Sexual abuse: A victim’s diary

Published: February 12, 2012

I feel that telling my husband will make the problem worse. I feel like it will ruin our relationship and complicate matters for the family business.

It didn’t take much time for me to spill my heart out. My secret had become too much to bear. I needed someone, anyone, to hear the anguish I had hidden for so many years. I sat on a chair facing the psychotherapist, my face tense, my hands trembling. As I revealed my deepest and darkest secret, I burst into tears.

My story is not new to the therapist. Sexual harassment is common even among the rich. A perfectly made-up face and bright smile camouflage secrets that I had refused to face for a long time. Between heart-wrenching sobs, I started.

I live in a joint family with my in-laws. I married young, a common occurrence in our society. Soon after my marriage, I was subjected to mental and sexual abuse by my brother-in-law. When no one was around, he made suggestive remarks, sexual advances and sent me inappropriate messages. He was a happily married man and at first it seemed he was just trying to be funny and indulging in some harmless flirting. Soon, I realised that he has every intention of crossing the line.  Attempts of physical contact have been made. He has threatened to rape me and I feel his eyes following me whenever I step out of my room.

With time, the abuse gained momentum and frequency, throwing me in the grips of fear, depression and low self-esteem. My constant refusal to his advances made him pursue me with greater intensity. I became extremely insecure. It changed my personality.

My husband is a weak human being who cannot stand up to his brother. Telling my husband will make the problem worse. I feel like it will ruin our relationship and complicate matters for the family business.

Since we live in the same house, I have to go through the abuse every day. I am scared every time I come home. Fear and helplessness engulf me like a nightmare that doesn’t end. Escape is not an option. I didn’t trust anyone enough to confide in them, so I just kept going through it. I kept denying it, lying to myself that nothing was happening. There came a point where I was so emotionally and mentally weak, I had to get help. I went to a therapist. After an hour long session, I felt better. I regained a little bit of confidence, but I had to go home to that house where the horrors take place. I still live this nightmare…

Sexual abuse is a taboo subject in Pakistan. The minute you say sexual abuse, your audience becomes silent and uncomfortable. Part of the blame can fall on the media which has provoked all kinds of filthy desires in people. Restrictions implemented on children may also result in such problems. Karachi-based psychiatrist Sheila Ali says:

 In Pakistan, the primary problem for women facing issues of sexual abuse and harassment is that there is no governing body for them to seek refuge with or help from. The fact that sexual abuse is a punishable crime in most countries other than ours is reason for its prevalence in our society at every level of the social strata.  Additionally, in most cases of sexual abuse, the perpetrator is a close family member. This makes it ‘impossible’ for the victim to speak out, for fear of being excommunicated from the family, or worse for not being believed.

She adds:

Each victim of sexual abuse believes they are responsible for the abuse, that they may have unknowingly encouraged the abuser; these feelings of guilt plague the victim, cause depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders, et cetera. It is crucial to seek support through psychotherapy to gain strength and perspective on the issue and work toward its resolution.  It is an emotional baggage that can be put to ease only through some moral support which an expert can provide. Mostly the victims describe their feelings as ‘haunted’.

We usually hear that rape and sexual assault occur in poor communities. Very few have been brave enough to discuss incidents that take place in respectable and affluent homes. So many women go through the insecurity and live in dangerous environments. Victims who speak out are labeled shameless and impudent. There are many girls who experience abuse and vulgar treatments by their own family members or at their workplace. Although it is an act of great valour to speak out, sometimes such girls end up staying silent forever. Because of social pressure and joint family arrangements, they are never allowed speak out.

Many years back, a Bollywood movie called “Monsoon Wedding”  gained success because it touched a topic that has seldom been discussed in our society. The young woman, who had been molested by her own uncle as a child, took years to say what she had been through. She got the courage to speak up only because she felt that if she did not reveal her secret this time, another little cousin would become the victim of her uncle’s filthy desires.

Verbal or physical harassment by uncles, teachers, family members or friends all have perilous endings. They have a tremendous effect on the psychological state of the victim. Abusers lack empathy and have no care for others; they get carried away with their selfish temptations. You cannot expect them to stop. One psychologist told me:

“An abuser cannot be fixed and never can. It’s always the victim who has to strictly stop others from destroying one’s individuality and set limits for one’s self respect”.

She added:

This is only one story, thousands can be added to it. Sorrowfully, not much can be done for the victims, until and unless they stop feeling sorry for themselves.

It is sad that victims hold back because they fear they might be blamed face trouble. Often, victims find themselves trapped. They cannot reveal their secret without breaking up family ties or creating a rift between the families. Their abusers know this and along with the sexual harassment, there is emotional blackmail.

Though physical scars heal, psychological damage is almost irreversible. It has damaged my personality and taken an unimaginable toll on me.

