“I was born in Nagpur, so every summer I would go to my house there for a few months. The summer I turned 13 my uncle in Nagpur told me that he would teach me how to drive a scooty and as a teenager I was more than thrilled with his offer! When the time came to teach me, he took me a little away from our bungalow and sexually assaulted me. I didn’t know how to react — I had never been touched that way before and had no idea what a bad touch felt like. He threatened me and told me not to tell anyone and as is I was terrified to tell my parents, or anyone because I felt like the blame would somehow come back on me. I decided to bury this memory and move on with my life, but that never happened.
That incident left a scar on me — I began to spend more and more time alone. As fate would have it, when I was in the 10th grade another incident occurred where a group of 10 drunk men attacked my friends and me, late at night near my house. My shirt was completely torn and I had scratch marks all over my body and that’s when I felt like I had enough. I was emotionally drained as these two incidents kept haunting me every single day. I was terrified that people would find out and I wouldn’t be able to show face.
I told no one about it and the burden was too much to bare— I started getting suicidal. I thought these things that had happened were shameful and I had caused my family shame. I went through a very dark time and It took a lot of months of acceptance and sharing with people I love that I realised that it wasn’t my fault. We’re so often shielded from what a ‘bad touch’ is or aren’t told about sex or rape until we have to find out the hard way. I wish I could go back in time and voice myself, get some justice…but at least I’m free of blaming myself. I know today that my dignity doesn’t get compromised because others chose to violate it. Today, I’m finally at a better place, at a job I love, writing to express myself and emote. I’m finally free of the burden that I’d been carrying around since 13…I’ve finally found me.”