Trigger Warning: Rape
I was eight when this incident happened to me. It shook me forever, and I was consumed by hatred for myself and my own body. Living in a joint family, I had been utterly innocent before this, always preserved, protected, and surrounded by my siblings.
I was bad at cricket and never liked that game. Neither playing it, nor watching it. This isolated me from all of my cousins in a different way. I was always made fun of; I was treated like I wasn’t a boy because I couldn’t play cricket. I used to stay behind and play mostly with my sister.
One fine day, I was playing alone, on my balcony. All of a sudden my elder cousin came in and asked me to come and play carrom in his room. He was a 15-year-old guy with a large build – the strongest among all of us. I said yes, and he took me to his room. As we entered he shut the doors and locked them. Furthermore, he went around locking the windows as I was arranging the board.
Then he said that we would play a new game – for every time that he scores, I would have to do something he says. I was too small to fully sense the danger in the situation. After scoring the first time, he asked me to switch off the fans and then proceeded to take off his shirt and pants. I was awkward all over. After scoring for about six times, he asked me to fellate him to which I said, “Ye ganda smell karta hey. Main nahi karunga (This smells bad. I won’t do it).”
This provoked him and he became violent. He grabbed my neck and forced me to fellate him. I cried in pain and I started shouting, for which I was slapped very hard. He said, “Agar rona band nahi kiya to aur do chaar lagaunga (If you don’t stop crying I’ll slap you a few more times).” I was sobbing till the time he picked me up and threw me onto the bed, tearing my shirt and saying, “Mummy ko bataya to itna marunga ki yaad rakhega (If you tell mom I’ll beat you up so hard you won’t forget).”
He forced me to fellate him again and kept on abusing me physically. He then sodomised me, and I could feel the immense pain in my back while he kept on doing it. He continued even when I started bleeding. I subsequently passed out, until he woke me up by slapping me. I was still bleeding and was unable to walk properly.
That could have been the most horrific incident of my life – but it continued for the next two years till he moved out and started living elsewhere. This shook me forever and I hated myself for it, till I realised that it was not my fault. Though I am 24 now, happy in my own space, I still fear him. I tend not to go for family functions, and I avoid making contact with him even when I do. The only thing that comes to my mind is, what was my fault in this, for which I had to be ‘punished’ through rape?
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.