S Khan

S Khan

A teacher who lives in Karachi.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • muhammad faraz

    our society values a woman according to her virginity status.Rape victims often don’t report their rapes because then no pakistani man would marry them(such is our disgusting obsession with female virginity).married women can’t reveal the atrocity against them as there’s a real chance that their husbands would leave them.it is high time that our women stopped being held prisoners by the caveman mentality of our male population.first these women have to suffer rape and then they have to face the wrath of their husbands,fiances,brothers,fathers.
    A woman should not be judged according to her virginity status.Such diseased thinking is a relic of the dark ages but unfortunately our society refuses to get past it .Recommend

  • saadia amjad

    “My identity, my life, my reality. It all rotates around the fact that I am a woman. I find myself talking without being understood. No man looks me in the eye because he’s too busy looking at all the other assets I possess. If I am too stern, I am deemed as ill mannered. If I am too nice, I am deemed as having a “loose” character. The louder I am, the more vulnerable I am to stares, glares and suggestive remarks. The softer I am, the more vulnerable I am to stares, glares and being exploited. When I’m sitting in a waiting room or in any public place, I find myself fixing my already well-put dupatta because of a man who cannot take his eyes off of me.

    I am a woman and my body defines my life.”

    From the book
    Working with sharks.Recommend

  • sabeen khan

    it’s a sign of a truly dysfunctional society where the rapists roam free and get to carry on with their lives as normal whereas the ‘shame’ is deposited squarely with the rape victim.it’s time we stopped blaming and shaming the rape victim and our society started treating rapists as pariahs who need to be condemned roundly.special condemnation for the girls who even when knowing that their prospective husbands have raped girls in the past still express eager willingness to marry those men,in essence rewarding them.i’ve come across many such well educated pakistani girls who say ” so what ,college kay zamanay may rape kardia hoga,atleast he has a great job in a multinational,kamai achi hai aur uss larki ka character hi dheela hoga,meray husband ko tempt kia hoga” . such misogynistic women need to be condemned strongly who encourage rapists by not ostracising them in society but instead reward them.
    the shame must always lie with the rapist,never with the victim.Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    I have bee working with women all ages all my life and have come across innumerable cases where young girls and women are subjected to sexual harassment in their own homes and by their closest family members. In many cases the mother or other elders said just put up with it nothing much can be done and matters are hushed up in the name of family name.

    I hope some day someone writes about or confess cases of ‘incest’, yes another form of abuse pervalent in this so called pious society. We blame west for all vulgarity and abuses and not so very chaste practices. I often heard people say rape and abuses are more in other countries. But they forget, crimes are all around agreed, but their is a space for voicing and getting justice when and complaints being listened to and not hushed up.Recommend

  • Parvez

    You have described the predicament you are in very clearly and nicely.
    What comes to mind is that is situations like this it is better to prepare yourself and chose the right time, possibly when all senior members of the family are there and confront your tormentor. This is just a thought as I feel otherwise you are just harming yourself. Recommend

  • AA

    I pray that you get strength to deal with this problemRecommend

  • S Khan

    its not that i have not tried to come with a better solution, but it is not as easy as it seems as in doing so i will spoil some other lives also. above all, every case has a background and in my case i am the one who is at the weak edge and my abuser knows it very well.@Parvez: Recommend

  • abdullah

    reminds me of the time when i was a victim of sexual abuse when I was young. It just hurts me so so bad to realize that our society is plagued by this disgusting disease. And I know how hard it is to stand up to these situations .. all i can advise you is to be strong and start a job or something to stay away or busy as much as you can!
    May God help all the victims of such torture – Ameen!Recommend

  • TrueMuslim

    Why is Tribue Express always publishing articles defaming Pakistani society and supporting anti-Islamic forces? Did the editors verify this story? Did you have enough evidence to publish it? Could not the woman solve the problem herself and her family instead of running to publish it and exploit it? It same mentality that other traitor afreedi ran to US government instead of appraoching Pakistani military and ISI with news on Osama even if he was found in Pakistan. Extremely disappointed with Tribune’s anti-Pakistan agenda.Recommend

  • Ali-Wali

    Seems many people have no common decency, very sad.Recommend

  • HJ

    @muhammad faraz:
    THANK YOU for saying this. not many pakistani men understand this. probably, close to none do. i really applaud your thinking! Thank you, once again! Recommend

  • HJ

    @sabeen khan:
    That is absolutely disgusting! I can’t believe that even women are misogynistic in our society. I’m so disgusted by what you have told us…Recommend

  • http://707monty.blogspot.com Ambreen

    really very sadRecommend

  • Cynical

    @Author

    You are talking about the west, right? We can’t be bothered.
    Rest assured it no such thing exists in the land of pures.Recommend

  • peterparkerarcher

    Go to ansar burneyRecommend

  • insight

    Be brave and fight against it . You will be blamed , tortured but its better than torture by that immoral disgusting man. If your husband cant support , trust, protect and take stand for you than you are better off living alone . So take him in confidence and fight back . You are not alone .Recommend

  • Solomon

    The story seems to be very near to Hum Tv play “Meray Qatil Meray Dildar”, either its reality or just inspired by it to raise this issue.Recommend

  • Siddharth Sharma

    May God save us from these perverted people who consider everything as a sexul object. Even the kids are not spared..!!

    Sick mentality!!..Recommend

  • sars

    Your situation is not unfortunately very unusual. Women in our society are vulnerable as they are often treated as objects “belonging” to men in the family. Usually this is in a protective sense , but human behavior is not always so moral.

