• The newspapers are now focusing on rape as though it is the national sport. Very heart-breaking…and just think of the crimes that go unreported, or worse still, being tolerated for fear of the consequences of bringing them out in the open. Nobody should have to put up with this. Yet, most sex crimes are committed by close family, according to statistics.

    It is so important for the parents or guardians to keep a close vigil on their children and look for any change in behavior rather than shrug it off as moods.

    It is scary to see where things are going, Rachna.

    • Your first line is so bang on Vidya! Newspapers are looking at it as some kind of opportunity. Rape cases are all over the newspapers!

  • You know Rachna, I am a CSA survivor and yes someone very close to me in my family did that to me. At that time nobody believed me so I know exactly the kind of feeling it makes you harbor for a long time. And yes it is very important for us as parents to not only keep an eye on them but also educate them about all that could happen.

    • Hugs PrivyTrifles! I knew of a girl at school who had undergone abuse at the hands of her maternal uncle, and she was told to keep quiet about it. How heartbreaking that is! First, we need to acknowledge it, accept it and stand firmly behind the child. Alas, we are far away from reaching that stage.

  • Totally Vidya, scary and dismaying.

    Reema You are right newspapers and television media is using the topic to get eyeballs. But, one way or another, if it builds pressure for change and makes us more aware, these cases must be highlighted. After all, stopping reporting will not make them go away :(.

    • I see your point now and I agree, it definitely builds pressure. But the situation is scary and disturbing.

  • Fab

    Kudos to you for bringing to light a topic like this! It is unimaginable even in our dreams that a child’s father could do such beastly acts, but it is happening, and all over the place. It’s not something we would like to think about, but we have to be aware and like you said, take immediate action. Thank you again for such an eye opening article.

    • Thank you Fab for your warm words. I just wish that more of us had the empathy to do the right thing.

  • Roshni

    So very right, Rachna! Most rapes are perpetrated by a family member, and how disgusting is it when the rest either deny it or try to cover it up?!! This is your child you are talking about!! Just amazing what people will do for family honor, right?!

    • True Roshni! And so sad that in our country the victim is the most tormented soul and the one ostracized or told to hush up :(.

  • newspaper reporting is both disturbing as well as a sign of growing intolerance… we know we cannot stop these heinous crimes by just reporting or not reporting them… mental status of an individual has to change..

    • True Supriya! Perhaps newspaper reporting is making us aware of how wide and deep the problem is. Perhaps, there is a segment which will not stop its daughters from reporting the crime. But, in the end, mindsets have to change at home. Women can be agents of change as well. First our mothers and women of our generation must stand up for our rights and those of our children.

      • exactly my thoughts rachna.. i am strong believer of bringing up of our sons and daughters in a dignified manner.. more so that they understand and value the importance of the opposite sex in their lives…

        • In complete solidarity with you Supriya!

  • Jas

    I agree. It is mostly the trusted people who do that. But sometimes reach a children do not even make out what is happening to them let alone talk about it. So I think we as parents need to keep an open eye all the time to see if the child is showing some behavioural symptoms.

    • Absolutely right, Jas! We can get the sense from the youngest of children if we are tuned in.

  • Bang on Rachna, My sister had to undergo the similar situation when we were kids. Being the eldest of the siblings, I raised my voice against it only to find my entire family standing against us. They wanted the matter to die down as it would affect the relationships between the two families. But we didn’t budge and reported the matter to the family of the person involved. We are three sisters and were very young at that time. but that incident gave us a lot of courage to stand for our dignity.

    Years later when we were discussing something of the sort with girls of our extended family, we were surprised that almost every girl had endured something of the sort but never let it slip through their lips.

    What would you call it – lack of trust!

    • Kudos to you and your sisters, Meenakshi! Really so proud of you. I just wish that every abused child finds a sibling, a friend or a parent to support them and to help shame and punish the perpetrator.

  • Jack

    Rachna,

    Unfortunately we ignore what child says, thus emboldening the culprit. What you suggest is absolutely the right way to deal with such ugly crimes.

    Take care

    • Thank you very much, Jack!

  • very right first we have to accept there is a problem to find a cure for the problem and what you say it right .. we have to be more carful all the time

    • Thank you Bikram. And that is only possible if we can let go of samaj, izzat etc. from our consciousness and think about right and wrong.

  • How often does anyone report a relative for abusing their child? Have heard so many instances of visiting relatives molesting the child and the parents prefered keeping mum about it. for the sake of “family honour”!

    • True Purba! Hardly ever. It is beyond ridiculous. I wonder when this mindset will change.

  • we have to be very careful and open in our communication ..

    sad we ignore things and later repent .. so what you said is correct, we got to listen to what they say !

    • Totally, Rahul! Listen to your child — their words and body language. That never lies. To stand up for what is right is a call that the parent must take then.

  • Rachna,
    One thing I can never understand is that how can parents let their child go through the trauma of seeing the perpetuator of the crime go scotfree. Will the child ever respect them once he/she grows up? Will the child not have a feeling that his/her parents did not stand with him/her in dire need? Do the parents realize the effect of such questions on the child’s psyche? On their relationship with the child?

