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Why do we deny it? Why do we accept it? Why is it so prevalent?

Molestation by a known person is widely prevalent and is somehow, unfortunately acceptable and is considered unavoidable in family structures. As a victim of this heinous act, you can cry out to your mother or husband or friend about it…. And they will all either ignore it or tell you that it is the way of life or that you need to accept it or it is not such a big deal. Largely, this is not a comfortable topic to discuss. It all falls under the umbrella of family and societally acceptable norms.

Dismally, denial tends to be the only answer the victim gets most often. But when it comes to other aspects of any relationship, the reactions are not the same. We do not forgive financial losses or frauds by extended family members or close friends repeatedly. We do not accept or forgive verbal assaults or insults with respect to our parents and seniors by these known and familiar people easily. In most cases we do not even appreciate these people gossiping or discussing about us.

Then is the body indispensable? Why is such misbehaviour and intrusion acceptable when it comes at the cost of the body and mind of our kin? Why do we say it is okay for my cousin or uncle to touch my wife, daughter, sister, son or brother in such an objectionable, inappropriate and filthy way? We will rarely overlook or forgive that very cousin or uncle duping us of our money or disrespecting our elders, but we are ready to ignore and subtly accept their misconduct when it comes to sexual abuse.

The number of women and children who confess to being molested by a known person repeatedly is not small. And most of them regrettably admit their pleas to family members go unheard. Most often the victims encounter total and complete denial or ignorance on the part of the family member they confide in. Some others get advice on how such encounters are a part of life and everyone faces similar situations at sometime or the other. The victim will be often counselled to be wise enough to avoid the abuser whenever possible or will be doled out ridiculous ‘gyan’ like such experiences make us stronger. On other occasions, the victim will be rebuked for misunderstanding some friendly uncle and trying to malign his name.

Frequently, the justification given by the denier, is the person has not really done something terribly evil. A bad touch or a slight feeling up of your body is not so bad after all. He touched your breasts maybe or kissed you or tried to press his crotch against your backside, but he at least had the decency not to rape you. And the denier will most often express his lack of willingness to spoil relations with the perpetuator for ‘such a small matter.’

Is it really okay to violate someone in any way, big or small? Is there anything more disgusting and unforgivable than violating the sanctity of someone’s body? Why are we afraid of standing up against the perpetuators of such filthy acts? How are we capable of maintaining cordial and respectful relationships with such individuals in spite of being aware of their despicable deeds? Or have we trained our minds to just not hear the countless pleas of all the women and children who are victims of molestation from close family members or friends?

Then, clearly, money is more personal than our children’s or sister’s body. We are ready to spend our lives talking about who duped us and how, who took us for granted and how. We will most often take legal action against such individuals. But we are rarely prepared to even admit who maligned the body and soul of our near and dear ones. We prefer to not talk about it instead of confronting the person and warning him or reporting him to the authorities.

It is time we stop viewing molestation as a controversial topic and stop fearing society or family structures. Sexual abuse is not a minor offence and it scars the mind of the victim. We need to put our foot down and strongly express such deplorable acts will not be overlooked or tolerated. In fact, it is important to emphatically state that sexual abuse, big or small will not be forgiven and will not go unpunished. Nothing should be more valuable than the bodies and minds of our loved ones.

Aditi Munot is a Pune based blogger.
https://aditi-munot.blogspot.in/

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Many types of exploitation of women or girls are simply ignored by society. Some such incidents are teasing by family members or relatives, domestic ill-treatment, uncomfortable talks by relatives, etc. Such repressive situations are overlooked in general. It is high time to take action on these ‘ supposedly trivial ‘ incidents and book males for abuse of women

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