The World Of Sexual Abuse…

I have read umpteen stories about sexual abuse; many of them here on WordPress and several others in newspapers and magazines. There have been abundant discussions with and revelations by my friends or colleagues which by and large bring me to a point where I believe that almost everyone has been a victim of sexual abuse at least once in their lifetime. By asserting this statement, I do not suppose that each of us suffered it in the same way and with the same magnitude as a lot of other people; however, you can’t deny the fact that it’s a tormenting act and it leaves a person unstable for years or may be forever. We have all been in it, through it; in one form or another.

A few days ago, I read extensively about three women namely Amanda Berry, now 26, Gina DeJesus, 23 and Michelle Knight, 32 who were held captive for nearly ten years by a man named Ariel Castro in a lively neighbourhood in the city of Ohio. Their families had practically lost every hope of finding them again after years of wide-ranging investigations. They were believed to be dead until May 6, 2013 when Berry came out of a home with her six year old daughter and screeched for help. Charles Ramsey helped her and the two other women and that was precisely the moment they savoured liberty.

kidnap-victims

What prompted me to write about this incident was an article I read yesterday by Roshi Fernando, a victim of sexual abuse describing how she endured the exploitation and the way life changed for her after that. You can click here to read the referred article. It’s a really nice testimony of a woman who is no more reluctant to admit how she was misused like most of the other people. She opened up after the tales of abuse of the three women in Ohio were exposed.

According to different news sources, the three kidnap victims were repetitively raped by Castro and were originally bound with ropes and chains in his basement. He is accused of repeatedly getting the women pregnant and then coercing them to miscarry. Knight got pregnant five times in the period of her confinement and every time, Ariel starved her for weeks and punched in her stomach continually to kill the child. Amanda gave birth to her daughter on 25th December, 2006 who is a product of the sexual abuse she faced. Ariel Castro celebrated the anniversary of each kidnapping by serving dinner and cake and he assumed that the day marked the captive’s new birth.

Since the past many days, the women have been disclosing their story, their soreness and imprisonment. People are aghast because a period of ten or eleven years is big enough for the crime to have gone unnoticed, especially by the neighbours of Castro. In her article, Roshi Fernando emphasizes that sufferers of abuse are not “victims”, not even “survivors” – they’re brilliant, wonderful human beings, out there in the world, avenging themselves on a daily basis by living well. Her lines touch me. Her valour makes me feel proud of the mere fact that I read and tried to comprehend what she wished to convey. It takes a lot of strength to live with self-esteem and contentment after such instances of abuse. It might take a long time for the three women to be able to ‘live with’ the awareness of their struggle and agony and to trust a promising future. They might even take years to be able to sense this independence. The ill-treatment, these ten years and their wounds will stay with them till they are a part of this world. Yet, I know they will grow through it, because of it.

Castro is facing trial and many newspapers and advocates are debating whether he should face the death penalty. On a personal note, I typically believe that the ‘death penalty’ turns out to be an easy escape for such criminals. One moment of enormous pain leading to the end of life must be certainly lesser than ten years of lock up, sexual and physical abuse and torture. These women must have tolerated millions of such moments which are shoddier than death. They deserve justice, in the right manner. What do you think?

(Before I sign off, let’s welcome the three women back to that thing called ‘life’ ) 🙂

welcome-amanda

 

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6 responses to “The World Of Sexual Abuse…

  1. very good article and I am quiet shocked by this story myself at the moment to be honest…Its a pity and most of us go through this painful side of being a female and living in man dominating society at times…I pray for these women and wish to have more strength to live a larger than normal life..Thanks a lot for sharing dear

  2. I replied to your comment but it suffered at the hands of slow internet speed and probably got lost so I’ll sum it here perhaps.
    I just wanted to say that it’s not only the ‘painful’ aspect of being a female because a large number of males also suffer sexual exploitation very often especially as children. Additionally, a victim’s anguish is not only her own; her entire family and friends endure it with her. All such instances are maligning the world and I wish the mindset of people like Castro changes on a positive and sensitive note.
    Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion.

  3. This is beautifully written. This story has been haunting me as all the stories of this nature are so haunting. The idea of humanity being NON existent is such a scary thought, but what always fills my head when these things come about. My favorite part ” they’re brilliant, wonderful human beings, out there in the world, avenging themselves on a daily basis by living well.”…YES YES YES!! My hope is that these amazing, beautiful woman will live as well as anyone can from this moment on…

  4. I’ve read the stories of the 3 girls,now women, too. It scares me because I have a little sister and sometimes I just wanna lock her up at home with me so I won’t have to worry about her when she’s in school or at her friend’s place. You never know what could happen.

    In my country, the common equation for rape is late nights, drivers and students. That’s not so common where I live but there have been a lot of reports regarding it in the past years in surrounding towns.

    The other tragedy is most women in my country feel that when they are raped they are at fault and society doesn’t really make it easier for them. Although they are treated as victims, they too are treated as if they’re dirty or disgusting so most of them just keep the abuse to themselves and suppress the pain.

    I hope those women who are afraid to come and surface, prosecute their abusers and get justice will find courage to fight. It won’t be just for the other girls whom the person might have abused or for those whom he might rape if he stays free but do it because you deserve justice, because it’s only way you’ll know you got to fight for your dignity.

  5. I can understand how you must feel about your little sister. In my country too sexual abuse is commonplace and most of the times the victim is blamed and that is very disgusting.
    Thank you for sharing your opinion and one side of the story. I am glad you stopped by!

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