True Justice is Healing: Navya and Ujala's Stories

Through June 15, we will be raising $40,000 USD for our work (Rs. 4 lakh in India) and sharing stories from our clients to highlight themes of true justice like safety, participation, healing and accountability.

Click here to donate from the US and here from India.

Navya*, a teen, worked as a maid in Delhi when her employer began harassing her, alleging Navya had a boyfriend. So her placement agency owner took Navya back to his rented home. There, he threatened, tortured and raped her for a month.

Ujala*, an orphan child, lived with her younger siblings at their uncle's house when her two cousins began sexually abusing her. The abuse continued for three years, despite Ujala asking her aunt and sister-in-law for help. Ujala eventually ran away from home and reported the abuse to police. 

Counsel to Secure Justice has been advocating for Navya and Ujala in the justice system. But outside the courtroom, True Justice is healing from trauma and finding hope and purpose after sexual abuse.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

True Justice is Sharing Truth

Through June 15, we will be raising $40,000 USD for our work (Rs. 4 lakh in India) and sharing stories from our clients to highlight themes of true justice like safety, participation, healing and accountability.

Click here to donate from the US and here from India.

After an argument with her stepmother, 15-year-old Bhoomi* visited her upstairs neighbor and friend. He persuaded Bhoomi to leave her family and meet his friends. “I’ll keep you happy,” he said. Then he sent her with a friend to another house.

Bhoomi’s voice wavers as she comes to this part in the story. She first told the police that the boy and ma’am in the house gave her a powder for her headache. After that, Bhoomi passed out. She regained her senses with the boy pinning her down and sexually assaulting her.

Bhoomi was scared to tell the truth. She didn’t know who would believe the real story and who would blame her for her own rape. She felt ashamed about what really happened.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

True Justice is Accountability: Lily's Story

Through June 15, we will be raising $40,000 USD for our work (Rs. 4 lakh in India) and sharing stories from our clients to highlight themes of true justice like safety, participation, healing and accountability.

Click here to donate from the US and here from India.

Lily* was nine when a stranger in her neighborhood raped her. While she was taking her younger sister to urinate outside near her home, a man approached and asked them to come to a secluded jungle area. The man seemed nice and said he was their neighbor’s uncle. He offered to buy Lily biscuits, so she she went with him and sent her younger sister home.

But then the man took out a blade. He threatened Lily until she took her clothes off.

Once Lily’s sister reached home alone, she told their mother a man was buying Lily biscuits. Their parents immediately alarmed everyone in the neighborhood and someone called the police. A search party formed, and Lily’s brother saw the accused crossing a railway with Lily. A mob quickly formed and beat the accused man until the police showed up to arrest him.

After a lengthy trial of four years, including an acquittal and appeal, a judge convicted the accused and sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

True Justice is Participation

Over the next 40 days, we will be raising $40,000 USD for our work (Rs. 4 lakh in India) and sharing stories from our clients to highlight themes of true justice like safety, participation, healing and accountability.

Click here to donate from the US and here from India.

Seventeen-year-old Laxmi’s* hands and legs trembled the day she entered a Delhi trial court to testify against her father, who had raped her repeatedly. But by the time she sat before the judge, her fear had turned to anger.

Her mother seated herself beside Laxmi. “Why are you doing this?” her mother asked. “You will ruin everything if you do this.”

For so long, Laxmi thought that if no one would listen to and believe her story, at least her mother would. She was wrong. Her mother continued to support her father instead. Known as a quiet girl who speaks in soft, low tones, Laxmi found her voice that day in court.

“When my testimony was being taken, that time no one could stop me, my mother or anyone else,” she said. “I had the freedom to say whatever I wanted.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

True Justice is Safety

Over the next 40 days, we will be raising $40,000 USD for our work (Rs. 4 lakh in India) and sharing stories from our clients to highlight themes of true justice like safety, participation, healing and accountability.

Click here to donate from the US and here from India.

When your own home is not safe, where do you go?

When CSJ met 13-year-old Rhea*, she was trapped in a cycle of family violence. The first time her father raped her was during summer when, to stay cool, the whole family slept on their home’s concrete floor. Rhea tried to scream, and her father pushed his hand over her mouth.

He threatened to kill Rhea and her mother if they told anyone. Her mother had already endured years of beatings, and sometimes Rhea’s father hit her too.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

We're Launching the True Justice Campaign

At Counsel to Secure Justice, we provide lawyers and social workers to children who have been sexually abused and their families. We don't charge for our services, as our clients cannot afford private legal representation. We help them report the abuse with minimal re-traumatization, advocate for them in court for a conviction and financial compensation, connect them with counselling and medical services, and many other needs.

After supporting nearly 200 children and their families since 2013, we've learned that sometimes, true justice cannot be found in a courtroom.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Light is a new beginning

Tanvi_1.jpgTanvi_2.jpg

"Be patient where you sit in the dark. The dawn is coming.”   - Rumi

As the Light Campaign and 2017 end, I share these images from Tanvi* that symbolise healing and new beginnings. 

The first image is of a key entering a lock that will open a door. “This represents the filling up of the emptiness in our lives,” Tanvi says. “The healing.”  

