Sexually abused by her father for more than four years, an 18-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh asked a friend to film her own rape to get proof and convince her mother, who refused to believe the harrowing tale.
“I told my mother the very first day; she didn’t believe even a bit. That was the only way to make her believe,” the woman said.
The abuse began four years ago, when her father offered to teach her how to ride his motorcycle but took her to a nearby field and raped her. The family used to live in Kuthaund, a hamlet in UP’s Jalaun district.
“I scolded her every time she told me; I couldn’t believe a man could do something like this to her own daughter,” the woman’s mother reportedly told the police.
Since then, he raped her regularly, continuing even when she moved to Orai – 50 kilometers away -- for a graduation degree in nursing a few months ago.
“I told my mother two months ago again, she thought I was making stories,” she said.
Desperate, the woman devised a plan. She went to a friend’s house in Jhansi last Thursday, nearly 100 kilometres from Orai and gave her father a call. When he arrived at night, she left the door open and asked her friend to stand behind the door and film everything.
“When she showed me the clip on mobile, I was numb and collapsed. Then I took her to the police and asked her to register a criminal case. I won’t ever forgive him nor will I ever try to extend legal help,” the mother reportedly told police.
Police arrested the man on Friday and are now examining whether the Prevention of Child Sexual Offences Act can be applied in the case.
“The accused has been sent to jail; she is a brave girl, it takes lot of courage to expose her father the way she did,” said Jang Bahadur, circle officer Pratapgarh.
When the father arrived at the police station, the mother lunged at him, attacking him with her slippers, police said.
“I want public execution of my father; an example needs made out of him,” the victim said.
The father – who has another daughter married five years ago – blamed his alcohol addiction for the crime, police said.
“Sharab ne kara di galti (Alcohol made me commit this wrong)” the circle officer quoted the father as saying.
Crime against children is rampant in India with 10 cases reported every hour, according to National Crime Records Bureau data for 2014.
But activists say many more cases go unreported as most abusers are from within the family or close friends, and bully the children into silence. The family’s refusal to believe children and the general shame associated with such crimes add to the trauma.