    Instead of marrying our girls off while very young, immature and dependant we should spend our money on them, their education (instead of cars apartments and washer dryers).
    If a woman can stand on her feet she will have the option of slapping her brother in law in the face , telling her husband what is happening and walk out.
    Instead because of financial dependance women have to put up soundlessly with these activities , for fear of losing the husband and not being welcomed at their parents /brothers home
    I would advise you to tell your husband the situation, you do not want the brother to fill his head with nonsense about you.Recommend

  • popsaeed

    we are running between religion and non religion when no one is trustable to you then there begin the fear of unsecure only trust in ALLAH will secure you and give you confidence for the fighting against all sort of harrasement and corruption.”Do it and trust in ALLAH”Recommend

  • http://about.me/MaleehaAzhar Maleeha Azhar

    Whenever we read these kind of write ups….then we realize how much blessed we are to have a safe place to live and work…..but what about others??? Its time to speak up, to raise our voices against of this behavior…….. WHY WE ALWAYS ASSOCIATE WOMEN TO SOME PARTICULAR THING???? COME ON…..SHE IS NOT A THING…OR FUN THING….WOMEN IS A LIVING HUMAN BEING AS LIKE OF MAN…….HAS ITS OWN PERSPECTIVE, THOUGHTS, LIKES AND DISLIKES…..Recommend

  • jawad

    For God’s sake, woman, do something. Stand up and tell this man to stop. Tell your husband. Tell the whole family. If it ruins your relationship with the husband, fine. The relationship was ruined long ago. If the family business is ruined, fine. These criminals chose to ruin it. You had nothing to do with it. Dont be a party to this crime.Recommend

  • Ali

    Husband needs to give full support to his wife, he should have good trust level and give confidence to wife. Discuss this kind of issues with her so that she starts gaining confidence. Male should treat sexual harassment an accident, it is beyond females control, don’t punish victim but the culprit.

    Last day i watched reenactment of a true story on SAMA TV. A so-called religious scholar raped a married woman and she was about to suicide but her husband consoled her and considered it an accident. They are living happy life. This should be the attitude. Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Author,

    When no one was around, he made
    suggestive remarks, sexual advances and
    sent me inappropriate messages. He was
    a happily married man and at first it
    seemed he was just trying to be funny
    and indulging in some harmless
    flirting

    Suggestive remarks, sexual advances and inappropriate messages from a brother-in-law were thought to be funny and harmless flirting? Recommend

  • xasan

    i read the article and felt really bad. i think you should tell your husband. its his duty to protect you from everything. not telling him and thinking that he is weak man etc etc is not a good strategy. at-least you can answer ur God that i told my husband ..

    May God give u strength Recommend

  • Aftab

    harassment prevails in our society, however laws are being made by the assembly..
    There is an important role of our society in paksitan. women is victim in domestic violence etc..there is a mind set behind these acts… our customary laws.. frequently practiced in pujab, kpk, blochstan..
    and most important women in our society dont like to exploit them. (selves again a mind set)Recommend

  • Someone

    My husband’s first cousin passed a suggestive remark in front of my hubby. He wasn’t able to say anything because this guy is the blue eyed boy of my husband’s family. For a very long time I had lost respect for my husband as well but now I believe that I am strong enough to defend myself and I don’t need husband/brother/father to protect me when my Allah is with me. Recommend

  • xyz

    in such cases, no denying how tough it gets, the choice is simple n clear.. either STAND UP to it, or keep going down deeper n deeper. Both choices are difficult, very difficult, with the toughest of repercussions. With either of the choices, the life will be doomed, but if you choose the former, people will respect, and if you choose the latter, people will sympathize. So again the choice is simple, RESPECT? or SYMPATHY? what do u prefer? for me, the former is always the preferred, face the damage, but do Stand up! u’ll respect urself all ur life for it.. May God be with you..Recommend

  • Umar.N

    I really feel sorry for you and for every other soul in this country which is going through same abuse and predicament. I don’t get it when you said your husband is week to stand up to the problem :/ I believe it’s time you should tell your husband everything. As a proof you can always use his (brother-in-law’s) text messages, recorded phone calls or even you can secretly tape him the next time he confronts you. I hope your man’s MAN enough to sort it out. Think about it and play it wisely. Discuss it with your your best buddies to come up with plausible solutions as well.
    God bless you Sister!
    UN
    Recommend

  • rokhanghalib

    That is a great topic you have raised. it mostly occurs in our society. one should speak out if such a thing happens because if she doesn’t, more girls will be victimized. There is a law for harassment as well, so no one should keep quiet because it will make him do it more…Recommend

  • SSB

    We muslims are the worse lot……we preach purity, honesty, chastity…whilst we are one of the most corrupt nations in the world, casinos around the world are filled with long bearded men squandering their money, the men are lecherous and frustrated…more so the mullah, women are treated with contempt, alcohol, mujras, gambling, audultry are rampant in our society; but what do we pure muslims do…we claim the west are morally fallen whilst we are the jannati….horrible, we are. Atleast the west does not pretend to be what they are not. They are who they are and they have no fear is doing what they want, wearing what they want. While we here act so paak and naek, and do the worst deeds under the protective umbrella of Islam……at moments like these, Im embarrassed to be called a muslim.Recommend

