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The Predators in our homes: The truth that no one told you

 

When I was a kid I used to believe that the world disappears when I closed my eyes. I believed that I had the power to change things. I would just close my eyes and pretend that I just made everything disappear. As I grew up, I realized that was not the case – nothing changes. Because when the day rises, you have to open your eyes eventually, and stand face to face with all kinds of people. People who you may think might love you, but as the clock ticks, they make you question whether all they want from you is love or is there something else? Because your mother told you to keep quiet when you told her about your cousin trying to touch you “the wrong way”. Because no one ever told you that some day someone might sneak up into your bed or pull you into a corner and tear your innocence into a hundred pieces. Because at the age of barely 7 years old you believed that everyone who kisses you, makes you sit in their lap, they love you.

 

We live in a society where all that matters is “log kia kahenge?” (What are people going to say?). We conceal our flaws and sometimes others’ too in order to save our dignity. We save our children from the outside world, but we forget that the people outside are also humans – same as the humans living in our homes. Then how do we expect that our children are safe from them? Our houses are haunted by countless self-proclaimed taboos. Don’t talk about sexuality, don’t talk about rape. Keep quiet even when your uncle tries to rape you. Because firstly others would not believe you and secondly it might upset your uncle who is a much respected personality in the family. Since we were kids we are told to be on guard against strangers, but no one ever told us that we might encounter predators in our own houses. The uncles, the cousins, the family friends all who kiss you openly in front of your parents and do a lot more when you are alone.

 

We need to understand that speaking up against someone who abused your child, sexually or otherwise, is not going to take your dignity away. We need to understand that talking to our children into understanding their sexuality and educating them about the good touches and the bad touches is not going to take their innocence away. Talk to your children everyday, observe how they interact with other people and how others interact with them. It is important to save our children from falling prey to the sexual predators, because it destroys a child’s personality and the last thing that we want is a future generation of emotionally damaged people.

 

By

Mahnoor Shafique

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