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Hers is the face I can’t forget.
Hers are the tears I will always see in my mind’s eye.
Hers are the loud, racking sobs that will echo in my ears.
I will never forget holding her
Trying to wish away the mind-numbing pain.
I will never forget hearing her words
The truth that she had held buried within.
I will never forget my own feelings of shock
Helplessness and speechlessness.
What do you tell this woman
Who was brave enough to tell her truth
As she struggled to forgive the beasts ?
The ones who had taken away her childhood
Who had ravaged her body and
Permanently scarred her spirit.
The men she now worked to support.
The men? These demons…
Her father and brothers……..

I will never forget this woman – a victim of child sexual abuse

I won’t forget that millions of young girls (young boys too) in India are victims of child sexual abuse.

Objectified. Treated as playthings by adult men and sometimes, even woman.

Sexual abuse that takes place in their homes, their neighbourhoods, their schools, their places of worship, their workplaces. Most of them are sworn into silence, threatened that their loved ones will be hurt.

I won’t forget that these girls suffer the consequences of such abuse and violence in their bodies and minds:

Physical – HIV infection, STIs, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and other problems with their reproductive health.

Psychological – Depression, suicidal notions, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and inappropriate sexualised behaviour.

We cannot let this go on. It is time for us to speak out. Speak out to End Violence.

UNICEF India has recently concluded The #ENDViolence Campaign – a social media campaign to target online audiences. To amplify the impact of the initiative, there offline media outreach, blogger involvement, and celebrity and civil society engagement was also included.

Read the UNICEF India to get more information. Follow UNICEF India on Facebook here.

The focused campaign is over but the cause continues.

Get information. Educate other adults. Train your children to be safe. Report incidents when you come to know of them.

Let’s talk about the issue of child sexual abuse so that we can end the silence and the violence around this. 

Photo credit: MorgueFile