“It is my fault! Yes, My fault! I shouldn’t have responded when that anna (tr. 'older brother') called me to come inside his house. I trusted him. That too is my fault!”.
Bamini, a 15-year-old girl walks into Kuyilaham holding a little sister, Thanga’s hand who just turned 12 a few days ago. Nightmares, sleepless nights and sobbing in her sleep, Bamini kept blaming herself.
“I don’t have Thambi (tr. 'younger brother') with me. Amma (tr. 'mother') doesn’t want me anymore for what I have done. All I have now is Ammmama (tr. 'grandmother') and Thanga (tr. 'younger sister').”
Living in guilt every moment and taking the blame for what had happened to her was crushing Bamini each day. She felt unclean and different from the rest. “leave me alone, I want to be on my own. I hate myself” is what she asked for and hid herself inside the room. She struggled to talk about what had happened to her.
Thanga, Bamini’s little sister knew what had happened. She had seen everything and was in fear to talk about it.
Yes. Guilt and fear are strong impacts of Child Sexual Abuse. Her step father had wacked Bamini, when he heard about what happened with Suresh – The man in the neighborhood. He blamed her. He told Bamini that it was her fault. Bamini’s mother Kamala too blamed her. And so was Thanga living in fear. She knew what had happened to Akka was bad, but she was confused.
Bamini and Thanga spent 3 months at Kuyilaham. On her last day, she gave a note to her counsellor, and it read as:
Miss. I thought my life ended. I thought I had no hope after what Suresh anna did to me. When I told you the true story, I thought you would hit me just like Appa did. I was waiting for you to shout at me just like the way Amma did, when she got to know about this. But… All you told me was few words after listening to my story. And that is the day I felt like a heavy stone taken out of my heart. I felt I was free. I had the courage to talk about anything after that. I told Thanga too, that she should tell you what she had seen. And I know you helped her come out of her fear. I am happy that Thanga and I came to Kuyilaham. I am not scared to go back to school now.
“Bamini, it’s not your fault” is all what was said to her!