, to which he said nothing.

I questioned his existence around. He blamed the gone electricity. I kept quiet. Such incidents started happening on regular basis. He always asked me to be quiet. I always was. One day he took me to Delhi with the permission of my parents and all I wanted was NOT to go alone with him. We halted in a hotel. He started touching all over. He said, “I really like you and don’t tell this to anyone.” I could not do anything. I could not run, I could not complaint, I could scream but no one to hear. I had no idea of what to do…

I could never speak about it to my parents thinking of my aunt’s marriage and always have been haunted whenever I think of those times. It was not a good feeling at all. I feel sad and I wish I could undo what happened. But now I feel empowered and strong. I was not wrong at all and it was not my mistake.

I urge you all to not be silent about such things. Sometimes sharing is all what you need.

 

*Name has been changed on request.

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I was in class 3rd, In summer vacations Me,with my cousins(me being the only girl, I should rather say my cousin brothers) went for swimming classes. I had just started to learn and was enjoying it, until one day,when my swimming trainer took advantage of me.
There were few trainers assigned to us,an aged trainer(somewhere in late 40,may be) took the responsibility to teach me.

And then one day,around 3 days later He took me to the corner of the swimming pool to the deeper side, where I had to take his support.(I was too young and new to swim in the deeper section all by myself)
He touched me down there,and continued doing that for few minutes. I was shaken, Nobody in my life had ever done that to me. But I didn’t know how to react. What to say , what to do ( I have not yet figured, what I could possibly do then).

He told me not to tell anybody, he made a point that I don’t dare think of it, he would warn me to take me to that corner and leave me to drown and nobody would ever suspect what has happened.

I always knew something is wrong, but could never share this with my cousins, they were kids too with little or no knowledge of things like this(May be). Or family, My mother had never discussed things like this with me ever before . I was a little kid, vulnerable,new to this world.

He did this to me everyday. It went for few good days in a row, I was traumatized for long. I could not sleep for days, and every thought of going back again to swim class the next day would kill me.But there was nothing I could do to it, I was helpless.
This continued for one good month, and then it could stop only when I finally decided to quit swimming. I could never tell my mother the reason.
I still have not after so many years.

But, still any time I look back this one incident still breaks me deep inside, I could not do anything. I could never make him realize what has he done. I could not stop him from doing this to other girls, in fact not to me.

Molestation of any kind, can affect a person for lifetime. There is no way to get out of that bad feeling you carry with you for rest of your life.

*Name has been changed on request.

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“When my daughter Mita started school she was a happy, friendly and sociable child. She excelled at school and had lots of friends. She had a very kind heart and used to live in a world where everything is lovely and there are no bad people. She was loved to bits by her dad and I.

“About a year after she started school, Mita’s teachers started to call us in to discuss her behaviour. On various occasions Mita’s teacher told us that Mita wasn’t doing the work she had been set and couldn’t concentrate. Mita was stamping her foot and growling when she was asked to do work. This kind of behaviour was completely out of character for her.

“We were getting called into her school more and more regularly as Mita’s disruptive behaviour escalated. It was worrying because I had never seen Mita behave in this way and she wasn’t displaying any of these behaviours at home. I noticed that after school holidays we would get called in more often than towards the end of term. It made me think that maybe Mita was picking up the behaviour from other children she was playing with in the holidays.

“I asked her if anyone had touched her anywhere private other than me or her father. As always, I expected her to say no but she didn’t, she said yes.”

“One day, after picking up Mita from an after-school club she attended in the school holidays, I was getting her undressed at home and became worried about some marks I saw on her. Just randomly, as I have done in the past, I asked her if anyone had touched her anywhere private other than me or her father. As always, I expected her to say no but she didn’t, she said yes. She said that an adult who worked at the school and the afterschool club had touched her there.

“I was so confused; I wondered if the incident had been an accident, what had exactly happened and whether my daughter was ok. I sat down and asked her to explain exactly what had happened. She told me where the member of staff had touched her, exactly what he had done and then told me that he had hurt her and hadn’t said sorry. She had been sexually assaulted. I was shocked and numb, but disgusted and then very angry. I couldn’t comprehend that someone had assaulted my 4 1/2 year old daughter in that way.

