My Story: I Was Just 10-Year-Old When I Was Sexually Abused First

My Story: 'I Was Just 10-Year-Old When I Was Sexually Abused First'

This article is more than 1 year old.

Shiwani Agarwal firstly suffered from sexual abuse when she was 10-year-old. When it happened for the second time, she was completely shattered. She took a pledge to not let any kid suffer the way she did this led her to start 'Break the Silence' movement to educate kids on sexual education.

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I was only 10 when I was sexually abused first. I had no idea what it meant and I did not tell anyone about it. I recall telling my mom that the abuser made me feel uncomfortable, as he would come to our house often. After that I never saw him.

When a similar incident took place again when I was 19, it took a toll on me. I was staying in a hostel away from my family and had no idea how to deal with everything. I started having hallucinations without a warning, and everyone around me was troubled a lot because of the same. The hallucinations would hit out of nowhere, and I would shiver for minutes before getting back in senses.

When I finally got diagnosed with PTSD( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I was prescribed a number of medicines. It was only after that my brother and I decided to talk to my parents about it. Since mental health is a taboo topic in India, my parents had to struggle a lot to understand what was happening, and also why it was happening.

One time, I overdosed on the medications and was put in ICU for a couple of days. Then my brother and parents came to visit me and I explained everything to them about what t had happened with me.

They were shaken but nonetheless decided to support me throughout. My mom stayed with me in a different city for three months, just so that she could be near me. When I went back home with her for my summer breaks, I decided that I had suffered too much, and I could not let other kids go through what I went through.

This entire experience has made it all the more difficult for me to deal with my emotions. Instead of keeping this pain hidden my mind, I wanted to channelize all my troubled emotions into something through which I could help others.

I sat with a couple of friends for weeks and then decided to start a movement, called Break the Silence. With this movement, I travelled to Bihar, Gujarat and Nepal, to teach young kids about good touch, bad touch and sexual education.

Along with the volunteers, Break the Silence has now sensitised around 50,000 kids as of now. It was an important issue for me that they not only did not go through what I went through but also knew when and how to identify the wrong. I want to teach as many young kids as I possibly can.

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Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh
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Creatives : Abhishek M

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