Children are not safe at homes. They are not safe outside homes, in hostels, schools, school buses, in music classes or coaching classes. To think that only girls are unsafe needs a rethink in this age and time. Ragging can get really terrifying in boys hostels causing a lot of mental and physical distress to the inmates. There are cases of sodomising those boys who do not comply with their seniors’ demands. This hampers the person for life. While they may face life boldly and look away from this incident, subconsciously unless and until the emotions are fully felt and released from the system, the anguish can manifest in the form of physical and psychological disorders. A counselling psychologist, Kavita cites real life incidents to illustrate the cases of abused children. Here’s the final and concluding part of two-part expose on child abuse, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
While child abuse happening at home can come as a shock to parents, abuse happening away from home can be more painful to deal with. Many children leave home to stay in a hostel for studies. The reasons for this are diverse and so is the age at which the children are enrolled at hostels.
In the case of primary children there is more of object oriented fighting, wanting the same thing. There could be jealousy amongst friends, favouritism with teachers, material possessions and the like. Secondary school students have quite different things to deal with. Physical power dominates the proceedings in this case. There is violence, beating up each other, hurling foul language abuses and the like.
What many parents may not be aware of is a heinous crime, which is being committed in the hostels. Whoever thinks that only girls are unsafe needs to rethink their basics in this age and time. Ragging can get really terrifying in boys hostels causing a lot of mental and physical distress to the inmates. There are cases of sodomising those boys who do not comply with their seniors’ demands. This hampers the person for life. While they may face life boldly and look away from this incident, subconsciously unless and until the emotions are fully felt and released from the system, the anguish can manifest in the form of physical and psychological disorders.
A girl’s hostel can also be a terrifying place for ragging, as the seniors make the fresher’s do many weird things, which may not be in sync with their thoughts and values. They are asked to propose to strangers, dance vulgarly semi clad, etc. Parents need to educate their children about these possibilities before sending them to stay away from home.
Schools have also been equally chaotic, what with the teachers misbehaving with the young students, forcing them for sexual favours. Perverted suggestions hinted indirectly have always been around in schools. Many girl students have been molested as well. Even the school transport is not safe these days as the bus drivers have been in the news for crimes committed.
Reena (all names changed to conceal identity) was a bubbly young tween of 12. She liked to draw and her drawing teacher was quick to notice this. He wasted no opportunity to call her to the staff room when no one was present and used to grope at her person. She felt ashamed but was too scared to seek help due to the stigma attached with such instances. She began to cite excuses and stopped carrying out school tasks for him, which involved going to his room alone.
Roshni was a beautiful girl of 14 and very good in yoga. The yoga teacher was a pervert and would feel her body, while trying to adjust the asana poses. He would stand behind and make the girls bend and do asana, while he enjoyed the view. Those days’ girls wore skirts to school and salwaar kameez was not prevalent.
Samhita was an anxious girl of 16 and a viva exam saw her at her worst. During one such exam when she wrote the wrong spelling on the blackboard, the teacher asked her to remove her shirt and wipe the board clean. In front of the full class this can be really more shameful and many teens resort to committing suicides these days due to such humiliating incidents.
Avantika had enrolled in a coaching class for maths as she was weak in that subject. Soon the teacher began to call her alone under the pretext of holding special classes for her. Little did she know what she was in for? On the very first day he made her sit close to him and began to speak weirdly. He would ask her to kiss him if she had a doubt the second time after explaining a problem. Somehow she managed to escape and left that coaching class. Her trust had also gone.
Rohan was a smart teen of 19 and was learning Carnatic music. His teacher was a middle aged lady, who appeared to be quite simple. One fine day as Rohan reached ten minutes late to class, he discovered that the class had already started and his teacher was slightly miffed with him. She asked him to wait in the lounge as she had something to convey to him. Soon she was with him and what happened next was shocking. She asked him to do things to her in compensation for coming late. A baffled Rohan muttered his apologies and returned home a changed guy. His outlook on life had changed. Now, he could never be the same again.
Abuse leaves permanent scars on the victims. Some of them manifest mental health challenges, while some others face digestion and other issues. Professional psychological counselling can help alleviate distress to a large extent. But one must remember that it is a long process and expecting miracles overnight would not be right. The abuse victims must be prepared to work on themselves wholeheartedly with willingness. The desire to get well must be present. Family and friends must do their best to support the victims. Finally, patience and perseverance is the only way out.
Pix from the Net.
Kavita Panyam is a Counselling Psychologist by profession and a freelance writer by passion. She has won competitions in various magazines for slogan writing, reviews, and several blogging competitions. Her work has been published in reputed magazines across India and abroad. She writes for several well-known ezines and for print magazines. She also features as a guest contributor for various websites.