Sunday, May 13, 2012

Child #Sexual Abuse

Imagine you are 5,6,or7yrs old.You are all alone at a place which is very scary,unsafe.It holds searing memories for you.Because you were attacked here.You have had things done to you ,which were very unfamiliar,painful,frightening & shameful.Shameful because you were asked to keep mum about them.Rather threatened with warnings of violence being unleashed upon those you hold dear.There is nobody to whom you can confide,& ask for succor,support,advice & protection.What would you do?Why ,run to your home of course,to it's safe sanctuary.What if this is the very place which sends shivers down your spine?What would you do then?Any idea?Any suggestions?

None!This is not an imaginary scenario.It is what happens to 30% victims of child sexual abuse .How do the poor mites live through these traumas?Nobody who has not been through this hell can understand it fully.It is bad enough that the child molester is often a close relative or someone very close to the family.If a child does gather courage in it's frail hands & hints about it to a parent,it is often disbelieved, or even admonished for cooking up stories;because the demon first establishes himself/herself firmly in the family's affections,and only after that does s/he begin his/her heinous acts.In some cases the perpetrator is so closely related that no punitive & protective action is taken out of fear of that person,or for fear of sullying the family's honor.The poor child is forced to keep quiet the second time round.The parent may even admonish the child for having been at the wrong place at the wrong time!Very few children are able to state clearly what happened to them because often they themselves are puzzled about it,or because the subject is taboo in the family.

There is another version of the same story.This time the child has grown enough to be titillated during such encounters.It is still in doubt about societal norms,expectations & moral codes.It is touched in a certain way & the body-chemistry responds.It does not know what to make of it.It has sensed that grown-ups do certain things behind closed doors.If that is correct,then what about this,which is happening to it?If it is right then why this hush,hush about it?And if it is wrong then why is it happening to it in it's own home by it's own relative?The poor little brain is all muddled up with all these thoughts but there is never an answer.Now the child has grown up.S/he knows for sure that what happened to him/her was incest or at least immoral.But s/he is tormented by the memory of pleasure experienced then.That makes her/him bad,scum of the earth,a lowly creature.Where can s/he hide her/his face?Maybe the tormentor is still at large or very near.How does s/he face him/her; &ward him/her off?An endless chain of emotions like fear.guilt,shame,hatred & remorse flip through her/his mind.

The demon has had,or maybe is still having his/her fun;but the victim goes through many deaths--of her/his moral,familial,social & personal selves.S/he is never free from self-condemnation--
"Why did s/he enjoy those encounters if they were illicit?It makes him/her a worm ,doesn't it ?On the other hand,if s/he liked those sensations,then why is s/he now filled with remorse?Why didn't anyone in the family guide ,protect or tell her/him,what was good & what was bad?If it was bad then why hasn't the perpetrator been punished or at least checked?The latter is  happy &normal,while s/he has gone to pieces.S/he can't talk about it;& yet ,it is gnawing at her/his insides.Whom should s/he talk to?What will people say when they come to know?They will judge her/him.Nobody will understand that s/he never asked for it & did not understand where it was leading to?

These endless queries going round & round in anyone's brain are enough to send anyone to a mental asylum.Hats off to those who still manage to put up a brave front,& lead a semblance of a normal life.But they can never be normal inside.Their self-esteem & self-confidence are at the nadir.They cannot relate,trust,& have meaningful relationships--a happy marriage is a long way off.So many of them give in to substance abuse.They can easily fall prey to a host of mental & physical ailments .All in all it is a very sordid state of affairs.Please.everyone,take good care of your children & display the courage to fight  the perpetrator.

If you would like to know about the symptoms which could indicate that a child is being abused,you may visit this link.

43 comments :

  1. Thanks Abhishek,& welcome to jeeteraho.

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  2. thers some one i knw who went through the trauma as a child and now 50 has still not got over it.

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  3. You are right Alka,even i knew someone who at the age of 100yrs;when dementia had set in;&her guards had lowered;vocalized such encounters.It is a terrible torture.

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  4. A very sad thing, child abuse. Aamir Khan can discuss it casually on the TV and earn money. The problem will be solved only if people become more sensitive. unfortunately our society is making people more callous.

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    1. Matheikal it's true that our society is becoming callous & also immoral-there was a time when working mothers could leave their kids even in the care of neighbors;is it possible now?Not that there are no good neighbors-but there is so much of skepticism in our hearts today ,though not without cause.

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  5. ...traumatic to the victim, shameful for the culprit, unfortunate for the society and painful for all of us! A brilliant write-up Indu. Congrats and thanks!

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    1. Thank you Amitjee;you have summed it up very neatly.

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  6. I remember discussion on this topic on the Indi thread.It is indeed a serious issue.You have presented your thoughts well.

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    1. Thank you Karthik,nice to see you here.

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  7. Views presented well. Indeed a serious issue. I remember the discussions initiated by you on the Indi thread on this topic.

