19 July 2016

Monsters



Those classroom walls that have heard the screams & wails of the child as she begged her tormentors to stop. Will they ever speak up? Those bedroom walls that saw a child’s innocence being stripped, her body being groped & greedily felt & pounced upon like hyenas preying on flesh. Will they ever speak up? Those bathroom walls that witnessed the child washing herself over & over again – to cleanse, to erase, to burn the memories of that touch that defiled her. Will those walls ever speak up? The child pleading with man after man to, not touch her, not sully her. Will those tender, pleading hands ever be free? The walls have been stained by the tears of blood the child has shed. The pillows drenched as these little ones cried  themselves to sleep, night after night. I am in actual physical pain as I write this. I shudder to think of the horrors that the four walls, of some of our homes & schools, have seen.

Various reports on child sexual abuse (CSA) have this to say about this menace. 3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well. 1 in 5 girls & 1 in 20 boys is a victim of CSA. A child who is the victim of prolonged abuse develops a feeling of worthlessness, may become withdrawn & mistrustful of adults, & can become suicidal. 

Why is a child dishonored thus? And as statistics confirm, most often by someone the child knows, someone she trusts or someone her parents & family members know & trust. I remember once, when Tanvi who was around 6 years old at the time, came running home & said “That uncle touched me here” & pointed to her chest. I was aghast. It was a neighbor, an old married man with an adult son. The wife was there when he “playfully” touched my daughter. When we confronted him, the man denied it & fell silent. It was the wife who vehemently defended her husband. 

Many kids are not expressive enough or fearless enough or confident enough like my child to run up to her parents & say it exactly like it happened. I can’t begin to imagine the plight of children, both boys & girls, who suffer silently. They either have no parents or guardians to go to & confess what happened. Or ,they cannot go to them out of fear. Or because they feel they would be not trusted by their family & instead may themselves be blamed for what happened. Or simply because the family fears accusing the abuser as he is a family friend, a respectable figure in society. 

I remember the scene in the movie “Highway” where Alia talks about her abuse by her uncle in the bathroom every time he visited their home, bribing her with chocolates & whispering “Don't worry, it will be over soon.” I remember my eyes welled up, throat choked & I sat there immobilized. I knew this was happening in many households across the country & the world, even as we sat there, watching the movie. I felt so powerless, completely helpless.

I am not interested in the statistics or what research tells us about the effects of CSA.  I am concerned about the psyche that makes you want to dishonor a child, that turns you into a monster. What are you thinking? That you can escape without anyone knowing? That you can continue to hold onto your good & respectable persona, your carefully built social image while the child dies a slow death each day of his life? What makes you want to see & touch the children of God with lust in your eyes? What makes you think it is ok? What makes you fearless enough to carry on doing it? Have you no conscience? Some of you have children of your own. How could you not see the tears streaming down the cheeks of another innocent child? What has turned your heart cold? I I know you don’t regret it. I know you feel no remorse. 

And that, THAT pricks my heart, makes it bawl in pain; a knife twisting & turning the flesh till it is red & swollen, churning the stomach into a thousand painful knots. Oh God, when did we turn into animals? When did our souls decay? When did we start hunting our own little ones? And why? Why?
Sorry dear angels, we have failed you.

30 comments:

  1. Nice post Sujatha. A painful subject to discuss and talk or even think about. Its the same everywhere and thats why the reason to be alert for oneself and others. And your child should feel safe and close to you to come and tell the truth.Imagine a child so scared to even talk to their own parents coz they feel my parents will blame only me. Thats the sadness truly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is very sad....not being able to tell ones own parents

      Delete
  2. I think we should grow up confident and courageous kids, and encourage them to tell when they encounter such incidents. We should make it clear that it's not their fault. I remember one case where the tormentor was mobbed, beaten and his shop was rampaged. I wish the offenders in most cases get such punishments in public so that there will be fear.

    Destination Infinity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes true kids need to be able to speak up

      Delete
  3. I get so enraged thinking about it, a lot of times children don't even talk about it until much later. I always tell my daughters to tell me at the earliest any sign of discomfort they feel with a 3rd person... even in their presence, they can always whisper in my ear, so I can take the necessary action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right this openness is what we need to inculcate in our children

      Delete
  4. A forceful article on this widely prevalent menace.The parents have a great role in building trust and fearlessness in children to confide, advise them what touches are acceptable and what are not and look for changes in behaviour of children. They should be gently told the dos and donts.Vigilance is the key word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely is the key word ... vigilance

      Delete
  5. I have two kids and every incident I read about fills me with dread....We live in shameful times!

    P.S I have published both your comments on my blog....Sorry , a little held up with a lot of things...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very worrisome bit such animals are every where and must be shamed. The stomach churns when one reads of these horrors, Sujatha

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is one shameful thing among all others going wrong in this world. Humans can stoop so low. I shudder at the very thought of little children victimized by grown up perverts.

    I only hope, as parents, we create as much awareness in them as possible about a bad touch, and let them know that there is no shame in talking about it. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know....educating our kids is so important

      Delete
  8. You have unraveled a spectre that is unfortunately lurking everywhere. Your closing words are the only thing that escape my lips too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi your blog is not linked to your name/profile . It would be nice if it was. Easier to go to your blog from name . If you don't mind

      Delete
  9. A powerful write! Rings so true and can feel your anguish and wrath.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is my first time here. As a counsellor, I've worked with victims of child sexual abuse. Hearing some of their stories just baffles me. "Baffles" is a light word - I'm not sure a word exists in the dictionary to describe the excruciating pain I feel for the poor child.

    I don't care about statistics. I've worked with over 60 victims of child sexual abuse, and yes - almost 50 of them admitted to being molested or raped by someone they knew. That number is scary!

    It makes you wonder: who do you trust? No one is beyond suspicion. It can be your husband, your father, your brother - it can be just anybody. Now, that is a scary thought. It really freaks me out!

    Like you, I wonder what in the world is wrong with the perpetrators! They've got to be sick in the head to commit such an act.

    Every time I read in the newspaper about some molestation, some abuse, it just makes my blood boil. I'm not a mother, but I find myself already fearing for the safety of my unborn child.
    Will this world ever become a good place again?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt it will. The world will not be a good place again. Not being able to trust anyone is very scary indeed.

      Delete
  11. Years ago when our society was not open about child abuse, I watched a serial, inspired from real life. A father, some rich business abused his daughter. It's a landmark Supreme court case. Can't recall it right now. I was unable to react. I was so confused. How can anyone does this to a child? This is the worst kind of crime. I have read that even in maximum security prisons where the worst criminals are sent, child molesters are treated with disdain. Such is the severity of this crime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I didn't know that...the supreme court case and the prisons...
      It is disdainful for sure

      Delete
  12. Oh this is so true! No one can be trusted. Not a single person. And it is scary, sad, and shameful that instead we have to teach the child to be expressive enough or fearless enough or confident enough as you mentioned. We do have failed these angels!

    ReplyDelete
  13. That is one of the problems - the wife vehemently defending their husband.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know the feeling myself, had horrid time in school all those countless nights i waited outside making sure all were asleep before i went in .. I had no one to talk to .. thankfully when i came to college i made good friends and they helped me get out of that self pity , or the oh its probably me mentality..

    but i can never forget the school days .. the bullying ..

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm....the memories can linger on ...sad to hear about your experience

      Delete