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I Live With The Guilt Of Having Sexually Abused Someone As A Child

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Let me tell you a story, and then you have to tell me who’s guilty and who’s not.

There was a girl, around 11-12 years of age, reaching puberty. She didn’t know what was happening to her body. She liked touching herself and exploring her body but she couldn’t understand any of it. I think most of you have had this experience while reaching puberty.  She would ask for forgiveness from God for whatever she was doing and would promise that it won’t happen again, but it happened again and again because it is a very normal thing. But no one told her that.

The girl lived with her family, and one of her cousins, around five or six years old, was also staying at their house. The siblings slept in the same room, and when he would go to sleep, the girl would put his hand inside her t-shirt, on her body. It happened a few times.

This is so messed up, right? This is sexual abuse. The story isn’t over yet.

She grew up to be a person who fights for equality and against injustice. A strong, independent woman fighting against patriarchy, which has normalized rape. What she forgot about was her own acts of sexual harassment. For many years she didn’t think of what she did with her cousin, because it wasn’t as significant.  She was 19 when she realized it. She was 19 when she realized that what she did was wrong. It was sexual harassment. She realised the negative effect it can have on someone’s life. And with that, she also realized that she didn’t know what she was doing is wrong. She was ashamed of it, felt guilty. But could she go back and correct anything? No.

The girl I am talking about is me. I lived in the guilt, felt ashamed. I wondered how I could have done something like this. How could I have not known? How can I tell my cousin that I didn’t know? How do you justify something by saying “I didn’t know”?

Recently, I read about a 12-year-old girl who had been sexually abused by her father since she was five. But she didn’t know it until she was taught about the good touch and bad touch in school. That’s when she told the teachers, and her father got caught.

It is our responsibility to educate these children about good and bad, right and wrong. To give them the tools to decide for themselves, so they can save themselves from abusers and also from becoming those abusers. At times evil comes out of ignorance, and it is important for us to educate everyone around us about good touch-bad touch, consent, sex – and the fact that there is nothing wrong with sex.

I didn’t know what was happening to me. I just reached puberty, no one told me about it. I didn’t know how to make sense of what my body was going through. How do you expect an 11-year-old to know and understand all this by themselves? Till the age of 18, I didn’t know if you could get pregnant by swallowing. Men still don’t know what a clitoris is (AIB proved that). It is important to talk about these things so that children can ask questions.

Guilty or not, you can decide for yourself. I am not a writer. I don’t enjoy writing. But I thought it is my responsibility to share, so we can learn from our mistakes. Sex education is important.

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 dial1098@childlineindia.org.in. You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.

You must be to comment.
  1. anusha b

    Hi…it is good to know that ypu have turned out to be such a good human being. Please know that what you did as a child is not abuse. You yourself was a child who was just curious about yourself. Please see a counsellor or pshycologist who can guide you to overcome this guilt. Dont let your life get consumed by self pity, its not woth it. Do well in you future

  2. Joe Lawson

    If you didn’t know it was wrong then it wasn’t your fault. This was posted almost a year ago so I don’t know if you’ll ever see this but it was just a shitty situation. No one taught you what was happening, you weren’t taught what the boundaries were and you were just a kid. Real sexual abusers know exactly what they’re doing is wrong as they do it anyway. Most don’t feel any remorse. No one can blame you for what happened, you had no idea what you were doing. As a victim myself I can tell you that you’re a good person and you’ve created much more good in the world than bad. If you ever feel guilty and want someone to talk to, just let me know. You didn’t mean to hurt anyone, therefore you’re not a bad person.

    1. noone1

      Hi! I would really like to talk to you if you have time; I’m not the same person from the post but please.

  3. Sachin Samtani

    I honestly don’t know what to feel either…

    I am a male, 14, and I sexually assaulted my maid by trying to touch her, with her clothes on, only the buttocks. I would like to admit that I had tried to pull her pants whilst in her sleep, luckily it didn’t even go down. I even tried to look at her in the shower one time and a couple of times in her sleep, I would often pull my penis out and do nothing. One time I tried to put it in her drying clothes but it was only 2 things and I didn’t do that after. I did it when I hit puberty and I didn’t know what was going on. I was 13 and I didn’t know what masterbating was till a few months later. I remembered it 11 months later while binge watching the series ‘sex education’. I got up the next morning in fear and I read all about what i did. It was sexual assault of the fifth degree. I was immediately disgusted and I couldn’t breathe for days till I met a therapist. I met her 2 days after I read what it was. Till then I was just in panic, in shock. For all that time, my maid was fine, in fact she didn’t know what was going on cause she was sleeping. I spoke to my therapist and she said forget it, you didn’t know what was happening. For all this time, I thought rape was hitting a woman. I thought it was also touching a woman in those places but as I watched porn, women portrayed something else. I didn’t know that molest was something that people did, I didn’t even know what it was. What should I do. The maid doesn’t know about it and she doesn’t care but now I do. I care a lot but should I feel so guilty that it comes to Suicide or should I just forget?

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