  • Sikander Ali

    @Someone: Why lose respect for your husband? Would you have more respect for him if he broke his bones. Because that’s what I did when one of my cousins passed a remark on my sister. I didn’t ask, didn’t wait, just broke the soft drink glass bottle I was drinking on his face. He got 12 stitches. And now I am the villain in the family. The girl I did it for.. my own sister.. does not take my side. If we stay quite we are labelled impotent and if we do something we are labelled as villains.. Your husband probably stayed quiet to protect you from prosecution of the family for bringing down insult on the blue eyed boy but all you gave him in return was disrespect. Recommend

  • TMohsin

    Try to record a proof and tell your husband right away…you cannot ignore it all your life..even if your husband is a coward, let it be…even if he does’nt believe you, at least he will get conscious to this issue and maybe will stay alert himself…you said that he used to send you messages..why don’t you show those messages to your husband?Recommend

  • http://ibteda.wordpress,com Sadaf

    Ruining her relationship and complicating matters for the family business? Ugh, She needs to take a stand for herself. A relationship which doesn’t;t even allow the wife to confide in the so called weak husband is already ruined.
    S Khan – I dont know why you are choosing to stay in a household where your integrity is constantly at stake, but seriously, do think about whether your marriage and a husband who apparently wont even be able to take a stand for you is worth the pain and suffering,
    It Is easier to be victimized if you just keep thinking of yourself as a victim. Recommend

  • A Teen

    Abuse exists in every family, not just this case of bro in law, you are in a sort of a better position as you are a wife and if you will tell your husband smartly with proofs i am sure he will listen to you Unlike cases like Myself, where i was physically harassed by my Khala’s husband when i was around 8 or 9… being a child at first i could not even comprehend what was going on and later never had the guts to tell my parents… today i am a 19 year old fully grown up Girl, when today he comes infront of me i really feeling like shouting out loud and letting him know that i DO REMEMBER,… you are an adult you can speak usually people harass kids thinking they will forget BUT THEY DON’T…

    would you believe being a 19 year old girl today since i don’t even bother talking to him he Complained to my mom about how NACKCHARI i am… sick minded people !

    I really hope you tell your husband since its not parents you need to fear your hubby will definitely do something… sitting in silence gives you nothing ..Recommend

  • s khan

    every problem has not a solution, nor every married life is perfect, neither all husbands are friends and most importantly not all women are strong to endure the difficulties they face. but sexual abuse is a problem that activates mental stress and depression. that is what i what to point out! and one should go for a therapist help if required and it does help. psychotherapist treatments are not for mental disordered but for mentally weak people and if one doesn’t go for a therapist help he or she might end up taking medications after few years. Recommend

  • Parvez

    @S Khan: I notice that you repeatedly say that you are on the weaker side and possibly you are. Suggest you watch a movie made in 2002 called ‘ Enough ‘ with Jennifer Lopez being in a similar position as you and what she does about it. Remember its a movie but it has a potent message.Recommend

  • Shahzad Aslam

    Agree with Umar.N. Do act tactfully.

    As you said, you live in combined family so how this person finds you alone in the house so many times ? Where are rest of in laws, kids, his wife ? Any ways do something intelligently. Secretly record video on mobile with voice and make copies of this video. Show it to some wise fellow and ask for line of action.Recommend

  • s khan

    movie idea is great! i must find a trainer then. i know we are good in making fun of others thanks for your comment Pervez.:) i really appreciate it.Recommend

  • Fighter

    you should speak up against abuse in your family, silence will make these monsters stronger n the situation even worse, no one around you is deaf n you are not dumb , next time he approaches you with wrong intentions , plzz shout out loud n be sensible rather than being weak (this is the era of camcorders in every cell phone) ,and I request all the parents to be protective about their kids, monitor your kids esp daughters when u visit your relatives, don’t trust ANYBODY with your kid .Recommend

  • Solomon

    The writer says that she belonged to rich class, so was she rich from father side or in-laws side. If father side, generally girls dont stay calm on these things until she has issues with her parents as well. The story has lot of loopholes, but if it is true she should simply show the sms to her husband.Recommend

  • ZIK

    Yes, we live in a sick society which reminds me of a pressure cooker. I know of a lady who was abused as a child by an uncle and another “old gentleman” (the age of her grandfather) who was visiting her neighbor.

    The minute you land at Karachi airport and walk out, you feel the “need” to cover yourself. You actually “feel” that you need to cover yourself because of the vultures who are staring at you. In contrast, when you are in a western country, you can wear a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and still feel safe and comfortable without needing to cover yourself from head to toe.

    I have also observed very senior level officials and the so-called “elite men” making offensive and crass comments about women in their presence. The sad thing is that the women themselves just smile about these comments instead of taking a stand against it.Recommend

  • MK

    A sad truth of Pakistani society. Everything happens, and amazingly enough, EVERYTHING manages to get brushed under the carpet, taakay shadi ho jaye aur zindagi bus jaye. Stupid fools.Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com Shumaila

    I think people commenting on this issue need to be a little more sensitive. It is extremely easy to give advice when you are not in the same scenario. Only if you were in the exact same position the author describes could you full appreciate her circumstances and her obligations and then decide a course of action. Empathy is a good thing, but we tend to go overboard in our advice, forgetting that we don’t really know what we’re talking about.

