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Assaulted By A Family Friend When Unconscious, A Young Woman Speaks Out

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I woke up with my socks on. Something was wrong. He was asleep beside me. One look at his face and a memory of him holding his cell phone flashed through my brain. What happened last night? I had no clue. I recoil physically and mentally from the flashes. I have no idea when we ended up here. All I could remember was that we were bowling and I was winning. He had clicked a few pictures of mine there as well.

So here’s a little background about this guy: He is a family friend. We were introduced to each other by our parents. His mum and my mum are childhood buddies. He introduced me to his friends and flatmate. He showed some interest, and we were chatting and dating for the past one month. I had never felt unsafe in his company.

Then why do I have pain down there? I surfed through the gallery of his cell phone which was left on charging by the bedside. I went through 21 videos and endless pictures of the act. I never expected such a thing from this guy. I deleted all of them. I was crying and trying hard to remember anything about last night.

He was peacefully asleep, and I was crying while searching for my clothes. I couldn’t locate my undies. I got off the bed and fell on the floor. I had excruciating pain in my thighs. He got up because of the noise and asked me where I was headed to, “I cannot locate my undies, you have any idea what happened last night?” I replied.

“Yeah your undies are here on the floor to your right, and the food is in the refrigerator, go have something, you passed out last night’,’ was his reply. “And what about those videos and pictures of me?” I asked. “Oh that’s for the memory of an awesome night’,’ he replied. I was shocked with this response and this time I raised my voice, “How dare you click those without my consent? I don’t even remember a thing about last night.”

He got up and checked his cellphone, “I have deleted them” I said. “Why? How dare you touch my phone?” he shouted. I crawled out of that room. I could see many blood stains on the floor. I managed to get up with the help of a piece of furniture in the hall. I asked him to drop me home as I couldn’t walk. He started shouting at me.

I felt more than just horrible. He was always nice to everyone. Nobody will ever believe this incident. I left his flat, started walking on the road. I was in pain and was crying. He called me to check on me, but I was just lost. I walked for another 20 mins. I was wet down there. I knew that I was bleeding.

He left me all bruised down there. I took an auto and came home.

My flatmate’s mother opened the door; she knew I was with him last night. He came home last night, played with our pet, had a word with Aunty, and we had a sip of red wine. We then left for bowling. I just had one drink at the club and was sane enough to finish the game and walk out of the club. I just have no memory post that.

I have no idea how I ended up on his bed. Curled up into a ball in one corner of my bed, I cried.

I vomited for two days. I was traumatised and in pain.

Aunty took me to a clinic nearby for an injection to stop the vomiting. She thought this had something to do with the hangover. And I called him, this time, I yelled at him. He was avoiding my calls for the past two days but this time, my concern was the bleeding.

He joined me for the consultation with the gynaecologist, and she told him about the bruise and trauma. I told her he is not my husband, and I am concerned about my health. He sat there listening to us and even saw my reports. She discussed the bruises which caused the bleeding and gave me an ointment.

We stayed in touch post that, he had the MMS.

I left Pune in the next 15 days. I am not going back and have decided to stay away from such perverts. He wanted me to stay back. He even has a girlfriend; she has no idea about this side of him. I was his rebound, and that act has caused me horrendous physical, emotional trauma.

I am home preparing for my MBA entrance and still suffer from insomnia, nightmares and panic attacks. I cannot share this with my family cause they are not the types who will support me. His parents are orthodox, and they will never believe me. He is on Tinder, dating girls and might be doing this to others. I feel helpless and sometimes I texted him to stop doing this to anyone else. I have no idea how to react to this. I really want such a pervert to be caught and sacked by society once.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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