Tanvi has experienced much hurt in her life. She was sexually abused by those she trusted most: three men in her family. When she decided to pursue the case in court, she lost all support from her family. She has forgiven the men who committed the abuse, and while she moves forward with her life, she still searches for answers to why they treated her the way they did. 

The second image is water pouring over a plant. “This represents the new beginning we give our lives,” Tanvi says. Water gives life to plants that are thirsty and dry and helps them heal and grow. 

Rabindranath Tagore said, “When I stand before thee at the day’s end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing.”

At the year’s ends, as we open the door and step into the new year, I hope it’s one of new beginnings, healing from wounds that have burdened you and abundant growth. 

* Name changed to protect identity


CSJ partnered with a shelter home on a photo project that resulted in images used in the Light Campaign. All project participants reside in and receive psychosocial support from the shelter home.  While CSJ provides legal and psychosocial support during criminal proceedings to some of the project’s participants, some images used in the campaign are from participants who we do not represent.

Add your reaction Share

Light breaking into darkness

Tarini_2.jpgTarika.jpgLight_campaign__vertical.jpg

The images that Tarini* and Tarika* captured contrast physical darkness and light. But they also allude to fear of the dark, as well as the hope light brings.

Tarini and Tarika both shifted from Nepal to Delhi after family members had passed away. Tarini came to Delhi to work after family had died in the 2015 Nepal earthquake. She was sexually abused by a neighbor. Tarika came to Delhi after her mother passed away to live with her mother’s friends.  She was sexually abused by the husband in a family where she lived.

“I am scared of the dark and the unknown,” says Tarini, who shares a dark photo of a figure sitting on the floor. “I have fear of being attacked from behind.”

“I see rays of hope, when I look outside the window,” says Tarika, who's image shows curtains being opened and light breaking in. “As at times [it is] very dark inside and we cannot go outside."

In the middle of dark circumstances, light breaks through for Tarini and Tarika in the form of the protective shelter staff who stand with them during difficult times. 

Mother Teresa says, “There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.  We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain.  Then suddenly the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”

As we approach the new year, remember that each of us, within the context of our own circumstances, can be the healing light that breaks into the darkness where there is suffering. Let’s be ready for these opportunities, and act upon them when they are revealed.

* Name changed to protect identity


CSJ partnered with a shelter home on a photo project that resulted in images used in the Light Campaign. All project participants reside in and receive psychosocial support from the shelter home.  While CSJ provides legal and psychosocial support during criminal proceedings to some of the project’s participants, some images used in the campaign are from participants who we do not represent.

Add your reaction Share

Light is home

Between now and the end of the year, the Light Campaign highlights images that represent light and darkness to children who have been sexually abused. We celebrate the creative spirit that exists in children despite dark times they endure. 


“In the midst of darkness, light persists.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Sarita.jpgThis image Sarita* captured to represent light focuses on the care and love she receives from the shelter home where she stays.

Sarita comes from a very poor family.  She was sent to work by her parents to help them earn money.  Alone, Sarita was extremely vulnerable.  As Sarita was shuffled between employers, she was exploited and suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Finally, Sarita was rescued and placed in a protective shelter that became home and connected her with people who love and care for her.

Didi’s (shelter home staff) love has always grown with time and I never miss my mother when she is with us,” Sarita says. “She supports us and guides us in all difficult times. I believe that whenever I am in trouble, she will be there.”

Ultimately, our hope is for children, like Sarita, to return home and live with their families. But when a trial is ongoing, returning home could put the child in danger. CSJ partners with protective shelters, like the one where Sarita stays, that provide a home for children until they can safely return to their families. The support and care the shelter home staff give carry light into the dark shadows of these children's lives.


CSJ partnered with a shelter home on a photo project that resulted in images used in the Light Campaign. All project participants reside in and receive psychosocial support from the shelter home.  While CSJ provides legal and psychosocial support during criminal proceedings to some of the project’s participants, some images used in the campaign are from participants who we do not represent.

 

 

Add your reaction Share

Light is faith

Between now and the end of the year, the Light Campaign highlights images that represent light and darkness to children who have been sexually abused. We celebrate the creative spirit that exists in children despite dark times they endure.

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them.”
-  Rabindranath Tagore
 
Pooja_5.jpgPoonam_3.jpgSabina_1.jpg
Darkness of sexual abuse follows the child into the night when they sleep and their fears often continue for years. The images several of the girls captured to represent darkness revolved around sleep and their beds. They commented how there is darkness in nightmares.   
 
“I have terrible nightmares,” says Ranjana,* who captured this photo of her bed.  “Mostly about the abuse, which scares me.” 
 
Similarly, Tarini* captured this photo of her lying on her bed.  “I feel afraid of the night,” she says. “I have nightmares which scare me.”
 
Despite the darkness and fears that occupy their thoughts, a child’s faith brings light and can sustain them during dark times.
 
“Prayer gives me peace and keeps me away from bad thoughts,” says Rekha.*  “I pray that I do not have nightmares and that God gives me good sleep.”
 
As we approach the end of the year, support the Light Campaign

CSJ partnered with a shelter home on a photo project that resulted in images used in the Light Campaign. All project participants reside in and receive psychosocial support from the shelter home.  While CSJ provides legal and psychosocial support during criminal proceedings to some of the project’s participants, some images used in the campaign are from participants who we do not represent.
Add your reaction Share