    People in abusive relationships often have to deal with a lot of things and are often incapable of taking the same decisions normal people can. Even women with strong self esteem and without any obligations think twice about leaving their home and husband – a woman in an abusive relationship which has psychologically cowed her and reduced her sense of self to almost nothing is not going to be able to take such a step, or Any step, even telling her husband, easily.
    .
    @ S Khan – I think therapy is a great step and it will go a long way in helping you build back your self esteem and confidence and making you into a strong woman, capable of dealing with your abuse. You and your therapist can then maybe slowly work towards a solution that is possible for you and that will help you get rid of this abuse in the long run. There are very few resources for women in your position in Pakistan but some are being developed and maybe those can help you. I just hope you remember at all times that you are a) not alone in this, thousands of women go through sexual and physical abuse and they survive, b) its not and never will be your fault.
    .
    I hope things work out for you. Recommend

  • alicia

    @Sikander Ali
    I don’t know why your sister and your family did what they did. But if you were my brother I would have supported you.
    A woman does lose respect for her husband when he fails to protect her because in our society infact in most society’s even in the west if somebody tries to flirt with another mans wife the husband does not take it easy. Ignoring it and leaving your wife helpless is the most un-manly and cowardly thing to do.Recommend

  • s khan

    For sure numerous girls go through this. a friend of mine told me when she was 12 years old was abused by his cousin physically. Honestly, the filth in our minds has reached severe extent through media and free approach to porn sites. which is quite obvious in our young generation. Recommend

  • Awais

    @Sikander Ali:

    I would have done the same if someone had made a remark to one of my sisters, we were born and raised in London, so immediately most cousins think my sisters have a ‘loose’ character (whenever we visit Lahore). Recommend

  • Aiax Muir

    I’ve been in a situation in my family where physical abuse was a norm and me being on the weaker side, physically and morally. But there comes a time when enough is enough. I realised that a time will come when I will lose all self respect and become a nobody, there would be no turning back then. I had to take a stand. When I did, I was ridiculed throughout my family, nobody believed me, they all thougtht I was wrong. I was made an outcaste. I lost everything family, friends, money. But I now had self respect and nobody could take that from me. I gained everything back with time, that I had lost then. Its like they say, “roz roz k marnay se acha hay, ek dafa mar ke phir geo”.

    If money and status are more important to you than self-respect, then nothing can help you. It’s very easy to feel sorry for yourself and gain sympathies from others, but no one but you yourself can help you.Recommend

  • Josef

    Pathetic to know about you. I hope all will be well again and your husband will understand what you are going through. :) AmenRecommend

  • Siraj

    Kindly share this with your parents. Your Mom. Probably your parents may be able to help you.Recommend

  • Lady

    S Khan, i totally understand how you feel. i have been through the same ..with my husband.

    though we had a love marriage, it flew right out the window a few weeks after our wedding! my consent, in ANYTHING at all, did not matter. it was like i was a maid, serving 24/7.

    no respect, no love, no kindness.

    I pray you gain your strength, and face them head strong. Recommend

  • Ishtiyaque

    S Khan, in my opinion someone really sympathetic from readers or your real friend should help you by fixing your bro-in law by hitting on his face so hard and telling him to stop putting such steps, more ever a female must have enough courage to deal with such issues by rising her voice at any level, a female of now doesnt need such family where there is no respect for her.

    unfortunate is the men of our society cant bear independence of female and consider it a privilege and start harassing whether he’s boss, colleague, friend, cuisine etc… Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    I want to applaud every single woman who has dared to expose the hypocrisy of our society by taking a stand. Every one is born free. It is a violation of basic human rights to take away that freedom, Even a one-day old child must be respected.

    In a society burdened with innumerable taboos with the weight of an imaginary past where all was hunky dory, the revival of medieval values in the garb of religion, is tearing the society apart. Inhibitions become ingrained., curtailing the development of healthy individuals. Beards or no beards the conservatives in every society resist change. Status quo is a blessing. The fight for a change will get even tougher that will force men and women to stand side by side in their struggle to ensure a decent future for their offspring. .

    Plaudits naturally should also go to ET for providing the possibility to their readers, for having discourses unhindered even on the so called “sensitive” subjects.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @s khan: The message was to stand up for yourself. There is no question of fun involved.
    That would be ridiculous. Wish you the best.Recommend

  • Someone

    @Sikander Ali: Not sure if smashing a glass bottle was the best thing to do and not even sure if your cousin wasn’t genuinely interested in your sister. My case is totally different. If I am married, I should be officially unapproachable at least for the men in my own family and especially that of my husband’s side. I never wanted my husband to break anyone’s bones but he could have at least asked his cousin what made him think that I and my husband would tolerate such behavior. Or a warning would have been best in this case which I gave to his cousin anyway.Recommend

  • Tanya Baig

    I know it is not easy especially when your close family member is involved in sexual abuse, but one has to stand up against social stigma attached to sexual abuse. The notion prevails in a society that family’s honor lies between two legs of a woman is absurd and should be confronted with utmost force. One has to come out of her comfort zone to show some courage to speak out. Recommend

  • leila rage

    @TrueMuslim: How stupid can you be? This article isnt anti-Islam or anti-Pakistan at all. It is only an exposition of what goes on in our society. People need to speak up about such stuff, how else can we finish these evils?Recommend

  • the only rationalist left

    Alicia: your comment is full of hatred for men. Why is a man supposed to “protect” you (a woman) and cuddle you in order to be not called a “coward?”