    • I cannot either, Amit. Call it the bane of our culture that we place parivar ki izzat and maan manyada over living breathing children. Besides for some mothers, it is too much to bear to see their image of a loving husband and father go crashing in front of their eyes. How do they handle it? Denial and suppression. Sometimes also because they have nowhere to turn to or the person is powerful or a pillar of society. So many complications. It is easier to hit out at a stranger, but when it comes to someone from the family or friends, all kinds of emotions color our judgement. If you read the comments above, you will find how many have been told to hush up the matter or forget about it. I even saw a story on TV where a girl was asked to forget her rape because badnaami ho jayegi. So, the family just moved out of the locality to another town. What does the pedophile do? Emboldened he goes after another young girl! All your questions are very valid. Such children will grow up to distrust everyone and will have major psychological issues 🙁 because their parent/s did not have the guts to face the situation.

  • It is so sad and horrendous to read and know what a child must have gone through the hands of a person of his/her own family. To top it up, if the family takes no action against the perpetrator and hushes up the matter! 😐 Communication is the key, and we as parents must be alert to child’s behavioral changes and listen and believe him/her.

    • I agree, Shilpa. What a sad society this has become! 🙁

  • It’s unimaginable. I remember this incident when I was a child, about 11 years old or so, we were at a relative’s place on the wedding eve of their son. The house was full of guests. My sister, other cousins and I were sleeping in a room. At some point I felt someone feeling me up as I slept. I turned on my side to see this cousin of my relative lying right next to me, pretending to be asleep. I couldn’t react for some time but I left the room looking for my mother in the house full of guests. By the time I came back, he wasn’t there and I told my sister and other cousins about it. To this day, I can’t forget the face of that dirty creep who has a wife and two children of his own. It’s really important that children be educated about these things.

    • Makes me feel sick :(.

  • KP

    I feel that role of mom is vital.She should create a sense of confidence and freedom in kids both daughers and sons to confide in her freely without fear of being scolded or punished.She should tell them in advance what is improper and advise them to tell promptly whoever the offender may be.As you have said ,she should be alert to watch change in behaviour.I agree with what all you had said.

    • As much as the role of mom being vital in a child’s life, kids do derive a lot of strength from fathers too. Of course, both parents must establish good communication with the kids so that they can come to them even if it is to say something against dad or mom. The saddest thing is when very young children are abused. They don’t even know what is happening to them except the unpleasant feeling and fear. They, of course, cannot tell but convey through their body language.

  • In fact,we should appreciate newspapers reporting rape case,Isues related to rape.
    I wonder if this mind set prevails in India only.
    Besides other things,Indian society needs to be educated.I know,this sounds like PRAVACHAN,but ,it is education which can bring about the change

    • In a way it is better that these crimes are being reported and that people are coming forward to report them. But somewhere it desensitizes us too the overload of it all. It almost becomes aam baat!

  • Things will never change overnight, Rachna. At least parents of our generation who are educated and many of them faced it at some stage or the other, have to talk to the kids very often and keep our eyes open…keep inquiring them if anything abnormal has happened. Within close circles, just have the guts to block them from your life and defame…

    • True Latha. They will not. But even educated women among us can be very conservative or subdued. We read about mothers not standing up for abused kids or asking them to hush up which really breaks my heart :(.

  • Jenny Shetty

    When I was in the class 9, we used to watch a serial called Bhawar which dealt with such reality issues. That was the first time, I came across an episode where the father rapes his daughter and the girl is expecting with his child. In this case the mother blames her daughter instead of her husband, and they terminate the baby because of the shame the daughter has caused them! It was too much to decipher at that age, but this was some 12 years back India. Nothing really has still changed, or I must say it has worsened even more because these episodes have actually increased. In such cases the mother has to be extremely supportive and yes has to observe how her child behaves or if something is weird. Shielding the offenser or blaming the child is terribly wrong!

  • I vaguely remember that serial, Jenny. Imagine the trauma of the poor girl. What kind of convoluted thinking is that. Really makes me sick :(.

  • Anu

    It is dreadful to read and hear such atrocities happening to children. And especially when such a move is from a familiar face within family circle, a child doesn’t know how to react, what to do, whom to say. More than a child who needs to be trained and advised on how to react, a parent should be trained. Because when the accused is a family person, they often let the accused go scotfree not wanting to cause shame to the family! How could one even be cruel and vent out their sexual pleasures on a child! It is disgusting to even think these kind of psychopaths exist in the world.

    • I agree, Anu, it is disgusting to even think about it. But, one has to try and think of ways to face this madness if it ever happens to us :(.

  • its sad.. and sexual assault is endless ..
    its scary the more you read it gives nightmares.. to my mind it should be open if incident happens culprit should not be let free ..rest ,kids at home should be smart enough to understand the TOUCH.
    ..

    • If every person would think like this then the victims can expect some
      justice Harman.

  • The height of perversion is when a family member or a close friend takes advantage of a child’s innocence and fear to molest her or him. And being a society of hypocrites with false notions of honour and chastity, we hush the child. Have you read Bitter Chocolate by Pinky Virani?

    • True Zephyr! I haven’t read the book as yet.

  • This is really shameful.If mothers tell the daughters to shut up,then we can never wipe away this disgusting malady. The media is full of reports on all these issues.We as parents have to be bold and not let the the culprits go scot free.”what will the people think of us?” or “who will marry my daughter if this news spreads”?Such thoughts are ridiculous and will do more harm than good.