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July 15, 2010 / Shalini Ambastha

The Dual Life

She was ten and had not been taught about the good and the bad touch yet; but she sensed that something was wrong when dad walked into her room that night. He said it was alright as he held her close to him but her father had never given her warm hugs before. She felt uncomfortable and tried to wriggle her tiny frame out of his grasp. He scolded her for being such nuisance and asked her to do as he said. She had always been scared of her father so she lay there quietly as he went about his little game. As he walked out, he threatened her not to tell mummy about this. She bit into the pillow and let out a muffled cry.

She started dreading the nights and hated her mother for not being able to protect her. The mother who was busy with a high flying political career never had enough time for her. The girl herself was a brilliant student and this sudden and brutal blow of fate did not come with a study leave. Threatened by her father that her grades should not fall, she was expected to study and top her exams in the morning and become his whore during the night. It was as if she was living a dual life; a quiet, obedient child during the day that was raped and crushed every night. She was the neighbours’ envy, but every night she prayed that no child should have a fate like hers.

She was strong enough to put those traumatic years behind her and shape her life as per her will. When she received the university gold medal and had job offers from leading firms, her dad hugged her saying she was his son and he was so proud of her. While one part of her wanted to shove him off and just run away, the other part realised that he was old and weak now and that it was too late for her to bring up ghosts of the past.

Torn between the two parts and unable to submit to one, she continued living as the dutiful daughter, even though her heart cringed in hatred every time she saw her father. She was the boss whom people looked up to, the loving wifey and the caring mum. To an observer, their family was just perfect with all the ingredients for love and happiness in perfect blend. Β Yet, her husband fails to understand why she never lets the kids stay with Grandpa.

(Note: This post is inspired by a report on child sexual abuse that I came across some time back. Statistics by WHO state that 1 in 10 children is sexually abused. While 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member, only 10% are victimised by a complete stranger.

Over 30% victims never disclose the experience to anyone and continue to let the demons torment them.)

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11 Comments

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  1. Amit Kumar Singh / Jul 16 2010 5:34 am

    Nice…..beautifully written!!!!
    waiting for ur next blog….

    • Shalini Ambastha / Jul 19 2010 5:35 am

      Thanks Anit! I do hope to write more often than this πŸ™‚

  2. Anit Kumar Singh / Jul 16 2010 5:38 am

    above comment is by Anit Kumar Singh n not by Amit………sorry for that!!!!

  3. Harsh Vardhan / Jul 17 2010 1:08 pm

    OMG that was so serious – touching but serious. I was hoping you’d cheer me up after the last DWL post.

    That said, child abuse is a very sensitive issue. I have yet to come to terms to living in a world where evil of this kind exists. Every time I read such a story, I am reminded of a prisoner’s account from Jeffrey Archer’s “A Prison Diary”, who suffered sex abuse as a child by many of the high flying politicians and their accomplice.

    • Shalini Ambastha / Jul 19 2010 5:37 am

      Indeed it was very serious Harsh, almost dark at times bit I somehow had to write about this.

      Hope to come up with something delightful very soon πŸ™‚

  4. Bharat / Jul 18 2010 10:26 pm

    Hey, good to see u writing again. very well written thoughts truly allowing one to picturise the scenario as if it were happening right in front of the eyes.

    While your post specifically talks of child abuse, am sure you would agree, sexual abuse in any form is abhorring. From time to time, we come to hear of sexual abuse against those who are weak and cannot protect themselves. When there is a war, the advancing armies unleash a spate of physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse against almost everyone they come across while the cities are over run and women folk are always among the prime targets. Tens of Thousands of women have been raped, killed and mutilated as if they were a object of fun for one time use in Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan and many other war torn nations. Women in these nations feared looking pretty and felt it was a curse to them. It is shameful that we call ourselves cultured and advanced when even today behind closed doors children are subjected to sexual abuse and pregnant women are abused physically. What’s even more appalling is that more than a stranger, it is the protector who takes advantage of his proximity to the victim. Where is one supposed to go when a Father or Brother or the Cop himself decides to unleash his insatiable hunger for sexual pleasure on those who seek protection from him.

    The only way I feel to bring about a change is to increase awareness on the topic by ensuring such incidents are brought to the notice of the general public (am sure, media does that well), making sex education compulsory in schools, handling of cases on a fast track court and ensuring harsh sentences are meted out. Mothers should be advised by paediatricians about suspicious behavior among family members towards the child and what kind of signals to look out for from the kids which indicate sexual abuse. School authorities too should take initiative and ensure that the children studying in their institution are safe and are provided with a healthy environment to learn and grow. Additionally, the IPC has been left unchanged for a number of years now and it should be made stringent to plug all loop holes so culprits like Rathore do not make a mockery of the word “Justice”. Accessibility to help should be made easier by coming up with help lines and engaging NGO’s to work on the grass root level.

    What do you have to say?

    • Shalini Ambastha / Jul 19 2010 5:49 am

      Hey Bharat! Thanks for stopping by and posting the comment. I agree to the points you’ve made above, just that I decided to choose this topic since I was particularly moved by it. The abuse of a child by his/her own protectors and the emotional and mental trauma that the victim has to go through; not knowing whom to trust and what to do……..sorry can’t write more on this, it’s kinda depressing.

      • Bharat / Jul 19 2010 10:17 am

        Nothing against your choice of topic dear, just that its only the tip of the ice berg. Fact that such things are happening all around us and our inability to bring a change is both frustrating and depressing.

  5. Bharat / Jul 18 2010 10:30 pm

    Oops, looks like i’ve ended up writing a blog in response to yours. πŸ™‚

  6. Kavita A / Jul 20 2010 7:34 am

    hey shalu.. i too wrote smthng on d same topic… but not in a shape to be posted.. smeday. Loved urs πŸ™‚ very nice story… n i love the way u write πŸ™‚ the flow is perfect… πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    love u shalu!!!

    • Shalini Ambastha / Jul 21 2010 1:05 pm

      Oye Daddu!! Guess what, I had been sitting on this post for more than a month thinking I was not treating it right and see the responses now πŸ™‚ . So the point is, post it sweetheart, we’d love to read it.

      I’m glad that you liked it, it’s only this appreciation that motivates me to write more…LOVE YOU DODO!! πŸ™‚

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