Why Women Don’t Report: ‘My Abuse Became a Part of Who I Am’

For child survivors of sexual assault, feelings of guilt in adulthood often prevents them from speaking out.

What do you do when you’ve experienced sexual assault at home? That too as a child, by members of your family or close friends? For child survivors of sexual assault, the trauma often transitions into adulthood; where feelings of guilt prevent them from speaking out.

This is #WhyWomenDontReport.

The Quint in collaboration with ‘How Revealing’, a website aimed at providing a safe space for sharing sexual assault stories, is trying to help women speak out. Here are their experiences.

Also Read: For Child Rape Survivors, Justice Doesn’t Always Lie in the Courts

‘Badminton Lessons’

AnonymousI was in the third or fourth standard. There was a guy in my apartment I just remember we called him bhaiya. He’d probably be in class 11 or 12 at the time. He played badminton really well and I asked him to tutor me... One evening, there was an electricity cut while we were playing downstairs. He took me aside and I really trusted him, so I accompanied him. He started kissing me forcefully and I was just numb because I didn’t understand what was happening to me.

Also Read: Ending Child Sexual Abuse in India Means Changing Mindsets

‘I Was a Very Bubbly Child’

“I was a very bubbly child and being the first child of the family, was always adored by all the family members and relatives. At the age of 4 or 5 – I still can’t forget that day – I went for my summer holidays to my aunt’s (Bua) house. She has a son who was in his early twenties at that time. I was lying on the floor when he came to me and asked me, “ Do you want to know a secret(or kind of magic trick)?”

AnonymousBeing a child I curiously said yes. Then he started saying you’ll tell this to everyone so I’m not gonna tell this to you, then I asked him again promising that I will never tell this to anyone. Then he started removing my clothes and raped me. I was not even able to understand what was going on and my parents always being busy, I never got the time or courage to ask anyone.

Also Read: These Children are Telling Stories of Lost Childhoods on Canvas

‘Abused. For 6 years. By my own Brother.’

“I am 21 years old, born and brought up in Indore. I don’t remember the exact age it started but I remember it happening around my 6th bday and it pretty much went on till I was 11(sic)”

Anonymous I was sexually abused and molested by my own cousin... I was afraid I would always be seen in a different over-protective light by my parents and not to mention, the nagging eyes of relatives. It sucks to have had that kinda realisation at the age of 12. I cried myself to sleep every night hence. Thinking that I have sinned. Convincing myself to tell them every day. But then one day I just stopped crying... My abuse became a part of who I am. As I type this, I feel nothing. Not one bit of pain, regret. No tears, nothing.

If you have experienced sexual assault, you can choose to share your experience with How Revealing here, either anonymously or otherwise below. If you have any ideas about why sexual assault isn’t reported, please reach out to us on Twitter or comment below.