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The first time I was ever molested was by my second cousin when I was 6 years old and he was 15. We used to visit his house quite often and he’d take me to his room so that I could play video games on his computer because at that time I didn’t own one. Back in those days I never knew that video games were played with the lights switched off, door closed, sitting on a guy’s lap who’s going under your shirt. “Bhai meri gari peechay reh gyi iss ko agay ley ayain” is all that I was concerned about.
This happened very often. Probably for years. Don’t even remember when he stopped. All I remember is, I stopped wanting to play video games and that I stopped playing in my own bedroom after the day he came over to our house and touched me inappropriately while I was busy playing with my dolls.
Then came the Qari Sahab, I don’t even think there’s a need to go into detail about this one. I’m sure almost each and every single girl out there has paid the price for reading the Holy Quran. Next is a random shopkeeper who called me to the other side of the counter and to select candies myself while he grabs my ass and enjoys the moment with his peers.
Also, two of my neighbors who shamelessly took advantage of a 14-year-old girl who hadn’t hit puberty yet but her innocence is something that turned them on. As usual, I was busy using the laptop of one of them because I didn’t own one of my own while he sat so close to me touching me wherever he wishes to. And when I try to leave he asks “bas? Kaam ho gya?” And the funniest part is that he was my father’s friend.
So, whenever he came over my dad asked me to meet him and shake hands with him. The same filthy hands that contributed to scar a soul for life.
I never told anyone about all this. Not even my mother. Fought a constant battle inside every single time I had to face any one of them. “Does he still remember that?” ,”does he remember what he did to me?” ,”does he regret it?” ,”why is he smiling at me, is he making fun of my helplessness?” Are just a few questions I asked myself.
But soon I got over this. I completely forgot about all these years of being touched and wanting not to be touched. I moved on with life with only the after effects of all this. Not talking to any male cousins, not going to the shops alone, giving up on Islamic education from a Qari Sahab and demanding my own things so that I don’t have to depend on anyone.
I was 18 when I had my first boyfriend. I liked him and so did he. He wanted to get physical but I told him to wait until we get married because there’s no way I could do that otherwise. And I told him about my childhood experiences. About how I have developed sexual fears and how I can never be physical like those typical girlfriends. It was the first time ever that I opened up to someone about all of that.
Obviously, it took a lot of courage for me to do that and not to forget the trust that I put in him. That he’d understand after this and never force me into this. Only to my surprise, the next day when we’re just a week away from our O’level CIE’S, as I walked with him through the corridors in school he grabs my arm and pulls me into an empty classroom. I’m 5’8 and he was a 6 feet hardcore gym boy with muscles and what not. And what he did next leave me completely shattered on the inside.
I could not just believe what had happened. I tried pushing him while he was trying to make out with me with full force but I failed miserably. Finally, when I gathered enough strength I pushed him and ran out of the classroom. That one day brought back all the childhood memories back. It was like he stabbed all the old wounds and scratched them till they became fresh again. And it took a lot of time to heal. I still haven’t gotten over it yet.
I love a guy, who’s also my best friend. And every time he holds my hand I get traumatized. I get a panic attack. I feel so impure and used every time I think about that day. I’m still so paranoid that even if a male friend stands next to me I get afraid.
There’s a lot more to this and the more I describe it the uglier it gets. But the point is, don’t let this happen to you. Being harassed, molested, sexually assaulted are the things that scar you for life. And there’s no way you can ever forget it. People who go through this are one of the strongest people around you.
They fight a battle every single day which goes unnoticed by everyone. They want you to respect them and love them no matter how impure or bad they feel about themselves. Their insecurities and fears are something that needs to be taken care of if you’re close to them.
Because some scars never heal.