Stories about sexual abuse

Red

This piece is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The air smelled of rich extravagance as her heart pounded in her chest and banged away like a hammer. Her eyes, heavy with kajal, glanced sideways as the butler came towards her to escort her upstairs. She smiled, stood up, hoping nobody would notice her trembling fingers, and walked upstairs. Unconsciously, her fingers rose to her lips and she started biting her finger nails to calm her nerves. The butler was moving ahead of her and she had to take long strides to keep up with him, while her ...

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Can access to a toilet prevent rape?

The recent spate of rapes in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India has left everyone horrified. Along with the typical reactions from politicians and international agencies that accompany such heinous crimes, the link between lack of access to toilets and increased risk of rape, in particular, has received considerable attention in the national and international media. While the focus on the need for better sanitation is encouraging, I find it somewhat intriguing because neither the problem nor its consequences are ‘new’. In fact, it is one of the most fundamental requirements for any human being and therefore needs to be a constant priority ...

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‘Maid’ in hell or guardian angel?

When my son was born, all the desi rules applied; the Azaan was given in his ear, the circumcision plans were in place, his head was shaved off at the tenth day, my mom made the panjeeri (which was apparently for my good health), I was told to drink lots and lots of hareera and I also got lots of advice on how to raise my kid. I love this about desi culture. Everyone’s involved. Everyone has an opinion. So as the post partum stresses of sleepless nights and constant feedings and rockings and diaper changing sessions continued, someone advised, “Just get a maid to ...

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From pederasty to paedophilia and Freudian slips

A long time ago, a gay Pakistani I know asked me once whether the relationship between Rumi and Shams of Tabriz qualifies as paedophilia. I didn’t understand his question or the context of it because he is well-read, intelligent, knows his religious history and psychology. The question confused me because there was very little I knew about them compared to Madho Lal Hussain. Nevertheless, to avoid hurting my own ego, I referenced my mental notes on the romantic relationship between Madho Lal and Shah Hussain, and immediately tried to correct him. “The feelings Rumi had fall under what we know as pederasty, ...

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Tempted to commit adultery? Indonesian governor says ‘Go pray!’

Are you afraid that you will be so attracted to the opposite sex that you will forget your vows to your significant other? Are you afraid that your sexual urges will no longer be in your control and if you’re an employer, you will most definitely sexually harass your employees? If yes, it may be time for you to move to Indonesia. A governor in Indonesia has found a cure for adultery – prayer. Apparently, he has never known an adulterer who prays five times a day. Either that or he feels that the longer he keeps men and women on the prayer mat, ...

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They can force them to convert to Islam but they can’t win their hearts!

As an expatriate boy growing up in Saudi Arabia, I dreaded attending my school’s mandatory afternoon prayer session. At the end of every long day in Manarat Al-Sharkia, all the Muslim students and teachers gathered before the final two classes to offer Zuhr (noon) prayers in the school’s stinking gym that carried a rancid air powerful enough to rival Hitler’s infamous gas chamber. By prayer time, the gym’s floor had already been saturated by the sweet-smelling sweaty socks of hundreds of young perspiring boys. Thankfully, the school management realised that the gym’s surface was probably host to a number of diseases ...

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A magic trick

It was the second day of Eidul Fitr. My khala was visiting us with her husband and three kids; two boys (15-year-old and 13-year-old) and a 10-year-old girl. I, on the other hand, was five-years-old at that time. These are the characters that are directly and indirectly related to the ultimate magic trick. I remember all of them and all of us sitting near a gas heater, bonding away like families do over such occasions. My mother, with my three-year-old sister sleeping in her lap, and my khala were discussing family issues, while my father was convincing my khalu to join him in his business ...

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Accuse and abuse

Expect, An elaborate depiction, Of maternal incest, For a giddy evening, Should not be blandly left. Paint the picture, And then, pervert it well. Really, what good is an abuse If not aimed below her belt? Accept, The just Jirga has finally said, For an honour to be reclaimed, Residential access of it, Must be gained. Hold her down, as you spread her around, Snatch it from, where it used to belong. Really, what good is an accusation, Without some perks, Deflowering virgins, For the privileged ones? The post first ...

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Male sexual abuse: A myth or fact?

There is a common myth about sexual abuse. Many people believe that boys cannot be abused and even if they are, they argue that sexual abuse is less harmful to boys than to girls. This myth also implies that boys and men cannot be sexually abused because they are better able to protect themselves. Men are not considered vulnerable – psychically or emotionally. However, one must understand that boys are not men; they are mere children who are as defenceless as girls and can too be weak whence trying to protect themselves against predators. According to the Rozan Annual Report 2011-12 2,303 children were abused ...

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At the age of five, I experienced sexual abuse

It all started when I was about four or five years old. I used to live in a small rural area located near Mirpur Khas in Sindh, Pakistan. I stayed there for nearly a decade. By means of introduction, I come from a moderately educated Muslim family background, where the joint family system is preferred. Just like any other family, in front of my parents, I was a typical ‘playful’ and happy-go-lucky five-year-old boy, but there has always been something inside me that I could never share with anyone – not even my mother, who is the closest to me. I used ...

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