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If a girl cannot even open up about being abused to her family, what is the point? Does simply living under the same roof make up a family?
Some time back, I read about a schoolgirl from the Coimbatore district who committed suicide because of sexual abuse from her teacher. Even though she reported that to the school management the answer she got from the school principal has shocked me to the core.
She wrote a suicide note about who she wants to punish, the wordings she used show the amount of suffering the girl has undergone in those few days. The parents doesn’t know about this issue until later, she didn’t confide in her parents, the school management forbade her not to and she had gone through it all alone.
Now after all the protest from the family members and the social groups the police has taken action and arrested the teacher and the school principal, I hope they get what they deserve.
This is one case which we came to know, but there are so many happened and still happening all over the country. The abuse in schools, colleges, and the workplace is a daily ongoing thing. There is no protection for women anywhere in our country, and the management of these institutions is only keen on protecting their reputation not on helping the student who suffered. If anyone reported the abuse by the teacher or a colleague to the college management, the first thing they think is how to dismiss it. They try to blame the girl for her choice of dresses or being friendly with the opposite gender or being alone with guys or so and so. I don’t know how long this is going to happen until we find out the real problem. Though the girl produces the proof of abuse happened still the institution or the parents try to undermine it or try to make a compromise.
This issue threw light on one more important topic, she didn’t confide or tell her parents about the abuse. Even if the school forbid it, she could have gone to her parents but she didn’t…why? The relationship between parents and children in our society is a long-distance one even though most of them will live under the same roof for their whole life.
This society has created a norm that parents are god-like people. That fathers are like god, we should respect him, keep a distance and have a certain fear towards him. They can’t confide in them without the fear of being judged or being punished. For women, it’s too difficult. The stereotype that “a family’s honour resides on the behaviour of the girl child of the family” makes it more difficult for girls to tell their parents about their problems.
Even when a guy stalks her on social media she is frightened to tell her parents about it because she fears that her parents would only blame her and take the mobile phone or computer from her. The same happens when in reporting the abuse too, the family still does not care about the suffering the child has undergone but fears for the honour or disrespect that comes if they report it to the authorities. This gives the abuser more confidence that he can do anything.
The culture that till a girl is married, her honour should be protected has paved the way for all these abuses. When this ‘me too’ issue came out, many people were asking why didn’t they report sooner. I mean how would she, society is too eager to judge her and she craves the little freedom that she gets by going to school, college, or office. She is in constant fear that a little incident would take that away from her. With all these obstacles, she wants to learn and achieve something but privileged males take advantage of it and make it a living hell for them.
When she reports something like this, the parents would tell all this is because you went to school so from now onwards no school. This is happening in our society and this is the culture that we have developed over the years.
If a girl cannot confide in her parents, if her parents cannot support her and still consider that their family honour is more important, what’s the point of this culture that we have developed? This is the worst culture that ever to have existed.
I finish with his quote, “Staying under the same roof is not family, if you cannot confide with each other cannot share your fears with your blood bond, what is the use of family? If a child cannot trust her family members with her story of harassment, what is the family system we have?
Image Source: Still from the movie Namesake
A Research Scholar, ardent book lover, and amateur writer who wants to write about the injustice in society in the name of religion and tradition and wants to break all the stereotypes. read more...
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