I am a survivor of child sexual abuse.
Like most children subjected to this horror, I imagined that it was my fault and that this happened because I was a bad child. It was not until I was an adult that I realized that what happened to me had a name and that there were laws against it and that I could have called out for help.
As an adult, I have been trying to break the silence and taboo around talking about child sexual abuse. The first circle of silence that I broke was within my own family and friends. I did this to protect my nieces and other children within our immediate social group. But I then realized that I was already too late as at least one other cousin had already suffered abuse by the same molester. Since most child molesters are family members or friends, it is difficult to take a strong stand against them. This reluctance to face the criminal within the family gives child molesters social license to carry on abusing more children.
More recently, I realized that in the face of family reluctance to take action, the only way a survivor can prevent the molester from continuing to abuse other children is to take legal action. However, when I tried to do this in Chennai, India where the abuse had taken place, I ran into the "statute of limitations" - this is the time limit on filing complaints of child sexual abuse for adult survivors like me.The offences against me fell outside the limitation period, and so charges could not be brought forward.
So, I launched a campaign to change the law in India: https://www.change.org/p/stop-repeat-offences-by-child-molesters-allow-a.... The petition has now been signed by over 169,000 supporters. Some of those who have signed may be silent survivors of child sexual abuse. Please support my petition as our voices are now being heard by society and by decision makers.
On January 29th, 2018 I was able to meet with the Indian Minister of Women and Child Development, Ms. Maneka Gandhi. The Minister has promised her support to have the statute of limitation amended so that there will be no legal time limit to when child sexual abuse can be reported.The meeting was also widely reported in the media, and is gathering support worldwide.
I also met with the Chairperson of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and her advisors to discuss the legislative steps that need to be taken to effect this change. I want to petition the Indian parliament to amend the old outdated law that keeps adult survivors of child sexual abuse in silence by limiting the time that they can report the crime. The short time frame allowed for reporting inadvertently protects child molesters and enables them to continue abusing more children and destroying childhoods.
Please support me by signing my petition: https://www.change.org/p/stop-repeat-offences-by-child-molesters-allow-a.... Help me and other survivors break the silence that provides tacit protection to child molesters. Help us prevent repeat offences by child molesters.