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    1. TF it is really appalling --whether it be schools ,school buses,orphanages or even close relatives--everywhere these monsters are lurking to victimize helpless kids.

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  8. I do not think anybody can describe the trauma better than u did in this post.

    Why are they neglected by the ones who are supposed to protect them -the parents and the teachers-

    It is prevalent in all societies but Indians are the only ones in my understanding who trivialize such occurances on account of their culture and tradition.

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  9. Thanks a lot for your appreciation,it means a lot.
    Yes our culture too is not so up-front about sexual matters...just imagine-if the parents dread to mention the word sex in front of their children ,then how on earth can they expect their vulnerable kids to come out & complain about such harassment?Even parents who keep the communication lines open with their kids,do not touch this topic.

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  10. Un perfecto!! This is the write-up I was hoping somebody would upfront right! Yes, breaking the silence is super easy, but living the inner chatter all your life is brutally hard. The silence has been broken, but the dam that contained pain has given away. Now we need to educated people on trauma symptoms, on how to listen and listen deeply and stand by a survivor!!! Kudos to you for writing appropriately!!!
    In btw, do read my own piece on this "The Silence that Never Was" (it does not deal with anything as upfront as you have done, but my own measly attempt).

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    1. Bhavna welcome to jeeteraho,your comment has pointed the direction in which my next post should go...thanks for the help....i will read your post very soon.

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  11. Perfect timing with Aamir's Khan's show!

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    1. I still don't understand how the two coincided...actually i had written this post on the 12th on paper,as i always do & on 13th i set about typing it....i had wanted to follow this up by other forms of abuse but then i cut it short because i didn't want to be branded as a copy-cat...when i saw the re-run at night i realized that many things were common too!

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  12. Good one Indu, yes this hhappens in our society so often and the worst part is when your parents do not trust you, have seen my friend go through the same!

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    1. Your friend was lucky to have you to confide in-it must have eased the burden a little bit at least for her--although this sort of exploitation is hard to gulp....thanks for dropping by.

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  13. बहुत बेहतरीन व प्रभावपूर्ण रचना....
    मेरे ब्लॉग पर आपका हार्दिक स्वागत है।

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  14. Shanti welcome to jeeteraho.thanks for the nice comment...i will surely visit your blog.

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  15. We can never understand what these kids go through. I agree we have to be more vigilant and protective as a parent. More than that we have to notice the little signs which kids give. Also, I loved the idea of the workshop conducted in SJ. We must interact and teach our kids such things at regular intervals.

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  16. Yes Saru,it is the duty of every parent to do all that you have enumerated.Thanks for dropping by .

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  17. I admire your courage to speak so openly about such a terrible and at the same time sad topic that many people do not even acknowledge! It is indeed important for all of us to protect the vulnerable but also to give hope to all those affected... even a simple thing like talking to someone else may help... Thank you again for spreading the awareness, your post must mean a lot to lots of people out there..

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  18. Denisa thanx a lot for your thumbs up.Yes protection as well as help in coming to terms with this trauma are essential.I do hope my post has benefited someone ,somewhere.
    It was nice to see you here.

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  19. बहुत ही बेहतरीन और प्रशंसनीय प्रस्तुति....


    इंडिया दर्पण
    की ओर से आभार।

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  20. Thank you so much,welcome to jeeteraho!

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  21. hii.. Nice Post

    Thanks for sharing

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    More Entertainment

    www.ChiCha.in

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  22. Hey Indu Chhibber, rightfully pointed out.. yes, this is quite a big issue that is happening more than the official statistics seem to tell... A friend of mine works with an ngo which focuses on these issues and he discovered that this is a very big problem that can't really be effectively tackled...Sad state of affairs actually...

    great that u brought this up, Indu Chhibber ...

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  23. RAJ thanks for your input-it is tragic that the very agencies to whom a kid looks up for support trample it this way-i mean apart from close acquaintances--places like orphanages.foster care homes,beggar homes& schools etc.It really seems very insufficient to just write about it.

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  24. so i think this is second blog of yours which I have read so far. While you all have been writing in the best possible way for CSA, I am surprised to learn it always existed in India as well, on a large scale.

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  25. Yes jkhona even i used to think otherwise,the only difference is that the joint families of yore were able to protect their children more effectively;but this depravity was there nevertheless.

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  26. have a look at your Surprise Indu....:)

    http://elli-itsmylife.blogspot.in/2012/05/versatile-award-double-treat.html

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  27. It's so painful just reading about it, imagine the trauma a little child has to put up of with. A childhood snatched, angst, that feeling of loneliness!

    And to think it took an Amir Khan to make the government sit up , take notice and finally pass the CSA bill!

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  28. Yes it is too painful to even think of it,i wonder what the priorities of our govt are.

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  29. I have so much admiration for the bloggers who have taken up this caused and are writing boldly on their own personal space.

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  30. Thanks a lot Gayathri-love to see you here.

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Thanks for reading my post.I hope you liked it :).