What her mom didn't tell

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Palak, a 10th grade student was busy preparing for her Maths test, she was so engrossed in solving the problems that she lost track of the time. "Come Palak, have your lunch. It's late", said her mother. Palak obediently closed her books, washed her hands and sat on the dining table.


She looked around and saw her darling younger sister Riya was not at home. Riya had completed her 4th grade exams and was enjoying her holidays. Reading Palak's thoughts her mom answered "Riya is at Anil uncle's place. She must be playing with their new born son."

          Palak was about to take her first bite, suddenly she remembered about last evening, she had met Anil uncle's wife Sunitha, who seemed excited and shared the  joy of visiting her home town the next day. That meant she was not at home today, Riya was alone with Anil uncle. Palak quickly got off the chair, trying to suppress her fear she said "I will eat lunch with Riya, will be back in a minute", she closed the door behind her. She panicked, as she climbed the stairs. Her mind was filled with unpleasant thoughts. She knocked at Anil uncle's door, which he opened after a while. She peeped inside and saw Riya sitting comfortably on the couch playing Mario game on their television. "Di, I crossed level seven", screamed Riya with excitement as soon as she saw Palak.

"Oh that's cool, come Riya let's go home. Mom is waiting for you" lied Palak. She looked at him sternly and asked "Sunitha aunty isn't at home? Is she?". He hesitantly answered "She left today early morning to visit her home town, will be back tomorrow". Palak caught Riya's hand and left his place.

               As soon as they reached home, Palak took Riya inside her room and said "Listen, this is very important. You should be very careful when you visit any neighbor's, friend's or relative's place. If you find out that you are alone there, you should immediately come back home. The same rule applies to all uncle's or cousin brother's." Palak explained Riya about her private parts and said "Nobody can ever touch you here, if someone tries to, you should stop them and move away from them, call out for me, mom or dad. Remember we love you  and will always trust what you say. So never be afraid of  telling us anything. If you feel uncomfortable when someone hugs you, you can directly tell that person to stop doing so."

                Palak touched Riya's cheeks lovingly, gave her a small kiss and  said "This is a good touch" and then moved one of her hand  over her tiny thighs slowly and other hand on her lower neck and explained her sister what a bad touch was. She asked Riya if Anil uncle touched her.

Riya said "No di, uncle was sitting very close to me, and was asking me if I could keep a secret. He was saying let's play a game but I told him I want to finish the Mario game first. Few seconds later, doorbell rang  and uncle looked worried. First he checked through the keyhole, and then opened the door and it was you".

         Palak was relieved that she reached at the right time and  decided to talk to her parents openly about this incident, but first just to make sure Riya had understood their conversation she asked "You should never ignore a bad touch, nobody has a right to touch you like that. If someone does, what will you do?".

"I will tell that person to stop, start screaming loudly and come running to you di " answered confused little Riya."Good girl" said Palak with a sigh of relief. She told her sister what her mother didn't tell her. Palak was molested on several occasions by her close relative. Initially she was unaware of what that Man was doing to her, she tried to avoid him but couldn't and unfortunately her parents didn't notice her discomfort. She was afraid to talk to her mother about it, she didn't know what to say, whom to ask for help.

It was only after few years, she realized the meaning of Child Abuse and she understood she was molested back then. Even though this had happened few years ago, a thought about it tormented her even now. It left a scar on her soul and caused an irreversible damage.

Was it her fault?
Was it an avoidable situation?
Who is to be blamed?

                                                             ********
While the debate, At what age should SEX education begin ?? goes on endlessly. I strongly suggest instead of  treating it as a responsibility of an educational institution, it should begin at home where parents, grandparents or elder siblings, cousins should take up this initiative  and start teaching. Lets not ignore the fact that the percentage of boys having faced sexual abuse is 52.94 which is higher than girls (47.06%). So let's protect our innocent children. 

If you are finding it difficult how to start your conversation please check this video




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30 comments:

  1. The story was beautifully crafted to convey the message. Sex education is of utmost need but we Indians often tend to shy away from it & the innocent children face the consequences.

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  2. Thanks Arghyadeep ! Ya we often shy away from this topic but its high time we all start teaching the kids in our family.

