HerStory

Munh Mein Raam

Diwali, the festival of lights, signifies the victory of the good over evil. This Diwali, let's pledge to kill the 'Ravan' within us. It's time we learn to identify the good from the make believe. As the saying goes...munh mein raam, bagal mein churi...life too is quite similar. Keeping religious fasts to please Sai Baba or naming one's home Ramayan is aimed to mislead others and gain sympathy besides trying to conceal the Ravan within. May the light of courage and goodness prevail.



My Molester Still 'Calls' Me!

A crime as grave and inconceivable as child abuse, particularly committed by someone in the family, can never go unnoticed by other family members. When my father's brother, my uncle, molested me for years as a child, no one in the family including my parents, grandparents and aunt object to it or did anything to stop it. In retrospect, my behaviour, my fear of staying in the house and the history of such behaviour exhibited by my uncle was more than evident for anyone and everyone to stop it. Despite all this, I was put into the situation day after day, year after year.

The family's knowledge of the heinous act and support by silence to protect the 'uncle' in order to maintain their fake reputation in the society, encouraged him to go on then. Now after 25 years of keeping quiet, when I finally managed to speak out the truth, the family's continued support by harbouring him has given him enough courage that every few days he calls me to threaten me; to silence me and force me to return to the 'family house'. The creepy molester, unabashedly and fearlessly, calls from his own mobile phone and other times from the phone of local political group office where he works.

I am done with staying silent and my 'uncle' cannot hide behind the family anymore. I have sworn to make public every minute detail of his and every such 'uncle's' acts and an equally guilty 'family's' involvement here on this and every public forum so other young girls and women facing abuse get the strength to speak out!



'Playing Forgiving Pitaji'

After almost two years of constant harassment at the hands of my hypocritical and criminal-minded father, this is the message he sent to me to show the world that he is a victim and not me when I told him that his own brother molested me for years as a child.
The message says that he has forgiven me and a fictitious partner and that now it's time for him to 'go' as in die...an emotional blackmail ploy everyone in that incestuous 'family' has been employing since time immemorial. This was predictable as I have gone public about my abuse.

Since the day I 'told him' about the abuse that traumatised me as a child and affected me in unimaginable ways as an adult and that I want to move on with my life, he and my entire 'family' has only shamed me linking me with 'imaginary partners' to get me back into the brothel the family 'showcases' as a home. Till date, he has left no stone unturned to drag my colleagues and employers by making wild false allegations adversely affecting their reputation and professional image.

The Woman Survivor is a platform for all such women who are victims of abusive circumstances, who have survived and want to move out into the world to live without the trauma of an incestuous past. There are numerous such families who point fingers at the woman if she speaks about her abuse and try to give the situation all sorts of colours under the guise of fatherly and motherly concerns to maintain their 'all-so-fake' reputation in society.

I have pledged my life into supporting such victims who have experienced similar trauma as mine and help them to rehabilitate and integrate back into the society, but independent and stronger!



'The more you hide, the more they try to shame you'

Today, as I write, I see life coming a full circle. It has been a little over a year since I left 'home' and those who masqueraded as 'family'. It wasn't just the best decision of my life...it was the 'only' decision I took in my entire life. There was no other way to leave the trauma, the fear, the oppression and the filth behind. Yes, the oppression and the filth that traumatised me through my infancy, childhood, teenage, adolescence and adulthood. The abusive family I was a part of sheltered the perpetrators who molested me through my childhood. There were equations within the family, incestuous equations they buried under 'izzat' also concealed within a dramatically mythological and far-from-true nomenclature 'Ramayan' the incestuous lot named their 'home'.

In public view, it was a normal family with "well-educated" men and women having "respectable" jobs to show off. But, in reality, it was a morbid space from where I thought it was impossible to come out. I'd have to fight my family to do that.

I have been invited by DraftCraft's 'The Woman Survivor' campaign to share my story and tell the world how I escaped from the horror story they chose to shield together as a "family", leave behind a morbid past that I suffered in solitude, from a nightmare that didn't end for a full 31 years.... it was never a family in the first place. It was my darkest period and the only way to get out was to live a life of decency and one without fear. I had to be just by myself. But then, my 'family' would never let me.

So, in the year gone by, the masks 'family' wore started to fall apart one by one. The constant harassment in the guise of "worry", "marriage" and "concern" made me realise how foolish I was all my life. When I told my parents about the abuse I went through as a child at the hands of my uncle and others and how badly this trauma affected me, all they told me was "khud pe gandh kyon uchal rahi ho" and that I would spoil all prospects of marriage by doing so. That reaction was a given considering that they had 'lived' through a fake marriage and all in the exact manner...by putting up a make-believe relationship before the world at large. Why, I had 'seen' my mother having sex with my uncles, one after the other, while my father would look the other way. Is that a crime? Or is it 'ghar ki baat'? So, it was inevitable for a 'brother', 'cousin', 'uncle' and 'parent' to do everything to drag me back into their hell. After all, their 'izzat' was at stake.

I have learnt that the more you hide, the more they try to shame you into submission, into silence. Families like these have no true honour, they use this to subjugate you. So I have decided to expose them. They continue to use 'details' of a past, I had shared as a daughter to seek solace, to blackmail me instead! I know I have to fight long and hard and am now ready to do so, till my last breath. Those who have a similar story remember: Such 'families' have more to lose than you could ever. And, they will go to any extent to protect that 'izzat'...after all, it's all they have: The mask of respectability. Stay strong...stay you!

     

'My Family IS My Biggest Enemy'

It took me all of 25 years to gather strength to be able to tell my father that I was abused as a child of 6 years ‘at home’ by ‘his’ brother, ‘my uncle’. I could only do it once I moved out of the family home, away from the perpetrator, the situation and the social/family obligations that had stopped me from speaking out. I picked up the phone and spilled it all to my father certain he would understand my reasons for the delay in telling the truth and respect my decision to move on with my life. When I felt that the worst had passed, I was in for a rude shock.

Instead of being shocked and distraught or asking for details of what had transpired, ‘my father’ told me to call him next morning as he was watching TV with the others… which would include his brother, my molester. I did not call back the next morning and he chose to dismiss the issue that had wreaked havoc in my life. It was as if I had never told him about it. A few days later when I called to speak about it again, he brusquely shot back, “Aisa kuch hua hi nahi hai (it never happened)… this is in your mind… abhi tak so rahi thi kya (were you sleeping all these years)??”

Yes, my father actually said that.