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Neena Gupta Hid Childhood Sexual Assault From Her Mother “Because I Felt I Had No Choice!”

Neena Gupta shares her terrifying childhood experiences of being molested - like most assault survivors who often go to great measures to minimise these incidents by remaining silent, she was scared to tell her parents.

Neena Gupta shares her terrifying childhood experiences of being molested – like most assault survivors who often go to great measures to minimise these incidents by remaining silent, she was scared to tell her parents. 

Trigger warning: This deals with child sexual abuse and may be triggering for survivors.

Recently veteran actress Neena Gupta in her memoir Sach Kahun Toh detailed multiple incidents of being assaulted in her childhood. She also describes how she was terrified to tell her mother about these traumatic incidents.

She recounts one such incident while meeting an optician for an eye infection. Her brother was requested to wait in the waiting area while she was inside. “The doctor started with examining my eye and then went down to check out other areas that were unconnected with my eye. I was scared stiff while it was happening and felt disgusted all the way home. I sat in a corner in the house and cried my eyes out when nobody was looking,” she shares.

In another incident, a tailor inappropriately touched her while getting her measurements. Despite these encounters, she had to remain silent. “Because I felt like I had no choice. If I told my mother that I didn’t want to go to them, she would ask me why, and I would have to tell her.”

Most women can relate to these incidents – that actor Neena Gupta was no different than any women who are subjected to several horrors of assault every day.

Unspoken agony of being abused and terrified of victim shaming

Sexual assault is one of the most terrible experiences and can happen regardless of the victim’s age, gender, religion, etc. It is a direct violation of who we are. It can make victims feel helpless, hopeless, powerless, and, most importantly, ashamed.

Most assault survivors are scared to inform their parents about the assault, and they often go to great measures to minimise these incidents by remaining silent.

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It’s a sad and terrifying reality that women have to lay low and remain silent as the society is ready with the numerous tags of blaming women, which can include everything from gossip, familial disownment, and ostracism. And there is always a fear of their freedoms, if any, being taken away.

The shame of being a sexual assault survivor: no it isn’t your fault!

Survivors find the process of seeking justice, assistance, or protection extremely traumatic and often dangerous. Many of the survivors will never report it; either because of the fear of stigma, or because cases of sexual assault cannot be easily proven, or because their mothers blamed them for ‘provoking’ a relative, or because their boyfriends were angry at them for putting themselves in a ‘bad situation’.

It’s important speak up and voice out as there are several women with similar experience of assault. It is extremely unfortunate that our culture fosters so many covert and overt victim-blaming myths that survivors have to bear it. The shame over your assault lies solely at the feet of the perpetrators. Let those monsters pick it up. Let them place it across their shoulders. Let the weight burden them and them alone.

We need to address such incidents as assault survivors deal with this trauma every single day. They are not victims. They are survivors. Like Neena Gupta is too, and speaking up about it has given her the power her assaulters have attempted to take away.

Image source: Neena Gupta / Instagram

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About the Author

Prathiksha B U

Prathiksha BU has just completed her post-graduation in Journalism and Mass communication. She is an ardent follower of Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath. She believes that beauty is found in the most mundane things. read more...

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