ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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In the Best Interest of the Child?

A survivor of sexual assault as a child imagines what it might have been like to go to court as a 12-year-old, in light of the Bombay High Court’s recent judgment.

I was in class six or seven. I vividly remember what I had worn—a pink pyjama set that I had bought for my birthday. I wore it happily to class, and all my friends in school asked me if I had remembered to brush my teeth that morning. I wore this same pyjama set once again when I was playing badminton with my brother outside our house. A man came and played with us for a little while. After that, he asked us if we were interested in purchasing his books—he was selling “joke books.” By now, we were so enamoured by this charming adult who took the time to play with us then, that we pleaded with our mother to buy the entire set. She was hesitant, but after our incessant pleading-turned-pestering, she went inside for about 20 seconds to get the money.

That was when he told me, “These books have many interesting facts. For example, they will tell you about animals that have one heart. Unlike us human beings, who have two,” and he squeezed my breast. It happened very suddenly—I did not know how to react. We purchased the books, and a few hours later I told my mother what had happened. My mother is an extremely sharp woman and fiercely loves her children, and I grew up in a sheltered household where I was protected from the world. She was extremely upset, called every number in that book and tried to file a complaint. But we did not know his name, where he was from, or anything about him; other than that he had sexually assaulted me right on my doorstep.

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Updated On : 6th Feb, 2021
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