“We reported the assault to social services, who referred Mita to a sexual abuse clinic and the police. Mita was questioned by the police and her clothes were sent off to be forensically tested.

“Mita’s dad and I thought that Mita was ok and that she hadn’t been affected by what had happened to her and hoped that she was too young to fully understand. Then a couple of weeks after she told us about the abuse she started to display very sexualised behaviour which wasn’t normal for her and certainly wasn’t normal for a 5 year old. She had become completely disengaged with school and didn’t want to do homework which she’d enjoyed before. I told the sexual abuse clinic about my concerns and Mita’s behaviour. They recommended that Mita do some therapeutic work with counseling clinic and she started seeing the therapist.

“Perhaps the most telling change is that Mita has stopped carrying around her comfort teddy. The teddy used to be her protector and look out; making sure the bad men weren’t coming again.”

“I’ve seen a real change in Mita since she started working with therapist; she seems more assertive and ready to report wrongdoings. She’s settled in at her new school and is doing really well. She’s stopped the sexualised behaviour too. Perhaps the most telling change is that Mita has stopped carrying around her comfort teddy. The teddy used to be her protector and look out; making sure the bad men weren’t coming again.

“We don’t know how long the sexual abuse had been going on for. Mita’s behaviour had changed a couple of months before we found out about the abuse and, from what we understand from Mita’s therapy, the assault she told me about wasn’t the only assault that took place.

“Mita kept quiet about the abuse she went through because she didn’t understand what was happening to her and because she was afraid to tell anyone. I hadn’t spoken to Mita about not letting people touch her where she wears her underwear because I had never thought anything like this would happen to my child. It wasn’t something I felt I needed to speak to her about yet. She knew that she shouldn’t go off with a stranger, but the person who sexually abused her wasn’t a stranger, he was a person of authority in her life.

“I didn’t have the language to speak to Mita in an age appropriate way about keeping her body private or about what constituted sexual abuse. If Mita had known that what was happening to her was wrong, then she would have spoken to me about it and we could have stopped the abuse earlier.”

 

I wish I had talked about it to my daughter earlier then she would not have to go through the months of abuse. But I urge all the parents to teach their children about good & bad touch and create a space for them so that they can directly come and talk to you.

 

*Name has been changed on request.

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I recently came across Rise for India. After reading one of the stories posted I was in a constant state of uncertainty that whether I should continue reading the stories given at sides or just close all the tabs. Gathering a lot of courage I finally decided to read all of them and I swear I cried myself to sleep that night. For days I could not take all what I had read out of my head so I decided to talk to my mother about it. Hearing all the stories which I told her with a lot of effort since I was choking on every single word I spoke, I noticed a strange look on my mother’s face that just sucked the soul out of my body, and I asked her just one question….WHEN?

After a long pause, my mother began – “I grew up in this large joint family where my dad and his younger brother lived together along with their wives and kids. I was the fourth out of us five siblings and my uncle had three kids.”  Me – “hmm…( I still could not believe it).”

My mother –  “I was in my room, when the elder son of my paternal uncle  whom I had always acknowledged as ‘Bhai’ (Brother) crept into my room and did stuff to me. I would rather not explain in detail but yes, he did everything. He was 10 years elder to me and I was just in 2nd grade. I just stood there in a trance state, completely unaware of   what just happened. It was as if my brain had shut itself down refusing to record anything. His harsh cruel voice falling onto my ears “Don’t tell about this to anyone otherwise they will blame you for it.” I could not talk to my mother about it, and he did the same to me several times after that. My performance in school deteriorated and my confidence just flushed out completely. I still have a hard time talking to people. I prefer to stay in my own cocoon.”

As my mother was telling me the most terrifying incident of her life I could not help but hold my tears back, but she…she did not shed a single one. All my memories of my mother being completely against sending us to any relative’s house even for a short stay became so clear and meaningful to me. I have been wondering since then that how a person can survive with such a deep scar in his/her heart, trust and soul!

