A Survivor Of Child Sexual Abuse Shares How Important It Is For Parents To Talk About Sex

Posted on September 9, 2016 in Child Sexual Abuse, My Story

By Aditi Prabhu

In India, parents seldom have the ‘sex talk’ and most importantly they do not talk to their children about the ‘wrong’ and ‘right’ touch. Yes, I am referring to the rampant child sexual abuse prevalent in India. We tend to ignore such incidents and with the alarming rise in the sexual abuse amongst children in India, it is devastating. I am a victim of child sexual abuse. It scarred me for life, it turned me into a shy child who was given a reality check at the tender age of 12. I was only 12.

Being the only child of a single mother, I was already in a vulnerable position. We were visiting a family friend who lived with his wife and a 5-year-old child. At first, he kept urging me to sit on his lap but I was not comfortable. After a while, he took me out for ice-cream on his bike and asked me to hold on to him tightly. I didn’t really feel good about anything and didn’t say anything to my mother as she was busy reminiscing the old days.  My mother and I were in the guest room, while the family was in the next room. In the middle of the night, I felt someone’s hand on my stomach. I froze. Slowly the hand moved upwards and I instantly felt blood gushing through my face, I was petrified. I couldn’t utter a word. It was him. He went on to touch me for another 10 minutes and I couldn’t move because he held on to me. The worst part was, my mother was right next to me and I still couldn’t reach out. I finally pushed him away and woke my mother and the man rushed out of the room.  I couldn’t sleep. I was so scared.

The next morning, I told my mother everything that happened and she just hugged me and cried silently. We immediately left the house, without saying another word and never talked about the incident ever again.

I am sure many children across India, go through similar incidents and are unable to confide in anyone because of the taboo attached to talking about sex that is imperative.

Not everyone is comfortable with discussing sex and it is alarming because our youth resorts to the information available online and pornography to learn about sex. In schools, the chapter on sexual reproduction and reproductive organs is hurriedly rushed through or skipped altogether. Sex education is extremely important and it’s high time that people do not shy away from such discussions.

I am 20 now. My mother and I are extremely close and have open discussions about everything under the sun. But not everyone is fortunate to have someone to talk and discuss such issues. I hope things change, I wish parents talk to their children more often, about real issues and not just scoring well in exams, or competing with Sharmaji’s son or daughter.

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If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at [email protected] You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.