Let's recognise the disparity between men and women's experiences of public spaces and work on dismantling that. A woman has the right to occupy public spaces without fearing for her safety, no matter the time of the day or her choice of clothing. Eleven-year-old dreamers have the right to dawdle on their way to school, watching for cracks in the pavements without a care in the world.
These acts of harassment don’t make you strong. You are weak. So weak. Because, you are scared of a woman’s sexuality.
I changed my narrative from victim to survivor. I refused to accept that I was deformed because of my past, inclusive of my sexual abuse.
I’m not here to give a solution to that problem. But I’ve been waiting for a long time, scared of telling anyone what I went through, for the fear of being judged, for the fear of my trauma being invalidated. For the fear of me again being denied my voice, like that night when I felt compelled to say “yes” because I couldn’t say “no.” I’m here to reclaim my voice as a survivor of cyber-rape.
Where I was growing up, domestic abuse are normalised to such an extent that nobody even seems to consider it a problem anymore.
Since there is no one problem that leads to child sexual abuse, there is also no singular solution to it. It is a collective struggle that everyone from family, school, law-makers, and social workers must partake in.
Staring can make people extremely uncomfortable. It's incredibly violating and often leads to the awkward dupatta adjustment. It's also difficult to report because it can never be proven. But staring, like street harassment, is also a form of sexual harassment.
It is difficult to come out as a survivor of sexual abuse in a society where blaming the victim is the norm. In this light, child sexual abuse is an issue which is usually not paid much attention to.
All it takes though, is one woman. One woman who speaks up, giving strength to thousands more who are facing similar, if not worse situations. One woman who speaks up, thus making it that much easier for others to do the same.
Gaslighting is a phenomena which effects us deeply, we often fail to realise how our self-perception grows from certain childhood incidents.