Listening to my mother, I was just trying to search for a sign of pain or a tear in my mother’s eyes but instead I found a little dead girl who had been humiliated and murdered by her very own first cousin. After this conversation, I had developed this new respect for my parents, especially my mother for taking such great care of us that none of these things could even take a stroll around us during our childhood days.

That person, the abuser of my mother is dead now, whereby I am still swinging between the two contrary thoughts that whether I am happy that he is dead or sad about the same as I missed my chance to humiliate him. I at least would have made him feel embarrassed of his deeds in front of his daughter. I KNOW! Imagine the horror that he has a daughter, I hope she has never undergone such experiences with him.

My mother eventually moved on, married the guy she loved, has her own business and three beautiful daughters (as she says it).  She couldn’t ask for more…life is good again!!

This is just one of the million stories that take place in India in every second home. I would like to request the parents to start talking to their children like friends so that their children can trust them. Those unfortunate children are suffering already. Do not make them suffer more by not trusting them or worse, by not even listening to them.  Let’s make India’s future brighter by taking care of its present.

 

Source – http://www.riseforindia.com/mom-abused-by-elder-cousin/

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When we talk about rape, the discussion almost always revolves around the victim. What was she wearing? Was she alone? What was she doing out late at night? Was she under the influence of alcohol?

We barely talk about the rapist here. Why did he do what he did? What was going on in his mind? Is it possible that he was also abused?

Nisha Lilia Diu from The Telegraph spoke to a sex offender and her spine chilling conversation takes one to the dustiest corners of a rapist’s mind.

46-year-old Ravi (name changed on request) got a rape conviction and 2 indecent exposure convictions when he was young. He claims that he started offending when he was all of 15. Here are excerpts from Nisha’s conversation with him:

“I didn’t have much of a conscience about it when I was younger. I was just out to get what I wanted, damn everybody else.”

 

Ravi talks about how all he wanted was sex – so he just grabbed random women and got it. He shares how being part of a rebellious crowd doing drugs and not giving a damn about school led him into this life. “I had lots of relationships, but I wouldn’t describe any of them as romantic. I was looking for one thing: sex. That’s what my life was about when I was that age, chasing girls,” he says.

Other factors that led to this behaviour were being obsessed with pornography and sex. He says that he offended because it was exciting and he felt powerful.

“It gave me a certain feeling of power over that person. I wouldn’t have said it then, but it’s obvious to me looking back that I was lost and out of control.”

Ravi also shares about his bad experiences of sexual abuse when he was a kid. This was another reason for him to go a step ahead and offend. A feeling of power or control was what he craved for.

 

The 46-year-old also opens up about raping his girlfriend in 2001. “We’d been arguing and she’d left the house for a while and when she came back… I was very drunk. I forced her into the bedroom. I didn’t plan it. I still don’t completely understand why I did it. But I have a better sense of what triggers this behaviour in me now. I was under a lot of financial stress at the time. I wasn’t feeling good about myself. And I was drinking too much, which didn’t help. Now, I try not to drink at all,” he says.

On life in prison and the kind of people he met there:

From doctors to pilots, there are all types of men in there. Ravi goes on to talk about the sex offenders wing in prison and the kind of people he met there and also opens up about the abuse that he faced as a kid.

“While I was in therapy in prison, I talked for the first time about what happened to me in my childhood. I was sexually abused for about 2 years, from when I was 7. I was abused by people who were friends of my family, a man and a woman, and I suspect that my family might have been aware of that.”

 

Ravi thinks it played a major role in his behaviour later. He claims that he felt powerless because of the abuse and could do anything to take charge once again.

However, not everyone in the prison was like Ravi. Some still thought that it was the victim’s fault – that they had lead them on.

So, what changed?

It took three separate stints in prison and 6 years of treatment and counselling to feel better. A treatment programme for sex offenders who return to the community called Circles helped too, he tells Nisha.

He says he still talks to volunteers at Circles for he knows that whenever he feels weak, he has someone to talk to instead of going crazy.

