Male Child-abuse Survivors And Their Stories

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Child abuse is an issue that needs to be curbed at the earliest. There are many institutes and foundations these days that are helping the victims to lead a regular life and to move on.

But the shocking part that one would discover in these institutes and foundations is that the sex ratio of the abused victims is almost equal, though the world thinks only young girls are abused. That is not the case.

The stories of these young abused males will churn your stomach when you realise what a harsh world we're living in.

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These are the first-hand stories of the victims told by themselves...

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Roshan Kokane

"I was 10-years-old when I was sexually abused for the first time. I was napping in the noon on my bed after a tiring day at school and suddenly opened my eyes to the sensation of someone trying to physically hurt me. I was scared, shocked and I didn't move a bit. Fear and confusion gripped me that afternoon. The abuser was unfortunately someone from my family.

Every time I was alone, they would touch me in the most inappropriate ways and force me to do the same with them. They would do it as frequent as one or twice a week. Reaching out to my parents was impossible They were going through a rough patch in their lives.

I didn't have any friends or family I could trust on. I was hiding my pain with fear because I couldn't speak openly about it. I was also confused because, the difference between exploration and exploitation was not clearly understood by my abuser. This was definitely not exploration. I was being hurt, bullied and forced into doing something I didn't like or consent to. I felt absolutely helpless and victimised.

Finally, when I grew up a little more (16 to be precise) and couldn't take it any longer, I politely asked my abuser to stop. I had made these pleas several times in the past but clearly they weren't successful. This time it stopped. Gradually, I stopped visiting them or speaking to them. I forgave them for whatever they have done but I cannot forgive myself for whatever happened. I feel embarrassed, guilty and lack confidence in myself all the time.

My relationships or social life suffers now. I am battling anxiety and depression on the side too. However, throughout all of these complex and tough feelings from the past, I have not given up.

I choose to live. I do know what it's like to be on the other side and a part of me wants to help those who have been through it. Help them recover and regain love. That's my people for me, and I will be there for them. No one should be alone in this..."

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Rajeev Pandey

"I was 5 when I was sexually abused.

I lived in a joint family, and had a male servant who used to take care of me. My mother was a busy daughter-in-law in a joint family system, and my father worked out of town. Even so, he sure was my hero.

The Enfield motorcycle he rode, fascinated me no end. I wanted to ride the bike like my dad. but I could not. It frustrated me. That's when my caretaker told me he had the perfect medicine for it.

I was taken to a dark empty room in the huge family house. He told me the medicine he had would only work if I kept it a secret. He then pulled down my pants, and abused me. It hurt me no end, but I bravely bore it. After all, I was on my way to becoming like my father.
The abuse continued. So did the pain.

After a long time, I was still unable to ride the bike. That really upset me, and I told my mother about how the medicine didn't work. She stopped the caretaker from coming home, but also punished me for getting into ‘mischief'.

Slowly, I created this dark well to numb my pain. It took me away from people. I became lonely, isolated and very scared. My loneliness made me a writer. But this is not how it should have been, because in the process I also isolated myself from reality. I was too scared to trust, too scared to come out.

Then I met my wife 9 years ago. As a survivor of abuse, she shared the same pain. Slowly, she built trust inside of me. She helped me heal, helped me find the courage to come out, and live life. Her efforts inspired me, and together, we started The Hands of Hope Foundation, to address sexual abuse on children.

I am still a work in progress. Healing takes time. But I have come a long way from the isolation I used to feel. I realized the world is a good place too. Not everyone is ‘The Caretaker'. I can trust again. I can help others trust again too."

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Praveen Minj

"I never really understood it then, but now when I look back at my life I understand how much I really suffered. Sadly, more than the abuse, it was the how the trauma of it changed me as a person. It robbed me of who I could have been. I also realized few things, which added to my agony, the role of this society.

As a male child I was always expected to be strong. My mother's suffering in her life, forced me to hide my own pain and take the onus of healing, upon myself. Eventually, this kept on adding to my baggage of constant self-victimizing , self criticism, self-doubt, and self-disbelief..

I locked that memory inside and it kept burning me from within. No one knew my pain. I hid it well. I realized the importance of family in the nurturing of a child, especially a father's role. I slowly saw myself drifting apart from them.