    Leaving one’s wife helpless is unmanly and cowardly? now YOU, a woman, will tell me, a man, what is manly and what is cowardly? Good lord, I thought we were misogynistic for a wrong reason, but I guess we men have some very valid reasons to be misogynistic. Recommend

  • http://truthexposed123.blogspot.com Truth Exposed

    @Sikander Ali
    There is a difference between wife and sister. Your wife thinks your will protect her but in case of sister it is different. What if she loves him??
    and it was your fault too that your cousin was bold enough to to use such language about your sister in front of you. The same is true for “someone’s” husband.Recommend

  • http://truthexposed123.blogspot.com Truth Exposed

    @Solomon:
    you are right. This story has so many loopholes and you see after every few days we find one such story. But it doesn’t mean that these things are not happening in society. Recommend

  • No One

    @Someone:
    your husband was really worthless, shameless creature. If someone would do it to my wife, I don’t think he would be alive to do it next time. Recommend

  • Sanober

    You have taken great effort to speak up and that is the first step. Whatever has happened with you is unacceptable and unchangeable BUT what can happen further on with you or even others now totally depends on you. Please continue to speak up. You have been keeping up with this humiliation for a while now. You and only you can stop it.. Your future generation will be effected by your silence. Don’t worry about society…it CANNOT be responsible for your happiness. Only you have the key to end this miserable tortourous life. deal with it pnce and for all… change is a matter of time. Be brave and take the plunge..May God give you strength Recommend

  • Seriously NonSerious

    Nice story s khan… U can become a successful writer in ‘khawateen’ and ‘shua’ digests (if u translate it in Urdu)

    I mean, how emotional this uber-liberal class is. Without hearing the other side of the story, everyone started to shower bucket-loads of sympathy for this amatuer writer.Recommend

  • s khan

    we all have some dark secrets, but one should not let them overshadow his/her personality. i have learnt it. This topic is really not respected by many people. one of my friend just called me and scolded me for writing it, as it was too intense, shameful and powerful. she called it bold and disgusting attempt to gain attention.
    so lets write more stuff on valentines day, make fun of corrupt politicians and celebrities…..whatever! Recommend

  • ayesha

    @TrueMuslim:
    Are you on drugs?? I am seriously concerned and feel sorry for all the women in your life..God have mercy on them if they ever are so unfortunate to undergo what the author described. You NEED HELP!! GET A SHRINK!!
    @the author:
    Lady, I am not going to pretend as if I know completely the torture you’re going through but as many suggested, take a stand tactfully. Your life and self-esteem can’t be compromised for family business and fragile relationships. You might have to protect your kids one day. If you can’t speak up for yourself, how will you protect your kids? Don’t you think by being silent, you’re becoming complaisant with the abuser? He might do this to someone else in the family as your silence might encourage him further. And if your husband is that weak then I guess you’re better off without him. Take a stand, you might lose many things but at the end what matters most is ‘you’. Sending you some positive energy. Recommend

  • Sana

    A tip: next time he physically advances towards you, SCREAM at the loudest possible voice and when someone asks you say I saw a rat. Second, stop thinking about family business or relationship, just tell your husband and let him tell you what to do. Dont label him weak. My hubby is very protective of me but he never interferes until I ask him to and I respect him for that, so may be yours is a similar guy. May be your husband saw you did not react strongly to sexual remarks and he thought you would not like it if he does. So give him a benefit of doubt and talk to him about this. Dont worry of repucursions, they dont matter.
    If you will delay this, this guy will become more and more brave and one day you will find him molesting your female girls too. So talk before its too lateRecommend

  • Solomon

    @Sana, good adviceRecommend

  • Solomon

    @ s khan Need a clarification, you said this about yourself or narrated a story told by a psychotherapist?Recommend

  • Sena

    Try to move out, if possible. And don’t let this define you. <3 Recommend

  • http://truthexposed123.blogspot.com Truth Exposed

    @Solomon:
    She heard it from someone…
    Because personal stories dont have such loopholesRecommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/talentidols sadiaali

    me think it’s very good topic nd blog now a days we want to see that the what’s the major is going in this country i think it is the topic of this blog.but me think this also if women,girl is in her limit than no one can do bad with her that’s all. :)Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Farah Kamal: says “I have bee working with women all ages all my life and have come across innumerable cases where young girls and women are subjected to sexual harassment in their own homes and by their closest family members” I think one problem girls are being sexual harrassement in their homes because Pakistan culture religion forbids man/woman interaction (mixing) There is a belief that hormones and mental thoughts can be controlled by hijab/burqa Actually this seperation of sexes increases chances of sex between people of the same sex or sex with close relatives. I think if there is an opportunity for a man to have a g/f he is less likely to go after his close relatives. I don’t know what psychotherapy can do in the case a girl being harrsssed by her brother in law. There should be a way that brother in law can be stopped by the family itself The girl has some self esteem issue that could have played a role in this particular situation.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @TrueMuslim:
    There are news stories all over the internet about these things happening in Muslim homes. People like you indirectly encourage such things by connecting them to Islam. Usually if a girl complains families try to blame her for the problems.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    I think there is a communication problem too. The girl saw this as harmless flirting If brother in law was not happily married would she have reacted differemtly. If I am not wrong Islam does not allow a girl and her brother in law to be alone. May be brother in law saw her “no” as “yes”. I am not saying what brother in law did was in any way right.Recommend

  • the only rationalist left

    @ Ayesha: I feel sorry for that you are a woman. Recommend

  • izonKAYANI

    @ S Khan & fellow commenter,
    First of All, Plz dnt blame Religion nor Society in this case as,
    Our religion says U r “na-mahram” to each othr and thus distance, sharam, haya, parda and respect must be practiced by both.
    Our Society says U r the “Bhabi Maan” and thus dsrv the utmost respect accordingly.
    If both above conditions dnt prevail it’s a personality disorder and not any system’s fault.