Ravi leads an almost normal life now. He even decided to be honest with his present girlfriend about his offences and he is glad that she took it well. It’s been a hard time for him, but he is finally out of the vicious cycle that offending had become for him.

Source – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11720655/Sex-offender-Why-I-became-one-and-started-raping-women.html

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Gender – Female

Experience –

Bhai, can we go and get one ice-cream today also? P-L-E-E-E-E-A-S-E!” the four year old, tiny version of me begged as I lingered onto my, then, seventeen-year old cousin.

He was a dark, tall man with a meek body; his long hair curled in a shabby manner across his unkempt face. It was a different kind of bond that we shared. I called it ‘love’. And he called it ‘love’ too. But little did I know that it was a different kind of love altogether.

“Alright, but only if you promise to play with me after dinner.”

I smirked at his easy, usual offer and my little, dwarf body while I clung to his legs with pure affection. He then picked me in his arms and kissed me on my cheek. I could feel him holding my under-developed bosom with one hand while his other hand wandered under my skirt, detaining my little buttocks from the lacy, pink bloomers that my mom had recently purchased for me.

This was pretty usual, wasn’t it? He was the only cousin-brother in my huge family and he held and played with me in this very special way. Especially when we were alone.  I was very happy, obviously. I got my ice cream and chocolates every day plus a little bit of extra love.

After dinner every night, I went to his room, as promised. Things were ordinarily this way. He would make me play with his ‘super power’ that he kept hidden in his trousers. Our game had to be our little secret because if someone found out, then they would take him away from me. And, I didn’t want to lose my brother now, did I?

In fact, he loved me so much that he would be my doctor every night. I was scared of going to the doctor, so he would make it a point to check me every night after we finish playing.

Every day was the same. I rushed to him after school, we had ice-creams and at night, we played. His told me I was special which is why only I was allowed to play with his ‘super power’. It was a thick, skin-like rod; had little pink-red mouth on its tip. He had once asked me to check how it tasted too, because he couldn’t bend to see if it was sweet like ice-cream or sour like lemon. I had done it, and it was tasteless as far as I could taste.

We use to check the taste every day because you never know when it could start tasting like ice cream. When I refused to play with his power or taste it for the day, he would threaten that he won’t check my body that night and that I would have to go to the doctor the next day. So I had to, you see?

After we played, he would make me lie down on my back and lift my frock. He always started by knocking behind my knees and then shift to my back-side. He would press them and rub his mouth between them just to check if I was fine and then turn me around and ask me to open my legs. He did something with his fingers between my thighs and it would hurt at times.

But I didn’t say anything. Why? Because I TRUSTED my brother.

One night, I remember running to my parents room crying and pretending to sleep between them quietly because my brother had diagnosed me with cancer and said that he had to treat me well for the next few nights if I didn’t want to die. He cured me within a week by putting a pencil between my thighs and removing cancer from my body. I couldn’t have thanked him enough.

Till I turned 12. Then, I knew.

I began to understand what was happening to me and eventually everything became clear. I learnt that his ‘super-power’ was nothing but a penis which every man had.

And, in the course of time it bestowed on me that I was molested and almost-raped for around ten years of my life. That those checkups were nothing but a blind game of trust; that those ice-creams were nothing but a bribe which helped me get molested every night.

For TEN whole years!

And this very ‘loving’ brother of mine is now married; and I thank heavens that he’s blessed with a son. What if it was a daughter? She would have also learnt how to play with his ‘super-power’?

Today, I work for over sixty NGOs and I’m associated with an international organization that works against children and women molestation, but not once have I ever gathered the courage to speak about this to anyone; even my very own parents. I am weak because I still feel like a four-year old, over and over again. And thanks to the society we live in, I couldn’t hurt and shame my family by sharing this. But enough is enough.

This needed to come out. Children don’t know what is being done to them so if you know or even have a small doubt that a child somewhere is being molested; raise your voice against it. So, that he/she will not have to look back like I did and feel the pain, trauma, shame and everything else that comes with it.

 

 

Source – http://www.timesofeducation.com/i-was-4-when-my-bhai-found-cancer-in-me-and-removed-it-from-between-my-legs-every-night/

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