I used to be busy in office with no idea of what my five-year-old was undergoing at home. I had my reasons for being free of worry. We lived in a joint family, so she was never alone. There were grandparents, cousins and uncles and an aunt at home with her.
Then my daughter got unwell.
She also started preferring to stay in our room instead of playing outside. When I asked her the reason, she complained of pain in her private parts and stomach. I thought it was due to season change and advised her to keep her private parts clean and drink plenty of water. Little did I realise that her problem was something else altogether.
One day, as I was showing her a video on ‘good and bad touch’ on my mobile phone, she suddenly said, “I play this game with chacha regularly.” Even as I was taken aback, I again showed her the video and asked her about the ‘game’ in detail.
She said that the game was called ‘demon and monster’. All cousins would hide themselves and whoever found the hidden people would be free to do whatever he /she wished with them. So, as all other children hid themselves, my brother-in-law sexually abused my daughter, telling her that it was a part of the game.
When I told my husband about it, he did not support me, so, I decided to fight it out on my own. My brother-in-law’s despicable actions had left my daughter in pain and affected her mind too. It took months of counselling to bring out the fear from her mind, but I am sure she will carry the scars all through life - never forgetting what happened with her.
When I confronted my brother-in-law, he admitted to everything and apologised. My mother-in-law said he had “committed a mistake” and that I should forgive him. But I could not let him go unpunished. It was necessary to bring out the devil from his mind else he would continue to target children.
So, I got an FIR registered against him. He was arrested and remained in jail for two months.
Today, all my family blames me for raising my voice against my daughter’s abuse. They sympathise with him and have put in a lot of effort to get him out on bail.
The family is trying to prove he’s a juvenile to help him escape punishment. But I know he isn’t a juvenile and will continue to fight for my daughter even if no one supports me.
(Story of a Lucknow mother as told to Richa Srivastava)