Anju is a 14-year-old girl who was sexually abused by her father for 5 years. She often screamed at night when her father would sexually abuse her but no one in the family had the courage to stop him. Eventually Anju’s friends helped her lodge a police complaint. Her father was arrested and eventually Anju was restored with her mother.
Many times incest victims, like Anju, do not get support from their family. Anju’s mother wanted to hide her daughter’s sexual abuse because of the stigma. She believes that if someone learns Anju was sexually abused, they would not want to marry her. One of our social workers visited Anju’s home and learned that her mother was pressurizing her to change her statement. Anju said, “My mother cries a lot, she pleads to me to forgive my father…people would look down on me for sending my father to jail."
Anju was under a lot of stress. Her family kept trying to demoralize her and emotionally pressurize her, so we recommended that the Child Welfare Committee place Anju in a shelter home. Now she is continuing her regular schooling and doing well, though her mother is still trying to meet and pressurize her.
If Anju had remained with her family she would have been forced to change her statement and the case would have fallen apart. Our timely intervention helped Anju get placed in protective custody so she could continue her education. She is thankful to friends, teachers, our social worker and her new mother (shelter home in-charge) who believe her and are standing by her.
- Ravinder Kaur, social worker
* The child's name is changed to protect her identity