I was eight when my 22-year-old half brother began to molest me. But, what I still can’t forget is that my mother asked me to keep my mouth shut and proposed me to marry him instead.A moment came when I revolted with a do-or-die spirit and made the man go away from my life. By the grace of God, I got in touch with the Red Brigade and then fighting against Romeos became a mission for my life. I feel you can fight any odds when you decide to.But, it’s a fact that the mere thought of those dreadful nights still sends a chill down my spine.
My mother had married twice and had a son from her first marriage who worked in a Mumbai hotel. It all started when he came to visit us during his vacations. My father was an auto driver. We lived in a single rented room--my father, mother, younger real brother, my half brother and I.
One night, when everyone was asleep, my stepbrother came over and started touching me sensuously. I was shocked. I didn’t know how to react. I couldn’t utter a word. I tried to resist, but failed.
Perhaps, I was too young to revolt on the very first night he molested me. Fear and shame were equally prominent in my mind. But, it became a regular practice. After everyone in the family was asleep, I would be subject to sexual abuse.
One day, I decided to share my ordeal with my mother. She refused to believe me. When I complained yet again, after undergoing the same thing one more night, I became my mother’s biggest enemy. She screamed at me, blamed me and supported her son. She threatened me and warned me against sharing the truth with my father. My mother even insisted that I married him, but I refused.
Finally, I revolted and fought the culprit. As a result, he had to leave the house.Years passed but my mother’s behaviour towards me did not change. She would blame me everyday for separating her from her son. My trauma did not matter to her at all, but being separated from her son affected her very much--she lost her mental balance. Even now, she talks to herself, shouts, screams and behaves oddly.
Conditions at home have not changed. But I have changed a lot. I continued to curse myself until I joined the Red Brigade. It infused into me a zeal to fight for a cause and filled me with confidence. With a number of fellow sufferers in the group, I realised that I was not the only one.
It is two years now. I have slapped the roadside Romeos, taken some to the police and ensured the troublemakers and teasers apologise before us. I feel my turn to bear hardships is over and it is now the turn of those who dare to exploit not only me, but any woman.
I am studying and my father wants me to be independent.