Today there is pain. But I have also found new ways of healing through my profession. I work with children in the community, mainly boys, and whenever I see a child using aggression, and violence, I see that child within who wants his presence to be seen, and yet can't go home to meet his fears.

I see me.

Coming out and speaking about my abuse has helped me. It is empowering in its own way when you find some stubborn souls still holding it all together. Their solidarity and support showed me the fight that is still within me; seamless and unfathomable. My story is not yet over. I shall overcome. I am not alone anymore.
I am a survivor and this is my story."

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Abhhydday Paathak

"Sometimes the very wounds that cripple us hold the key to our healing. So here I am, breaking the silence.
I was born in the family of defence personnel and grew up in the wild secluded spots of various cities where my father was posted. Most of the children around me, were older, and didn't really connect with me. So I found solace with roosters, and rabbits from the Nature park, I often went to.

In the attic of my childhood , I lost the child within me.I was 5 , when my fairy tale turned into a nightmare. Like the caged , mute , animals, digging canals to escape the predator, I too found myself, dodging the predator who terrorized my body and soul almost every day.

Ironically, he was an officer charged with the responsibility to safeguard me. I know rationally , that none of it was my fault . But , the threats then, didn't allow me to see otherwise.

I thought, ‘I gave in', ‘I was the Bad Person'. So I withstood repeated rape over a period of two years to avoid discovery, because it was imperative that no one found out my secret, not even my parents. The park that gave me so much joy once, has never been the same since then.

For years, shame, anxiety, insecurity, and guilt filled me. Trust didn't come easy. But today I am not my scars. I am who I choose to become. I hold both strength and fear inside me and I see- saw between the two. However, I have learned that i am beautiful the way i am. I want to make a difference in the world. I can't change what happened to me, but I can help educate others. I am Abhhydday-the strong one.

For many years of my life I was a victim but today I proclaim , I am no longer a victim.

I am a SURVIVOR!"

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Abhik Mukherjee

"I am Abhik Mukherjee, a Counselor from Kolkata.
I was three when I was sexually abused for the first time, and it continued until I was 21.

One of my worst experiences was in Class 6 in a well-reputed school in Kolkata. Every day, I would be forced into the bathroom where one boy would cover my mouth while the others took turns to sexually assault me. This continued for about two weeks till I finally spoke up and complained and one of my perpetrators was suspended. I finally felt safer in my school. But this was not to last for long. I was again abused by a different set of boys on my way back from school in the school bus.

During this phase of my life, I did certain things that I shouldn't have. I lost all hope and attempted suicide. A major problem with male sexual abuse is that it is not socially accepted and people sometimes make extremely insensitive comments or pass over-simplified solutions to a much deeper issue. Some of my closest friends made fun of my abuse making me suffer even more.

Recently, things have changed though and I have found a lot of support. I am extremely lucky that I have understanding parents who helped me survive; unfortunately, most children in our country don't find anyone to rely on. Back then, I could not share my trauma with anyone, not even my parents, even though I knew they were there for me. I could only tell them a few years later. It was difficult to accept that I had been abused. When I told my mother about this, she gave me the emotional support I needed. It helped that she was a Psychiatrist.

I sought professional help from a counsellor during my counselling course. It was only after these personal counselling sessions that I have been able to accept my abuse and dared to talk about it publicly. It took me 16 long years to come out of my shell and I never reported the case to the police, being uncomfortable in opening up about my abuse to strangers.

Being sexually abused as a child has made me stronger and it is because of what I went through that I decided to be a counsellor so that I can help others and heal myself. Being a survivor, I can empathise with other survivors and give them a space where they can talk about their abuse to a person who will not judge them and will not say anything insensitive. I am a part of a campaign called One Million Against Abuse which aims to make Personal Safety Education a part of the Syllabus in all ICSE and CBSE schools.

I have contacted workshops with 4-6 year olds and their parents on Child Sexual Abuse Awareness.

Last year I recorded a video on my story of Child Sexual Abuse which currently has 2.4k views and has been viewed in 46 Countries. After releasing my video I have been approached by many survivors of Child Sexual Abuse."

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