Friday, March 2, 2007

Child Sexual Abuse Happens Because We As a Society Allow It

“Orkut” which is so maligned for corrupting kids, also has a plus side to it, one of them being the “Elaan-Combat ChildSexualAbuse” community. This community is concerned with sexual abuse of children, and one thing I learnt there that little boys are as prone to abuse as little girls.

A woman I know very closely, was sexually abused for a period of two to three years; she is still not clear about the age, possibly because there is a need within her to hide the facts even from herself. It went on sometimes sporadically and other times often, but enough to for the scars not to heal till today. Actually one doesn’t know which scar stayed longer, the abuse, or the certainty that she may never be believed even if she told her parents about it.

She got away lucky, maybe there is a God watching over her, but though the scars still fester, she has not emerged broken. The life she leads is normal, and reasonably nice. But there were many a strange and wrong choices because of that and yes there were lost years trying to find trust with other people. In spite of it all, she now middle aged, copes reasonably well with it. The scars don’t show, and apart from being obsessively protective with her daughter, there are no outer manifestations. .

The woman is often asked by those who know, “Why did you not tell?” She still has no answer for that. From what I have understood, there were two reasons. One, the man in question told her that everyone would think of her as a bad girl, second, her parents would beat her up if they found out. She says, at that time, and perhaps even till today, both rang true. Think of her as a small 10 maybe 12 year old, very confused about herself, her sexuality, her intelligence, and her goodness. She did not want be the “bad girl”, nor get beaten by her parents. So she kept shut and got abused. This man, she says, was at her house all the time, he was a “family friend,” an assumed brother. He was there at her dinner table, in her bedroom shared with siblings, at movies…and for some reason he was liked. And she had a strong feeling that she was not. So it is better to be quiet and abused.

There were repercussions, all of which she has eventually got over. Bad grades in school, and low esteem for a very long time, and this desperate need for approval. But perhaps the same God, who managed to keep her sane, took care of her this time, and she has come out pretty all right in the long run.

But there are many who have not. Boys abused by fathers, uncles, teachers, older kids in hostels. Girls abused by family, and the same group of guys who really deserve to be burnt at the stake. And then there are child prostitutes, beaten till they submit, and passed from hand to hand, till one day they die. Boys and girls are sold on the streets everyday, their rapists, and abusers have protection, but they are left without having the capacity and the will to fend for themselves. And yes serial killers who have been caught after abusing and then killing children are truly just one of many thousands who escape punishment.

I asked this woman, what would does she want to do if she came face to face with her abuser. “I want to slam him against the wall, and hit him till he dies,” came her clear answer. But she will not do it, because she still does not want it known. But we have to do something about it.

Child sexual abuse would not go on, if it was not covertly supported by society. We encourage it by turning a blind eye, and pinning it on the uncontrolled “urges of men”. There is only word suitable word for that. “crap!”

We encourage it by not protecting our children enough, and by not arming them with knowledge and self belief. We encourage it because we don’t value our children; they are but cannon fodder crushed by the depraved society.

We allow it because we don’t value ourselves as human beings enough, if we did, we’d take care of ever individual child, rich, poor, quiet, scared, boy or girl.

We allow it because we don’t care for the individual child…who is but a dot on this abusive, unkind landscape of ours.

And we cannot allow it anymore.


anna-rchy said...

Wow Shyama there is little that i can say here that you haven't said already.. excellent post, i can feel the passion and the anger all the way from here. It would be fantastic if we unite and create a mass awareness/intervention team and work together against this horror against humanity.

Arun said...

From what I've read and heard, no child molester actually feels any guilt or shame. What they feel is fear of being found out, mingled with a sense of outrage at being victimized for a perfectly normal kind of desire.

I have watched an Oprah show where such a worthy gave a long and detailed discourse in support of such desires. He said that it is the so-called normal ones who have not properly understood the dynamics of humankind's reproductive system, and the drives that fuel it....

rohit said...

CSA is a growing menace actually it would be wrong to call it "growing" it was always ther after years of self denial its finally coming out in the open

Subir said...

Well written! Am glad your friend bought it out into the open.Children should be warned of the possibilities from a very young age. They should be encouraged to report it immediately, and on getting the report, action should be taken by the parent immediately.

Uma said...

Nice piece Shyama.

"Enabling" is the primary fuel for irresponsible behavior, small or big. Enablers exist at every level .. individuals, small groups of people who look the other way, and society as a whole who refuse to acknowledge the problems because its inconvenient. "It didn't happen to me", or "live and let live", "move on", beating the messenger for the inconvenient message, "they are my friends", innumerable excuses are made to support behavior that is less than healthy.

Untill people realize the need for collective action and holding people accountable for actions, problems of irresponsible behavior cannot be solved.

Little Dandelion said...

thank you Shyama. for doing your bit. Kudos!