Lately, under some circumstances, I decided to file a complaint about the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of a person close to me and my family.
An incident that has caused me great pain and loss, it has now become a nightmare as I am willfully attracting outside attention to this very private and daunting experience. I can’t decide what is worse: being abused or getting asked why you let yourself be abused!
The worst of it all is the questions and comments I had to endure from the “well-wishers”. This includes policemen and women, judicial authorities, and others who have proximity to this case.
And in this blog, I take the pleasure to share with you this world of mental and emotional agony.
Crappy Comment #1: Weren’t You Aware Of ‘These Things’ At 17? Why Didn’t React To What Was Happening?
Yes, I endured this abuse when I was a minor. And my greatest hope was that the authorities will see this as a case against a child sex offender.
But no… The people here have successfully sexualized a minor and put the responsibility on me because I wasn’t young enough. That is, I wasn’t too young to not know!
Truth is, of course, I resisted! I just didn’t come forward with it until it became too serious. Because as a teen, I didn’t know what to do with what I was going through! That can’t be my fault, can it?
Crappy Comment #2: The General, Why Didn’t You Resist, Run Away, Or Complain Back Then?
Well, this is a somewhat logical question, if I am being honest.
Not fair or rational. Or useful.
But, it’s a logical one. A question that is in everyone’s head when it comes to abuse. Any abuse.
There were three factors: my age, lack of support, and control.
My abuser was a close relative. And I couldn’t tell anyone in the family without causing a huge furor as it did when I finally opened up about it.
And the abuser, being a master manipulator and sociopathic, controlled me enough to ensure my silence.
He shamed me, manipulated me, and love-bombed me. He made me isolated from everyone who I trusted enough to speak about this. Starved for love and attention, I fell for his false admiration. Out of shame and fear, I stayed silent.
Crappy Comment #3: You Won’t Have A Future If You Speak Out.
The irony, right?
They criticize and blame me for not speaking out until now. But when I did, they fearmonger, ‘Oh but won’t you ruin your chance at a good marriage or life?’
I am not making this up. The same person has said all of these to me in one sitting!
Why would anyone approach these people with the crimes inflicted upon them?! To be tormented and shamed more?!
Well, I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t understand what I went through! I know a lot of men who are empathetic about these experiences. And men who think that survivors of sexual abuse are brave and strong! And more than that, they are also human and lovable! I will be with one of those men! Not the crappy ones who think abuse is a reflection of my self-image!
Crappy Comment #4: What Happened Has Happened! Isn’t It Time To Get Over It?
A police officer told me, “Aren’t you a smart girl? Then, why are you still ruminating over this?”
‘Isn’t it all over? Why can’t you come out of it?’
Well, indeed, it’s over! And I have come out of it!
But no one gets to tell me how I should feel about something that happened to me. I have good instincts and an internal radar to know how to emote and experience god and evil!
If it was so easy to get over it, or even possible to get over it, then why is it a crime as it is stated in law?
Why is violating the modesty of a woman so paramount and grave?
Why is manipulating and controlling a minor into committing sexual or intimate acts or forcing upon a girl or a boy such a grave offense?
Why is trauma, especially complex trauma, a mental disorder that takes years to heal?!
Many people make this comment with a good intention, to make survivors realize that they can get over it. But if you don’t have a strategy, a willingness to support them, or an empathetic understanding of what they have gone through, you’re just kicking them when they are down!
I may sound like a snowflake, but yes, trauma and anxiety are irrational behaviors and mental patterns that cannot be wished away! They occur when the person is forced to go through something they can’t tolerate or comprehend.
Crappy Comment #5: You Didn’t Get Raped Or Anything That Bad! Why Are You Traumatized Then?
This has been a comment that has eaten me inside out for a long time!
Very recently, I realized the criminal amount of stupidity in this. But that does not help one bit!
Yes, I was saved from sexual assault or aggravated sexual violence from my abuser. But that was just a matter of luck or providence, not the intent or lack of trying!
And people have a problem because nothing too bad happened! It’s like saying, we would have understood if you had been severely attacked. This we can’t understand! Oh wait, that’s exactly what they are saying!
Since when have humans become so cruel or senseless?! Or, when will humans stop being so senseless?
To be honest, I had been suffering from this thought myself. ‘I didn’t suffer greatly. I just suffered and then I was able to escape! Should I still have trauma or should I have relief and gratitude?’
How does one feel safe and relieved because they escaped sexual violence?
How does one sleep well at night just because they were almost sabotaged?
More importantly, why are these laws against attempted rape and such if there is no effect or shock from being victimized and then escaping?
The Deplorable Lack Of Awareness
I come from Kerala, the land with the highest literacy rate in India. But that just means Malayalis are willfully ignorant and senseless about the sufferings of others. Also that our education does not include empathy, awareness about violence, or common sense!
It is a deplorable state of affairs, by all means!
I wish I could say this will change or this can change. The reality is, victims of sexual crimes are left with these scars that open up add bleed throughout their lives. Or, for a very long time in their lives.
It just doesn’t go away. And society doesn’t care!
If you are a survivor, be brave and fight on! Because, if enough people fight on, innocent lives can be saved! From assault and the senseless humiliation that follows!
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