|Talk to your child. Know the signs. (Photo: iStock)|
The Sheena Bora murder is a very big story in India. Sheena and her mother Indrani were both media executives.
In Aug 2015 Mumbai Police arrested her mother Indrani Mukerjea, her stepfather Sanjeev Khanna and her mother's driver Shyamvar Pinturam Rai (Shyam Rai) for allegedly abducting Sheena Bora, killing her and burning her dead-body. Whilst Rai and Khanna have confessed to the crime, Indrani has maintained that Sheena Bora is alive and is in USA. - Wikipedia
Adding that Indrani’s biological father had deserted them when she was young, and in the face of sexual abuse, her mother hadn’t protected her either.
Eyebrows were raised in the already sordid case of family drama – and yet the incest angle was barely probed or proven, especially in the light of the many curious twists and turns of the highly publicized case.
Stigma Attached To Child Rape, Still
The media too preferring to not take the child sex abuse angle seriously. The way our Indian society also conveniently brushes it under the carpet.
|One in three rape victims are a child. (Photo: iStock)|
Indeed, I would be surprised if there aren't than many in a month.
Evil That Cuts Across All Social Levels
Recovery and Healing from Incest (RAHI), an Indian NGO conducted India’s first study of child sexual abuse way back in 1998.
It surveyed 600 English-speaking middle and upper-class women, 76% of whom said they had been abused in childhood or adolescence, 40% by at least one family member, most commonly an uncle or cousin.
|Children of all socio-economic groups were found to be equally vulnerable. |
Children of all socio-economic groups were found to be equally vulnerable. While 48% of boys reported having been abused, the prevalence rate among girls was 39%. 15 % of both the boys and girls were severely abused.
In 2007, the Indian government backed a survey of 1, 25,000 children in 13 states. More than half (53%) confessed to being subjected to one or more forms of sexual abuse. Over 20% of those interviewed saying they were subjected to severe forms of abuse. Of those sexually abused, 57% were boys.
Time To Stop Behaving Naive
What’s the point of this premature, primitive sexual squeamishness, of Indian politicians wanting to ban porn and ministers taking potshots at Sunny Leone and condom ads – when sex education isn’t even integrated into our school curriculum? When our Education Minister goes gaga over making Sanskrit compulsory, instead of reacting to sexual violence?
|Why blame Sunny Leone for rapes when the evil sits there crouched? |
(Screenshot from the advertisement featuring Sunny Leone)
When Indian parents shudder to be intimate in front of their children, rarely discussing menstruation freely with adolescent girls, explaining birth control measures, and treat sex like a taboo, is it biological and natural?
Where touch is forbidden? Let alone educating kids on good and bad touch and how they must raise their doubts to their guardians. Also, are Indian families that are largely patriarchal equipped to dealing with candid confessions?
‘I Was Terrified Of Returning Home’
Famous Indian designer Raakesh Agarvwal had shattered the silence to me, “In Adilabad, a small village in Andhra Pradesh where I grew up in a conservative Marwari joint family, the women were largely homebound, away from the outside world.”
| Famous Indian designer Raakesh Agarvwal was |
also a victim of child abuse. (Photo: Twitter)
“Our factory manager, Pasha, also, took his chances. Violations never stopped. As a kid, I couldn’t process nor understand the pain, the hurt, the constant fear... This relative was one of my biggest sexual assaulters. I was terrified of returning home. Sometimes, he’d smuggle in his friends and they’d beat me up so that I became unconscious, after which they’d take turns to rape me. My studies were affected. I bunked school. I was close to killing myself…”
Blow to Happy Indian Family?
Is the truth too gory for us? Destroying the hum saath saath hain model of Indian parivaars? Our impotency, akin to that of the Karnataka Government that doesn’t bother to fast track repeated instances of child sex abuse in top schools in Bengaluru?
|Natkhat is fine but discussing period is not! (Photo: YouTube)|
‘My Mother Used to Grope Me’
The way we are immune to the scathing headline – ‘Delhi University girl drags mom to court for sexual abuse.’ The victim Prerna’s piercing revelation, which should have acted like an attack on our collective conscience.
|A daughter could not understand why her mother was groping her. |
Is murder, the only moral perversion we nurture?