Nikita Raje- From melancholy to limitless glory
I was 7 when I was sexually abused for the first time; he was my dad’s colleague. I would often visit dad at the office once or twice a month. This one time, under the guise of concern and love and looking after me, his colleague took me to drink water, where he made me sit on his lap and then felt my breasts up. And when I didn’t scream or protest he lifted my shirt and proceeded to kiss and lick my chest and then later kissed me too. Another time he went ahead and felt my breasts up for about half an hour during a car ride. I couldn’t analyze what was going on, but there was a certain feeling of discomfort that haunted me for years.
The second person who has violated my parent’s trust and my trust was our driver and it started around the same time in the year 2005 and went on till 2019; for 14 years. He has touched me, groped me, kissed me, showed me porn, showed me his private parts, made me touch them, touched mine, tried to do penile penetration, recorded me and him while he was touching me, and much more. It has happened numerous times over these years that I have lost count. It happened at home, in the car, in parking lots, and so on. Whenever he got a chance he used it to satisfy himself. Despite being married and having 2 daughters, he went on to take advantage of me and saying that “Nikita hee mera pehla pyaar hai aur mai usse shadi karna chata hu”. Though I never gave in, he didn’t stop. The first time he ever touched me was through tickling, little did I know that his touch would, later on, become a dark reality of my life.
I was very young when all this had happened to me, back then I didn’t even know what sex was; by the time I realized that it was a violation, I felt it was too late. I was scared to approach my parents feeling that they would blame me for suppressing all this for years. I was under constant fear of the question “Itne saal kyu nahi bola Kuch?” popping up. And that’s when then the real battle began.
It took me three years of therapy to fully comprehend the events that have happened to me; while I have not entirely forgotten my dark past, I am still working on it. I was diagnosed with depression, GAD (general anxiety disorder), PTSD, and mild OCD last year and it has been an uphill battle. I was suicidal last year due to finally snapping under the pressure of buried trauma. Therapy, medication, and the support of my friends, family, and boyfriend are what helped me cope.
While therapy has helped me come a long way in this journey, it was the confrontation that actually gave me the boost to move on. It took a lot out of me to finally confront my culprit. I confronted the abuser via phone, there was no way I was meeting him in person. He didn’t lift my call in the first go, but I eventually vented out my anger through a long message. While it took a lot of courage at first, it was at that moment that I felt liberated finally.
Being a CSA (child sexual abuse) survivor and having gone through this ordeal I want to make sure that the people who have faced it have a place, one without derogatory remarks, unwanted hate, peer support and love, no victim-blaming- a safe place to come and share their journey. While this step is going to help a lot of victims, it has helped me the most. This is my way of compensating for all the times I shivered and didn’t stand up for myself.
I want to help create a world that does not point fingers at the girl-victims, which does not ask the guy-victims to just enjoy it, a world that understands that abuse has no gender and I am majoring in law in child sexual abuse and working with a couple of NGOs to attain my goal.
While awareness and therapy can only cure the victims, it is the power in our voices that will curb the abuser’s actions. Spreading awareness about good touch and bad touch will perhaps not going to get us to a safer world, it’s the awareness about not touching others without their consent that needs to be inculcated. It high time the dialogue “No means No”, turns into the reality of our lives.