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Your age, clothes, or what you’re doing doesn’t matter – you don’t ask for it, and nothing ‘allows’ rapists to rape! The perpetrator is responsible every time.
Trigger Warning: This has graphic descriptions of sexual assault and child sexual abuse, and may be triggering for a survivor.
Today while surfing, an ad popped up, and my entire life drifted in front of my eyes. It was an image, yes, simply an image. Its was an exhibition of clothes worn by rape victims of all ages, from a 3 months old girl to a 75 years old lady who had worn a white Peshawari suit. I recalled all the incidents in my life when I was sexually harassed, and damaged my esteem as a girl.
It didn’t matter what age I was; I was also a victim of sexual abuse, even if my hymen wasn’t broken forcefully!
I wasn’t born in the times of self-confident parents. My parents always took their decisions by asking others. In this scenario I never opened my mouth to divulge the truth to them.
I suddenly remembered that my mom asked me to buy DMS milk and I had got to get it. In those days when I was just 7 or 8, we used to stand for hours to buy that subsidised milk.
That day my mother realised that she had to go to pick my brother from play school, and she asked me to buy the milk and come back home. I was happy that she had trusted me for my first shopping expedition. But the girl who was going back home dropped the milk that was torn from my hands because someone dragged me by my left arm under the stairs in the scorching summer afternoon. I dropped the milk and ran, as that boy was pulling my skirt down and I didn’t let him.
I saved myself. Yet I lost the ‘good girl’s tag’ in front of my mother; I couldn’t tell her what had happened, and she didn’t trust me with any other grocery shopping in a hurry after that.
I was in grade 11th and coming back from tuition as I heard someone making a cooing sound. I didn’t understand what was it, until my eyes encountered a man with an open zip, dragging it up and down twice and an erected weenie-willie-plonker-the only sign of ‘manhood’ he had. He clearly couldn’t prevent himself from exploiting a small school going girl, by summoning her to touch that vile thing.
The only thing that day I could think of was to run. I saved myself again.
Then I was in college. That day I was travelling by bus, wearing a salwar suit, full sleeved, high neck; I don’t remember that attire as an invitation to any pervert. But I forgot that I had to travel by making my way through a lot of people with penises. I was sitting and was catnapping in the bus until I felt something on my chest. I let out a shout in shock, and that man ran and de-boarded the bus at the next stop.
Even now I can never doze off in any public transport at any time of the day, no matter how tired I am, even coming back from work.
And these are not all. There are many more events I can recall, when I kept my mouth shut, until one day I broke the silence.
That day I was wearing a short dress. I was 25, and coming back from a party of a friend. A man approached me and commented – garam laag che…. (I’m feeling hot). I really responded for the first time in my life, and gave him a dressing down after which that man ran off.
I may be lucky to have encountered a man who ran off, but I read every now and then that such gutsy women face a lot of violence and are often raped.
All this doesn’t make sense to me just like that image I saw today on the internet. It is not age, clothes, colour, which allows rapists to rape! It is the pervert himself.
First published here.
Image source: a still from the short film That Day After Everyday
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A passionate scribbler and wishful bread earner. A voracious reader and loves to connect readers
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