“Did you say ‘No’, when he was inside you ?”, asked the doctor for the second time. The young girl, aged 7, was trembling with fear, she turned back, hugged me tight and started to cry… “Oh my dear, I wish you shouldn’t have to go through all this” was my thought. It was very clear that the little girl did not even understand the question, of course, how can she ?? I couldn’t control myself from giving a nice lecture to the doctor…
“Didi (it means sister in hindi language), can we go back ? I don’t want to talk anymore”, her words brought instant tears to my eyes.
This happened after two months she was raped, brutally raped by many men, actually we don’t know the number of men who took an advantage of her. When she was found and brought to rehabilitation home, she had bruises all over, she had to undergo a surgery which turned out to be a life saver. So much of pain and agony at such tender age, what was her fault in all this ?
On top of what she had to go through, the doctor’s insensible questions. I was just stupid to think that it may help her heal faster if I take her to a counselor. But, not all counselors are good. If he cannot understand how she might have felt about the horrifying act, how can he ever heal her ? I rushed her out of the hospital…
I really don’t want to give statistics of how many rapes happen, how often they happen. We all know it, and we don’t have to be accurate. It’s all in the news – fathers, brothers, grandfathers, neighbors, friends, there is no disparity in the relation when they attempt to rape. The act of sexually assaulting another person (no gender bias), even if it happens one in a million is still shameful and questions how we continue to be called humans ? Are we animals ? Where is our so called humanity ?
No rape is instantaneous. It may not be pre-planned, but it’s pre-meditated. It must have been alive in their thoughts for duration longer than the actual rape. How many of us know that most of the people who commit rape tend to repeat the act ?
More or less similar are sexual assaults and sexual advancements. All sorts of sexual crimes do not happen only at homes, schools or colleges. After all the education, people find better ways of taking advances that are sexual in more neater and cleaner ways. Offices are no exception. I myself have been through it and I know many other colleagues who have been through.
Sexual advancements at office usually are of quid pro quo, where the offender is either threatening to ruin your reputation at work or is not allowing you to grow unless a sexual favor is done to him/her. If not, they have a habit of it and cannot stop themselves, even when they are aware of how strict the laws are.
What can we do to eradicate sexual assaults and how do we deal with people who would have fallen victims.
- First and foremost, love and care for the victim as you always do.
- If you are a man trying to help a woman going through sexual abuse
- Give them strength, they tend to get mentally very weak…
- Tell them that you would be there no matter how difficult the situation turns out to be.
- Give them courage to express themselves and complain to the concerned authorities regarding what has happened.
- Educate them that the fight won’t be easy, it indeed wouldn’t be.Be their support system.
- If it’s a work place, school or college, the victim would be facing the offender even after the compliant has been launched, but be aware that there are laws which allow the victim to stay away from work/school for close to three months.
- If you are woman who has gone through or is going through abuse or helping others
- Always remember to talk to family, friends and peers.
- Break your silence, make sure it is highlighted in all the right forums.
- Please talk to your female colleagues and warn them of what’s happening in the work environment. ( I mentioned this point only because I got to know of many women who talk to their male colleagues, but never to their female colleagues. No offense, but may be it’s more important that your female colleagues know, so that they don’t fall prey)
- If the victim is a kid or a young girl, never tell them that their life is ruined. It hasn’t. A girl’s life cannot be ruined just by this.
- If at all the girl’s family has a problem with the assault, try your level best to make them understand.
- Educate children about sexual abuses and how they can recognize them
If I were to think of a solution, I would suggest setting up an anonymous reporting system, where the victim’s identity is hidden unless a similar incident about the same offender is reported, since the majority would be repeat offenders, it would be easier for the authorities to talk with the victims in isolation and do the needful. It is not fool proof, but would be a good start and can be extended as per our future needs.(I sincerely wish such need never arises )
Dear victims ,relatives and friends,
Please consider rape or sexual assault as an accident, in fact, it is nothing more than that and shall not disturb our lives in any way that can hinder normal life. It is not end of life. Please highlight the incident and lodge a complaint with the authorities so that such incidents don’t repeat at the least.