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I know my family


I’m not afraid; I will talk about it audaciously. Hope a furore.

The immense stone-blindness by society towards the illness of humanity is child abuse especially sexual. Forms of child sexual abuse [CSA] include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities, actual sexual contact with a child, physical contact with/viewing child’s genital et al.

Such abuse can through a victim into self-blame and guilt, flashbacks, nightmares, self-esteem issues, addiction, suicidal ideation, depression and may more.

In a study in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, out of a sample of 300 children 17 percent claimed to have been abused. In September 2014, the British channel 4 broadcast a documentary called Pakistan’s Hidden Shame, directed by Muhammad Naqvi, which highlighted the problem of sexual abuse of street children in particular, an estimated 90 percent of whom have been sexually abused.

The truck drivers, for example, who ply the highways in their brightly colored vehicles are said to be the instruments of the terror inflicted on them; indeed, 95 percent of the truck drivers admitted that having intercourse with a young boy was one of their favoritepastimes during rest breaks.

Kainat Soomro was a 13-year-old-schoolgirl when she was kidnapped and gang raped for four days. Her protest had led to the murder of her brother, a death sentence from the elders of her village, and threats from the rapists, who after a number of years remain at large. A number of child rapes have been reported in past months. Do you remember when a six-year old boy body found in a mosque and a seven-year-old-girl from Sargodha, who was raped and spent a number of painful months in Lahore Children’s Hospital?

There are many a cases one can refer but ignorance towards this inhumane catastrophe will no longer going to help us.

No school, no mosque, no madressah in Pakistan features programmes against CSA or discusses self-defense strategies.

But my point is totally different.

What is the role of parents to counter this evil? Have they ever taken interest in this scourge? I trow they shy or it’s not in the very quiddity of our culture? It is not necessary that a boy/girl get sexually abused only from outside but there are numerous unfortunate cases where children are abused sexually within family. Ain’t it a high time to take imperative measures from ourselves when we savvy our state institutions silence/ignorance to this scary scab?

Even thinking on it is a sin. The whole society is silent. A common sentiment is that the victim is to be denounced. Why not offender? Because he got key of the lock and that’s how it goes.

After interminable scuffle I managed to meet someone who went through this ordeal and referred offender for a job, in a company he works. And surprisingly offender now works in same company. Hassan is from a middle class family whose cousin abused him at the age of 12. “He loved me a lot, used to fondle but one day he made me do drugs and initiated the intercourse. I still remember he used to say, the whole THING will make me powerful. Ain’t it look silly now?” Hassan asked. He says, “I was afraid to tell my family what he [offender] had done to me or perhaps I was not even aware of what had done to me. I know my family”.

He was afraid to tell his family as he thought he would be blamed. How will he face his father and brothers? What would he say when they will ask “why didn’t you resist”? Or he was not sure if they beat him to shame. Hassan is among many who suffered. He went through many of the aforesaid effects of CSA.

Parents are sensitive towards their kids but are unable to guide them about sexual abuse. They are not even interested in observing warning signs. It’s been seen that some families of our society initiate this candid step to communicate with their children but it is only limited to outside threat, perhaps it’s the first step to go further.

Such awareness of abuse in which only outside threat is discussed, make boy/girl more prone to family abuse. They take full confidence on their family members; even they are [bloody] cousins or uncles. This discussion is mostly with girls and boys are even ignored.

Yes the plague is rife and that our state shall take pivotal measures to eradicate/diminish it, but shall we not start it from our homes [first institution of a child]? Will we still turn a blind eye to this cancer, when we know the ratio of speaking about it by the victim to family/public is below 2 percent?When will we start encouraging such communication with our children? When will we denounce offender and show affinity to the victim? Or we will keep on putting it under the carpet to avoid shame?

Shame is on those who cannot even think. It’s better to be communicated than being fornicated. He says, “the rudimentary effect is psychological, pain is temporary”.

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