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  3. Very well told about this sensitive topic Ananya. SEX EDUCATION is the need of the hour in our society. Hope everyone understands this and educate all our kids about NATURE OF TOUCH . And good information given about Childline.

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    1. Thanks dear, I just hope to spread this message across as many as possible.

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  4. indeed a very needed message for the society .. hope people understand this very properly !

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    1. I hope so to...pls do share this post just for the sake of saving innocent children.

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  5. A heartwarming , thought provoking post indeed!
    Spread the message as much as possible. Well written Ananya!:)

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    1. Thanks Nikhil !
      We all need to spread the message.

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  6. I REQUEST ALL MY READER'S TO SHARE THIS POST, pls be a part of spreading this message in attempt to save innocent children.
    The last survey was done in 2007, after the shocking results, Very few measures have been undertaken in this regard.
    In my opinion many parents or siblings, family members still feel awkward about making this conversation with small kids.Few parents want to talk , but dont know how to approach this sensitive topic, so this video will really help them.
    I THANK YOU ALL

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  7. Hi Ananya, I am reading all your posts today . you convey your message very well .
    But this post in particular is so very well said . you told everything so nicely no obscenity , clear .I loved it and learnt how to say this to my 7 year old daughter .(h)

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    1. Thanks Anupama. Am glad you liked it. Pls do share it and join me in my fight against child abuse.

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  8. Hello Ananya. Thanks for linking this post to WEP. The statistics you quote for child sexual abuse are shocking. I was surprised to see that boys are more often abused. Weaving it through the story was clever way to spread this message.

    Thanks for joining the monthly bloghop. I hope you will visit other participants.

    Denise

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    1. Hi Denise, Yes its a less known fact that boys are abused are often as girls, and statistically more than girls. I think by nature we are more protective about our young girls but not sure what makes us think boys are safe !
      Thanks for visiting.

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  9. Riya was a lucky little girl to have such a great big sister to teach her that important lesson!

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    1. Yes Trisha, Riya was lucky she got saved by her sister, who was the victim.

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  10. I'm not surprised that boys get abused as often as, or more than, girls. The statistics are completely shocking though, for both sexes! Do they refer to India alone? Even so.

    An important message woven into a story. Agree that sex education and abuse awareness should start at home.

    Best wishes,
    Nilanjana.

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    1. Yes the statics I have provided is for INDIA alone !
      I strongly think Awareness should start at home, when we can teach our kids everything else, why not this?
      Thanks for stopping by !

      Delete
  11. This sort of thing goes on and is often kept secret in all walks of life and the abuse sexual or otherwise is appalling. The big sister was able to save her sister and explain what to look out for.

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  12. Excellent point, and excellent way you show how easy it is to prepare our children to recognize what is acceptable and what should be discussed. They should always have someone to tell. Abuse does leave a scar, no matter how deep it is buried.
    Very well done. This is an important issue - and it's a worldwide problem.

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    1. Yes its a issue which needs to be worked on, as most of us have gone through such unacceptable experiences but we try to suppress the past. But as you said scars remain and change a part of us forever !

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  13. Hello Ananya...again! Thank you for bringing N R Williams' linky problem to my notice. I've deleted the faulty link and added a new one. I hope you can visit her. She's written a great little story.

    denise

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  14. Such abusers are often closer home. There needs to be a dire need for parents to make the children comfortable enough so that they can tell them everything.

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  15. Beautiful Ananya! Expertly crafted to convey the message! I could speak to my mom but the scars it left have affected my relationships!

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  16. I have so much to say but I have so little words....I really wonder why parents feel uncomfortable talking to kids (boy or girl) about the most important lesson that they should learn. But I am positive that this is changing for good in the newer generation (at least in urban areas). I have had my share and I dealt with it the way I could at that age (I wasn't a kid at that time). but I had somewhat different issues which I have never been able to share. Thanks for this wonderful post to stir the social awareness

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  17. Important message conveyed. Thanks for sharing the video..it's really helpful.
    PointsToPonder

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  18. Heart touching post . I wish if all little girls are aware of child abuse .They should be educated to save themselves from any such tragedy .Most important is all parents should trust their kids when they come to them with such an issue .Parents should educate their kids about child abuse .

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  19. This is a very important post and needs to be shared. You are right awareness should start at home.

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