From April 6-30, we're telling stories of women and children we help to show what True Justice looks like. We hope to raise $50,000 to help more girls like Tanvi.
When Tanvi* was 11, her father tried to force her to perform oral sex. When she was 13, Tanvi’s younger brother began touching her breasts. Then Tanvi’s grandfather raped her.
Tanvi told her mother about the abuses, but her mother refused to believe her. Eventually, Tanvi confided in an NGO worker who tutored children after school in her neighbourhood. The tutor helped Tanvi register a police complaint.
Since Tanvi’s family was pressuring her to take back the case, the local child welfare authorities shifted Tanvi into a shelter home. Her mother has repeatedly tried to regain custody, but Tanvi has remained firm in her decision to live apart because no one in her family believes she was abused.
Despite her family’s lack of support, Tanvi told CSJ she has forgiven her father and her brother. She doesn’t want them to know about her forgiveness because they haven’t admitted their guilt yet, but regardless, Tanvi feels at peace.
Forgiveness is not only about victims releasing the burden of guilt from those who have abused them. Sometimes it can be a significant step towards true justice, helping victims release any power the abuse has over them, so they can move forward with their lives. It’s a process that occurs over time and cannot be forced. Counsel to Secure Justice allows each child the choice to forgive an offender or not, at her or his own pace.
“If the child feels like forgiving and mending bridges we go ahead and help her in that process,” CSJ social worker Deborah said. “Our priority is the healing of the child and if the child wants to forgive those who’ve harmed her, we help with that.”
The shelter home provides Tanvi with counselling and a supportive environment for her studies, for which she earns top marks. Her mother has stopped harassing her about the case and accepted Tanvi’s decision to live independently.
For the past two years, CSJ has helped Tanvi feel comfortable speaking in court, standing with her at every hearing and shielding her from family when necessary. CSJ visits Tanvi regularly and will continue supporting her legal case.
To help more children like Tanvi, donate to the True Justice campaign today.
*Name changed to protect identity.