Lokesh Pawar- Common Yet Uncommon
Lokesh Pawar an abuse survivor shares his story.
PART – 1
“Being the youngest child in our family I was loved and pampered the most until life took a turn and I was forced into doing things that a child shouldn’t have been exposed to in the first place. I was 6 when a close relative assaulted me. Not once not twice but sexual abuse went on to become a dark reality of my life for the next 8 years.
I was very young to understand consent and sex adding up to which my abuser had warned me to not let this ‘secret of ours’ out. Despite the lack of knowledge, that feeling of discomfort haunted me for years. Regardless of my numerous pleads saying ‘ No please don’t ‘ he continued. With every unheard NO, the courage in my voice depleted.
Adding up to this, becoming a target of bullies at school and being called out as ‘chakka’ for my walking and talking style further pushed me into melancholy. Let it be at school or with my abuser, that feeling of helplessness and not having anyone to talk to shattered my self-confidence.
It wasn’t until the 11th standard when I went on to the internet to research more about sexual abuse and mustered up the courage to liberate myself of the entire agony. I gathered myself together and went on to talk to my parents about this when I was 19. They were devastated on learning about the turmoil I had been through for years. They cried and apologized for not being by my side when I needed them the most. While my parents stormed in anger to confront the abuser I resisted.”
PART – 2
“It was my fight and being through all this for almost my entire life, I wanted to put an end to it by myself. While it was just another time for my abuser as he went on to tell me ‘ Meri Khushi ke liye karde; you don’t have to do anything, you just lay there, I’ll do it all ‘, the courage in my voice knew no bounds that moment.
Apart from conveying my fury I wanted to vent out the rage that I had bottled up for years, but looking at his 2-year son and 20-year-old wife, I decided to just express my refusal which dented my abuser’s ‘ego’; he went on to say ‘ Alright, I’ll remember this NO, wait and watch what I do ‘.
Later on that day my cousin and I were supposed to leave for the market and my abuser dared to convince my cousin and tag along. He was riding the bike with my cousin in between and me in the back. It was the most dangerous bike ride of my life, while it felt like I closely witnessed death throughout that ride, there were no signs of my courage getting succumbed.
It was his way of trying to oppress me, but I was done by then, he no longer seemed like a relative turned rapist to my eyes but my lifelong culprit. The ride ended, but my bravery didn’t and as I walked away from him that day, I could feel the power I held in me. Despite tears rolling down my cheeks that night I was happy.
While I put an end to the deadliest chapter of my life I want to become the ray of hope to others like me. I wish to be the support that I didn’t have back then. While I receive a lot of ‘ why didn’t you oppose it earlier? ‘ I want to be the voice of all the pain that we shove behind ‘mard ko dard nahi hota’. It’s high time we understand that consent is not gender-based and fighting against abuse is not just a women’s issue but a humane issue.”
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