Stories about sexual abuse

What the Islamabad police did to me and my friend …

I am not a regular blogger and I don’t usually write. This is the first time that I’m using this platform to get my point across and I hope it works. My message is for a wider audience, for it to be helpful to many citizens, especially naïve teenagers.   Last Friday at around 10pm, I was standing with one of my female friends on Margalla Road in sector F-6. We were munching on crisps while standing and chatting when out of nowhere an Islamabad Police patrol vehicle stopped by. Three police guys, two from the Elite Force in their skin tight black ...

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A woman’s fate

For as long as one can remember, Karachi has been beset by killings. Though these days it seems that it is getting easier to murder a woman and get away with it. Murders of women are reported from all corners of the country, almost on a daily basis, and without a doubt, many cases go unnoticed or unreported. Alarmingly, a sizeable majority of the women killed are young and newly-wed. They are not just murdered, but murdered after being subjected to domestic torture and sexual violence. Unfortunately, nothing much is being done to promote the fast-vanishing tradition of respecting and honouring women. Recently, ...

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Taroo Maroo: Portraying paedophilia through pop culture is unacceptable

The singer, Ali Gul Pir who released the hilarious track, Waderai ka beta, rose to fame due to the eccentric criticism he poked at the feudal system of Pakistan. He mocked them in a very witty matter and won the hearts of many. Recently, he has released a new video, Taroo Maroo, which mirrors the street harassment that is prevalent in Pakistan, in terms of the way Pakistani men stare. You can view the video here No doubt, the video is great in terms of its distinctiveness and entertainment. Taroo Maroo reveals the perspective of any Pakistani man. Pir represents an unconventional ...

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Child abuse: Silence is never the solution, be a fighter!

To me she was an ordinary girl ─ every teacher’s favourite, scoring perfect marks in all the exams. Looking at her, I never realised that behind this perfect pretty face lived a tormented girl who held a dark secret. Behind her inscrutable face was a girl who constantly screamed but to no avail. However, recently she broke her silence and shared her story with me, while we were discussing Sidney Sheldon’s novel Tell Me Your Dreams. *Humera who belongs to the middle class and is 23-years-old now, was sexually abused when she was 12 by a grocer in his mid-forties. He owned ...

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Blind date

December 20, 2011. Beep, beep, beep. Sameen took a deep breath and flipped open her cell phone. “Blue jeans, grey t-shirt.” The car stopped in traffic. Sameen began tapping her foot impatiently. There wasn’t much time left until he would be waiting there. And sure as that was, her phone blinked, “Where are you?” She suddenly felt flustered and snapped at her driver to somehow speed the car through the massive traffic jam. “Stuck at a signal,” she texted back. “Be there in ten.” He was already there and had been waiting for her. Sameen suddenly felt her blood pressure drop all over again. For the past two weeks ...

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Confessions of a victim of child abuse

Am I crazy? Am I depressed? Does this only happen to me? Why do I feel so lonely, so empty? Why am I scared to interact with others? Why I am I not as courageous and strong as the other guys? Why do I feel that people hate me? Why am I leading such a life? I had to deal with such and a lot of other questions like these when the “black dog” (depression) started haunting me some years ago. It may be hard to believe that a 15-year-old boy would have to deal with something as serious as ...

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Salma’s story: Molested by her guardian

I first came across her on a Facebook forum in August 2010. The two of us were quite vocal on a forum made for the Sialkot brothers who had been publicly lynched during Ramazan that year. We often bumped into each other online and shared common passions and eventually decided to become “Facebook friends”. Hailing from an educated, upper middle class family, she seemed to be an ordinary 20-year-old girl. However, I soon began to realise that all was not truly well on my new friend’s side. The seemingly normal girl appeared to be a little – well, different. It looked to me as ...

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Sexual abuse: Can we protect Amna?

Child sexual abuse is probably the least acknowledged forms of abuse in Pakistan. It is like Pandora’s Box, that no one is ready to open. Children, and even adults are not educated enough about certain incidents and their prevention. Middle East Media Research Institute reports that 2,012 cases of child sexual abuse were recorded from all over Pakistan during 2009. This means approximately 3.3 children were sexually abused per day.  Of the victims 68% were girls and 32% were boys. It is suspected that the number is much higher. Girls are more likely to be targeted by family members, acquaintances ...

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Sexual abuse: A victim’s diary

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 ...

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What really happens inside a madrassa

I was about 10-years-old in the late 90s, when I was forced to go to a madrassa by my mother. I didn’t want to go. I had heard many notorious stories about madrassas and was quite shaken at the thought of being a part of one. Nonetheless, I was sent to become a good Muslim.  I am a resident of Karachi and come from a conservative family where burqas and Assalam-o-Alaikum are necessary to gain respect from your family and friends. My mother used to emphasize on learning the Holy Quran as I grew up. When I asked her: “Mom, why can’t I ...

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