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Wolves on the prowl

Wolves on the prowl
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Wolves on the prowl, It’s not something new. It’s always been there but rarely talked about. Even our very own celebrities like Kalki Koechlin, Anurag...

It’s not something new. It’s always been there but rarely talked about. Even our very own celebrities like Kalki Koechlin, Anurag Kashyap, Sophia Hayat and Anoushka Shankar have been victims of child abuse. It’s no surprise, that closer home, we too have a number of victims, who share their devastating experiences.

A playful driver unmasked- Pratyusha Mukherjee*, 23

“My mom, my sister and I had gone to visit my uncle’s family is Pune, Maharashtra. We all decided to go for shopping in their car. Meanwhile, while the elders went shopping, my cousin and I stayed back in the car. The driver took us to an empty temple nearby and made us play hide-and-seek. He closed my eyes with his hand and asked the boy to go and hide. While he was closing my eyes with one hand, he started groping me with the other. I was naïve then. I did not understand what he was trying to do. He repeated this 3-4 times. I then understood that this was something serious as I was feeling uncomfortable. I just ran away from that place and locked myself in the car and stayed inside till our parents arrived. I haven’t told this to anyone till now, not even to my sister. Such incidents leave an indelible mark on young minds, even after 17 years, I remember the incident so well.”

3-year nightmare- Priya Diwakar*, 24

“As a young girl I was very active and fun-loving. When I was in Class V, we hired a teenage boy as a servant. He used to play a lot with me. One day when I was alone at home, he took me into a room and told me we will play something different today. He put me on my bed and said it will take only five minutes. I did not know what he was doing but it was very painful. I felt like vomiting. I did not reveal it to my parents. After a few days, he again repeated the act. I just cried. This went on for three years. Later on, he got another job so he moved out. Now I am 24 years old and about to get married. I shared this with my fiancé. He comforted me and counselled me to begin a new life with him. Those dreadful years still remain like a nightmare.

Over-affectionate uncle exposed-Gunjan Malhotra*, 26

“An uncle who is a distant relative of my mother would visit us frequently and would pamper me by cuddling me up. One evening when he came home, I was alone in the house. He made me sit on his lap and slowly brushed his hands under my shirt, kissed me and lifted me up in the air. I quickly moved away and called a friend in the neighbourhood. I was too young to understand it then. I have been avoiding that man since then but never shared the incident with anyone.”

Asked about statistics of CSA victims, Achyut Rao, member State Commission for Protection of Child Rights says, “In the last six months there is a 49 per cent increase in the number of CSA cases reported. Students are more vulnerable in tuitions than in schools as students have to travel alone to and fro. Apart from that, the tutors make the students stay behind under the pretext of clearing their doubts.”

To give justice to the victims, The Parliament of India passed the 'Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Bill, 2011' on May 22, 2012. Punishments for offences covered in the Act include imprisonment and fine, depending on the severity of the act.

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