I was first abused when I was just 4 years old by a male relative who was responsible for looking after me. And the second time by the caretaker of the house when I was 8.
My parents were separated at that time, I thought someone from my family would understand so I ran to my aunt and told her about how the caretaker had behaved.
What was most traumatic than the actual abuse itself was my aunt’s response at that time. She laughed and asked me what I actually did to invite that kind of behavior from a caretaker.
As a young girl I was angry confused and aware of the fact that the caretaker was wrong but I was shocked that despite being educated why was my aunt insensitive towards me.
I was being isolated for raising my voice. Another relative once told me that I was the reason behind my parent’s separation, because I was adopted. Due to the abuse experience, I have been coping with depression and tendency of self-harm.
Imagine I was just a child and I was made to feel responsible for their drifting apart.
I was going through terrible trauma but I didn’t stop there. While talking to my friends I realized that this was an atrocious incident and many had gone through what I had.
This gave rise to Elaan. I started campaigning to raise awareness around child sexual abuse.
I belong to Tripura royal family. An activist, a rebel with a cause having suffered multiple sexual abuses (more than 25 times) but I didn’t break.
As an individual activist I started ‘one million campaigns’ wherein I hear survivor stories. We talk about the fact that rape and abuse can happen anywhere and to anyone. It’s important to empower ourselves.
We take interactive sessions with very practical approach. My aim is to teach participants to use what they have with them as self-protection.
When you are attacked you can use a comb, clip, ring or a heel to hurt and flee. Escaping is important. Hurt the person and run for your life.
Save yourself first!
Becoming a victim is not a choice, becoming a survivor is!
An abuser always looks for people who they think they can dominate. It’s not your fault, it never is. The person who abuses is at fault. He /she is a criminal not you!
(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)