    Furthermore, all above is emphasis on women victimization and stressing their empowerment, well it wont happn until u first cnsdr urslf as equal n as rightful as any man, therefore pick any of good suggestion from abv make a decision and stick to it, and y alwys fear of negative consequences rather be optimistic abt wtevr u decide.

    Also u wd probably hv travld miles, expnsd thousands, and beard revealing uncomfortable secrets to a third person the “therapist” who too couldnt do much atleast nthng inside ur home, well I urge n suggst u to do one sajda with heart to Allah Mian instead as he alrdy knwz evrythng..

    Finally n most importntly bttr cnsdr following angle in ur case, as it may contain the root prblm n simplst of solutions…. Tht may be u hv looks seductive enough fr any prsn with weak chrctr/beleif to fall fr U, n unfrtunatly u hv one such prsn in ur very home… So reconsidr how u dress n how u allow urslf to be looked upon…..Recommend

  • Zee

    I have a better idea. Why don’t you make your husband read this article? :) If you can tell ur story to the whole world then why not to the intended audience as well? Because if you expect us-the readers, to understand your situation and trust your story , then your husband BETTER do too. It might spoil lives as u say but hey ! ur bro-in law is not all that honest to his wife anyways. So doesn’t make a difference. In fact it might just do some good in the end to all the people involved. Remember, Truth always prevails!! Recommend

  • fiza

    Splendid article. I salute you for for this brave attempt. There is one thing I’d like to point out too. Being an overseas Pakistani, I know a family where they married off their son to a Pakistani girl and she came here. Living with her inlaws and her husband, things were difficult. To add to it, her father in law was a lymphomaniac. He would sneak into the kitchen when nobody was around and behave with her inappropriately. When she discussed it her husband, he refused to believe it and to the contrary, said it was her fault and she is accusing such an elderly man. It is just sick! Many aged men like him do this and get away with it. We need to realise and listen to what is being said rather than who is saying it. Recommend

  • s khan

    i really wish from the depth of my heart it was a made up story!Recommend

  • http://habloid.wordpress.com Habiba Younis

    if you dont take a firm stand right now, Godforbid you might be considered as the culprit well if it comes out through any other mode. He wont stop, and there is no assurance that his continuous advances will remain a secret. Silence is NOT your long term escape. You cant let that bast**d ruin your life like this!Recommend

  • http://newsteria.com Adeel

    I think the writer should have told her husband or her family members. She said that she could not reveal the secret due to fear of breaking relationship but doesn’t she think that if her husband knew about this after some time, what would happen then? She should secure her position from the very beginning and reveal the secret! Recommend

  • Vigilant

    @author….i am unable to advice or give u any solution or suggestion as i am not been through any this kind of situation……but you are brave enough who speak-up & Good Article….Recommend

  • Sadiq arif

    I just don’t understand why most of the men in our society or perhaps at a global level, only see women in terms of their sexuality and not as women or a human being. A personal experience of mine with my friend sitting next to me in my sociology class, suddenly shocked me by pointing out a girl, who is also a friend of us regarding her figure was quite surprising and shocking for me. Things that were unnoticeable before.Recommend

  • Hira Z

    @saadia amjad: Applause !
    @ S Khan: Thanks for speaking up!Recommend

  • Saad Naseer

    Think twice Pakistan represents an excellent overview of social and human cost as a result of violence and deprivation.Recommend

  • u_too

    @muhammad faraz:
    wow! well saidRecommend

  • Shani

    @ S.Khan;
    You mentioned that you are on the weaker side, but stand up and raise your voice against this abuse. Whatever, is happening now, will worsen more the next day. Tell your husband about this, and show him some proof as you told he sent you messages, collect genuine proof against him. This will definetly help you get out of this dilema. Go for therapist and do something for your self esteem. This is no way your fault, never think like this. This is the ill thought of our society which is being spread through media of all sources like print, electronic and porn on the net.
    I wish you the best of luck and Pray for you to have trust in Allah (s.w.t) and standup against this abuse. Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    It is time to put your foot down. However, tough it may sound, you have to fight for your rights. Life is not always a bed of roses. Lots of predators prowl around. You will be surprised how much dirt has been shoved under the mattress.
    There should be no reason to doubt the support of your parents and husband. On the surface women seem fragile but there is always a tough woman under the skin. Being macho is just a mask men put on.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @muhammad faraz

    You said the ultimate.Thank you brother.Also I am happy that you had so many recommends.Recommend

