We often take an extra mile in terms of girls’ safety, how about men? Frequently, I hear people saying, “He is a guy, no worries if he is out or is late while coming home back,” why? Don’t he have private parts? Just because he is not a girl, society has created a pre-notion about men, not classified into the category of victims, but culprits!
In severe child abuse cases like fondling private parts, assaults, raping or taking nude photographs etc, the percentage of boys was 57.3 while there were 42.7% girls from approx.12.5 thousand child respondents of survey taken across 13 Indian states by Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2007. Surprised? The numbers above clearly represents it’s not just women/girls who are victims! Have you ever read a single piece of story in newspaper about a man being groped or raped? I don’t remember when?
When society talks about equality, it actually shouldn’t allow gender discrimination! Parents should take care of their boys too. The real life incident with Raakesh Agarvwal made me think and I hope it may lead you to the same.
Image Source: independent.co.
The Traumatic Incident
Raakesh grew up in a joint family of Adilabad, a village in Andhra Pradesh. Unlike in every family, he wasn’t much a favourite in the house but his older sister born after 7 miscarriages was. Being in a huge family, he was often pestered by his own family members and no one ever got time to look beyond his silence, as every member were busy doting his sister.
“When I was three or four, I was groped and manhandled by a close relative. My mother seemed to be completely unaware that the man she would occasionally ask to bathe me would regularly hurt me and force me to take his member in my mouth. And what does a child even know about all this stuff?”
The little one lived with a huge family and no-one would ever believe a toddler’s trauma, that too, sexual! Raakesh was forced into doing nasty things. Neither this innocent kid understood what is happening nor could tell anyone! Years passed but the sexual assaults continued upon him, when he was in his ten plus two, a gross incident happened that he might never ever forget.
“My relative, who remained for long one of my biggest sexual assaulters, would continue to prey on me. I was petrified of returning home. Sometimes, he’d smuggle in his friends and they would beat me so much, I’d become unconscious, after which they would take turns to rape me.”
“Everywhere I went this man would follow me. Once at a family funeral, when I had to wear my father’s dhoti, I recall how he groped me.”
“I was close to committing suicide.”
Image Source: irishmirror.ie
Devastating incident clutched his academic record too. He fell from 97.8% in SSC to 64% in ten plus two. To save himself, he cleared NIFT exams and set his life towards the world of fashion industries, where he found all together a different world with fresh air and fresh thoughts. Within years, he managed a well-to-do job and enjoyed his life in every possible way he can. From late night clubs to one night stands, making love to men and women, drugs and more, but there’s one thing he never forgot, childhood incidents. He was suicidal till 33.
It seemed tragedies in his life wasn’t enough when he found out he was suffering from Pancreatitis. To get loose from the childhood haunted memories and the inflammation, he worked on his inner self. From quitting the job to diets, swimming to on no-shout zone etc and this made him semi-alcoholic.
He is currently associated with ‘Paint Our World’, contemplating shows with abuse survivors, especially boys. He uses his experience to raise awareness about sexual abuse of boys.
“The pain and torture of my childhood will not go away so quickly. It’s a hurt I still carry.”
Raakesh would have not gone through all of this, if his parents had ever asked him, “What was happening..why he behaved the way he shouldn’t?”
Not all men are culprits, they can be victims too. Listen to them, support them and help them fight it! Are you asking these questions to your boys too? Do you want your son/brother to suffer what Raakesh suffered?
Image Source: bknation.org