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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 man

Was: a victim
City: Chennai
Was wearing school uniform
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 40-50

Experience:
It happened when I was in 6th grade. I usually visit the CD store near my house. The owner of the shop was always kind to me and gave CD for rent at a very less price. I never really thought why he was giving CD at much lower rates. One day, he called me to watch a movie along with him and suddenly he kept his hands on my private parts. I didn’t know how to react and came back home. I was kid then and had no clue on why he did that. I was a little upset, I told the whole thing to my sister and my cousin brother. They were shocked and asked me not to visit the shop again.
Only few years later, I realized how bad that was.

This is a video on

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preventing child abuse. Check this out and teach your kids.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6aH8Rwax09AMy-pro-pic

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Gender man

Was: a victim
City: House/Mumbai
Was wearing shorts and shirt
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance and aged Less than 20

Experience:
The incident occurred when I was in my 10th grade. I lived in a big community belonging to the company in which my dad worked. A great friends circle and common schools, playgrounds and festivals provided an ideal environment for a close knit community. A neighbor of mine, 4 years elder to me, who I had befriended recently called out from her balcony asking if she could come over to my place, to which I agreed. My parents weren’t at home, which didn’t seem to surprise her, she didn’t express the slightest hesitation and neither did I find any reason to hesitate.
She came over, and we were watching TV when things got a little uncomfortable when she turned around and mentioned how weird my shorts looked with her left hand resting on my thigh. I slid away saying that I have always been weird, in the obnoxious way I usually do. A few minutes later her hand rested on my right shoulder and she asked if I liked her, by which time I had edged to my end of the sofa and was feeling extremely uneasy. I replied saying “ofcourse, aap achhi ho, didi (hindi for elder sister)” and stood up, feeling very scared and alone and not quite sure how to react, and muttered that it was getting late to play shuttle. She too stood up, and asked if I could get

her a glass of water. I went to kitchen to get a glass of water, and got a shock of a lifetime when I turned around, as I saw the girl standing across the corridor, topless with a smile. I started sweating, stunned, scared; and she moved towards me and raised her hand to touch my cheek, and then I slapped her. It might have been seconds, or minutes, but the next thing I remember was the door bell ringing. She said “open it”, and slipped into the restroom. My parents were at the door, and I mumbled something about being in the other room and not hearing the bell when they questioned me, mixing it up with telling them that she had come over. She came out, coolly saying “hi aunty, I was just leaving” and left but not before whispering that she had left a gift for me.
The moment she stepped out, I rushed to restroom, only to find that the horror continued, and she has left her undergarment there. I remember myself sitting there on the commode, scared to come out, scared to touch it, afraid of my parents, afraid of god, feeling guilty. I had called her didi, a sister, and to me that was sanctified, it had always meant a sense of comfort and protection and this shattered everything. My family was ultra-orthodox and at that moment I felt that my dad would kill me. Trembling I stuffed it in my pocket, fumbled out of the house, ran six stories down and threw it in a dustbin there. Came home, changed my shorts. I spoke to no one, which on hindsight I probably should have. This incident shut me down; I became scared to go down to play, uncomfortable around girls I met anew, starting staying in school or at my friends place more often and panicked every time I saw her. I hid behind bushes when she walked down the same path as me. I was scared of her, afraid of what she may do, of the revenge she may seek, of another move that she would make. My panic ebbed when I left the community, finally leaving behind the city I loved for my higher studies, my discomfort with girls vanished after I met some amazing friends, but I have never been able to completely shake it off, probably because I chose not to confront it, chose not to acknowledge my fear and weakness, chose to bundle it up. She has contacted me four times since, over phone and electronic media, and has accused me to rejecting her love, and every time I have panicked, for all I can remember is the fear of that day and the weeks that followed.
And till today am not completely sure that I have come to terms with it, and I am glad to have a chance to put it out. To break one’s silence is a daunting task.
personal

2 Comments

Gender man

Was: a victim
City: Hyderabad
Perpetrator was a Stranger

Incident was : One time

Reaction : Helpless/ Passively endured
Was wearing school uniform

Experience:
Once when I was a kid of maybe ten years of age, I hitched a ride behind a man on a scooter because the bus was taking too long. I never took a lift from anyone before but that day I had some plans with friends so I thought I should get home faster.
It was a big mistake, because not 5 minutes into the ride he started asking me some very personal questions and made me very uncomfortable. I knew enough to know that what he was asking was abnormal; he tried passing it off saying he’s a famous sexologist (I didn’t even know what that was) and tried molesting me reaching one hand around to the back and controlling the vehicle with the other. I was struggling and tried moving far back but couldn’t as it was a scooter and I was afraid of falling too. So I couldn’t escape his clutching fingers.
He then went on to say “Oh I forgot a file back home, do you mind coming back with me and getting it?” I said “No, I’m getting late, please let me down here and I will go”. He dropped me off and went away. I shudder to think what would have happened if I’d have gone where he wanted to go.

1 Comment