silence on sexual abuse of women in pakistan

You are willing to ban Udaari [a Pakistani TV drama show], but are you willing to jail the man who molested me? To the blissfully unaware, conveniently ignorant and pathetically indifferent people out there: stop silencing.

It was a paralysing scene; a moment where lust, hunger and greed, all were entwined. It was when Imtiaz held Zebo’s little hands – a gesture which was seemingly innocent and affectionate, but paradoxically brought to light his malicious intent. His lingering gaze on the child, and his words with sexual undertones immediately replaced the gentle loving father with a man falling prey to his own animalistic traits. This was all PEMRA [Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority] could take, and me too.

Our reasons, of course, were different; for PEMRA it was truth-overdose. For me, it brought back memories. My eyes were transfixed on the screen, but my mind was wandering. Suddenly, it seemed as if they were enacting my life.

I was around nine-years-old and while I was spending the night at my aunt’s place, I felt her husband’s hand slowly slide inside my shirt.

That night was only the beginning. For years I quietly endured the abuse meted out by my uncle. He would fondle me and whisper words of gross affection in my ears. Just like a refined, methodical abuser, he too, continued to agonise me. He did not stop at those revolting gestures. After the physical abuse, he would inflict mental torture. Sometimes, in the quietness of the night, with everyone sleeping, he would take me to the darkest corner of the house, and hand his phone to me. From the screen, nude men and women, stared at me. At other instances, even broad daylight would not scare him from disappearing with me, for another round of ‘educating’ me.

Fast forward into my teenage years; guilt, pain, sadness, gloom, and penetrating darkness consumed me. I became wise beyond my years, as I was forced to mature so soon. Life was not normal. My days were spent maintaining the façade of normalcy, my nights were restless. Over the years the memory has become more and more vague. I can’t exactly pinpoint when, why, and how, but eventually the abuse stopped. Yet, even now, his lecherous gaze numbs my entire being.

 

I couldn’t speak about it then. I remain speechless even now. Life has not been normal ever since that traumatic night. I bore this emotional burden because I belong to a close-knit family, where relationships are everything. I was too scared that my confession would mean ripping apart this big, happy family.

I snapped back to the present.

I watched in horror; the words were the same. The ravenousness was the same. And the prey’s innocence, too, was the same. The only difference was that Zebo was able to escape the vicious hungry beast in that episode – I wasn’t.

“God! Now they’ve banned Udaari? Are they even serious?” I shrieked.

My mother was sitting with me on the lunch table and asked me why. That was all I needed to explode.

“Because they can’t handle the truth!” I couldn’t lower the pitch of my voice.

“You know they are right in banning it. Beta, such content is not suitable for a prime-time drama,” she said in a hushed, mellow voice, as if she didn’t want anybody else to hear the conversation.

Something inside me snapped.

When people from educated families, like my own mother, laud PEMRA for banning the serial, it’s evident that there is something sickeningly wrong with this country.

Original Source:http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/34779/you-are-willing-to-ban-udaari-but-are-you-willing-to-jail-the-man-who-molested-me/

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