General, India, Taking up issues, Women

Child Abuse: A Disturbing Truth

When I was young the ‘SEX’ word was a taboo and anything pertaining it essentially needed to be spoken in whispers and hushed tones. That was the time when sex education was not a compulsory part of our curriculum and cases of sex abuse against children were not very frequently seen or heard of. The world has changed a lot after that, and unfortunately, for the worse.

Apart from coping with the increasing competition, the pressure of better performance and the burden of their parents’ expectations, one more thing that kids have to face nowadays is the sexually explicit overtures of their family members, friends, neighbours and teachers. There’s not a single day when the newspaper does not carry some story about such a crime being committed against some minor. There are two such accounts that I’d like to share.

1.K belonged to a typical upper middle-class family. Her family consisted of her parents, a kid sister, grandparents and one uncle. Everything was going fine until a far-off relative of hers, another uncle, who found a job in their city came to live with them. From the day he entered their home he was overtly nice to her, giving her presents and not losing a single chance to touch or feel her when no one was around. She was young then and too naïve to interpret his advances. He continued his lewd acts and she never objected as she had started liking him. However, as she grew older and came to understand that theirs was an incest relationship, she decided she should confide in her family about it and asked him to face the music with her. As expected, he begged himself out. He wanted her to continue giving him all the pleasures but he didn’t want the world to know about it! With help from close friends and maintaining deliberate distance from him, she finally came out of the ridiculous situation. Now she’s happily married to a wonderful man, and the pervert still keeps trying unsuccessfully to get lucky with her.

2.I remember I was some 10-12 years old when I’d first seen on television, the story of a 4-year old girl who was abused by her father, repeatedly. The girl’s mother had reported the matter to the police and got him arrested. She said that she’d found her daughter hiding under the bed afraid that her father had come home, while it was her. She took her close, hugged her tight and asked her what had happened. To her horror and sheer disbelief, the kid enacted what all her father had been doing with her on the pretence of giving her a bath or putting her to sleep. It was all very disturbing. The lady couldn’t stop her tears while explaining what all her little baby had gone through. She’d been there all the time, but she’d noticed nothing, sensed nothing. She’d assumed that they were bonding, but it turned out to be a nightmarish experience, for both the ladies. I wonder how long it must’ve taken for them to come back to a normal life and put such a dark past behind them.

The whole day after that I couldn’t think straight. The little girl’s face refused to leave my mind. My stomach turned at even the thought of it. When the person who’s support to look after you, protect you, pamper you and love you turns out to be a sex-starved monster, what can one do?

The government is taking steps to create awareness in school-going kids by giving them sex education and knowledge about how to identify any untoward behaviour. As parents it is our job also to make ourselves approachable to our kids and making them confide in us. It is only when they feel we’ll understand and empathize with them that such crimes will be easily detected and the culprits will be caught hold of and punished.

It’s very heartening to see everyone speak up openly and uninhibitedly about the many rampant issues faced by women. These concerns have been around for some time and it’s about time we not only create awareness regarding them but also do whatever we can in our capacity to put a check on them.

8 thoughts on “Child Abuse: A Disturbing Truth

  1. These sexual abusers can't even be considered humans, Varsh. How can people go so low to abuse little children. Simply brutal. There definitely needs to be more awareness when it comes to this, for sure. Kids should be able to stay away from these monsters and know that they can go to the parents and other elders when something unusual happens.

  2. Sexual abuse of children is a grim fact of life in our society. It is more common than most people realize. The biggest and best way to stop sexual abuse is to talk about it. Predators thrive on silence. Predators will not survive without silence. Do not let the predators have the silence they need to manipulate, groom, and rape children.

  3. @ Nu: Yeah you first! :)@ Titaxy: Yes, these are very inhuman acts. Anyone who's responsible for such behaviour must be very seriously punished. It leaves a very bad impression on the minds of affected kids.@ Arjit: True. Parents need to make their children feel comfortable and encourage open talks with them about such issues. It is natural for children to be scared, its people like us who need to give them courage.

  4. I can't agree more with you on this. Communication is always the key. As to justice, well, i don't think it can ever happen. Who is to say about what is of justice for that girl? I guess, not even she can… is sad.

  5. Hey Garf…where have you been hiding…took the Garfield thing very seriously?? :PTrue..when such an incident occurs with someone and someone as close as a family member or any well-known person is responsible for it the child is bound to loose faith in all humanity…and this might psychologically handicap them forever..sad indeed..

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