  • sam

    I’m sad to read what you and many other women are going through by people who should be protecting you from such things,but i’m glad you have summed up the courage to speak out. Its not easy but i applaud you for your stance and i think you must try some way to stop it because such people are cowards and if u stand up to them they think twice before making any more advances. If u can show him you wont take this anymore he will back down because he doesn’t want anyone to know himself,inside he’s afraid what if u say anything he will be ruined and wont be able to show his face anywhere,he will become an outcast in his own home and that’s one edge you have over him and that’s enough. Save his sms’s and make a recording of what he says to you. Show it to your husband then he even wont be able to say your wrong,your evidence will speak for itself, and i hope he will stand up for you ones he sees it himself, if not, i’m sure someone in your own family will,once they know about it,your mother ,father ,brother or even your sister i’m sure they will stand up for you once they know too and don’t waste time in telling your husband or he might say why didn’t you tell him sooner and it may go against you. You care for not causing a problem for your family but its time you think about yourself first, save yourself first.Finally, i pray that you are able to solve this problem and get on with your life and other women read this article and know that they are not alone and it can happen to anyone but they can do something about it.GOD BLESS YOU ALL GIVE YOU THE STRENGTH TO OVERCOME YOUR PROBLEM. Recommend

  • Deeba Kirmani

    This is a very sad story, i think its a common story in our society where no one is safe. In my views we should have a friendly relationship with our parents, husbands and brothers so that we can discuss our problems with them without any hesitation. Also if a person knows that we are under pressure and stress then he gets the courage to keep on doing such sexual harrasments.You should give a slap to the person at the very first time then he’ll think a thousands times before doing such nonsense.And above all i personally believe that truth is truth, so why to shy or scared to share such things to your spouse or in laws.Always remember that God helps those who help themselves.Recommend

  • Anaya Ramiz

    Its easier said than done. Only the one whose going through it all knows whats it really like! I was sexually abused by my own father! It was horrible, it was disgusting! I hated myself for a long time. I dint knew what to do. I was only 14 then. I dint knew who to tell! Recommend

  • Cynical

    Marrying off young girls to old men, who could have been their grandfather is another form of sexual abuse.Quite common among poor people. Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Cynical:
    Marrying off young girls to old men, who could have been their grandfather is another form of sexual abuse.Quite common among poor people.

    These Biblical practices should be declared an unpardonable crime, needing urgent action. We cannot go on living in dark ages.

    Once again it confirms that females are treated as chattel by their own families. Girls do not own their own bodies, they can’t even choose the person with whom they are supposed to spend rest of their lives. Girls are blackmailed by their own families into submission. What a pity.Recommend

  • s khan

    Anaya Ramiz you are absolutely right!Recommend

  • abdullah

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    Yuri,here u touched the right wire which if disconnected w’ld defuse the bomb……i don’t know who u r,where u r from nd whats yr religion but the msg u tried to deliver out of the victim’s own statement is very much BLINKING…neither im in mood to be abused by the liberal fascists nor the traders of religion,by saying that in pursuit of a “Dream Society” from inspiration of WEST,we are in state of social nd moral chaos i.e we need money,we need our rights nd we have all worldly dreams BUT we have left behind the key of success…OUR RELIGION…today consensual sin of any type is not a worry for any1 but the forced one is….today our compromises to earn worldly means are more than our religious practices which can create “DREAM SOCIETY” for all..today our female is asking for rights but not following religion who gives her each instruction to become “respected”…today our male is not a Muslim but a vulture of material needs as he is not groomed by a noble pious mother…ITS US WHO MAKE SOCIETY BY OBEYING INSTRUCTIONS WHETHER RELIGIOUS OR LEGAL….there shall be no compromise at all, at SINS for a MUSLIM…
    { 14 yrs ago,a mum told a 16yrs old son(who was going fr college nd then uni to Melbourne),
    “O’my dear son never become a vulture as you are going to a society where WOMEN expose themselves as MEAT and MEN become VULTURES….} there’s alott in the un-said for those who are visionary…… Recommend

  • Romano

    between @True Muslim and @Cynical lies the divide. and my vote goes to Cynical. Recommend

  • Aryan

    @fiza:
    What is lymphomaniac?Recommend

  • Amna

    @SSB:
    man i so so so feel you…you have voiced my own opinions, exactly what i feel. our shameless hypocritical society deserves to be in hell before everyone else. and exactly as u have said..if this is how muslims are, then i am ASHAMED to call myself one!Recommend

  • Ismail Elmcharfi

    Let me start by saying that I truly sympathize with the victim. However, since this a social phenomenon as it seems from all the comments we should go deeper into what’s really causing it. I won’t talk about the West as many commentatrors did, even though I lived there for over 12 years. Nevertheless, incest and other immoral phenomena is widespread in the West. Going back to what I said earlier we should really be searching for the real causes of the problem. The Fear from Allah is dying in the hearts of such people. They may call themselves Muslims, but claims are claims until proven to be facts.These are people with sick hearts as Allah describes them in the Quran. In fact, Allah orders all chaste women not speak in a voice or tone that’s too attractive that it will cause such men to hope for…. . Many innocent women keep forgetting that their attire and the sexually attractive clothes they wear usually make them an aim and sometimes an easy target for the the Men who have sick hearts. This is just one of the reasons why Muslim women have been ordered to wear the Hijaab, dress modestly, and beautify themselves for none but their husbands. May Allah guide us all! Ameen. Recommend