"There's nothing left in me": the stories of five Indian girls who survived violenceBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/theres-nothing-left-in-me-the-stories-of-five-indian-girls-who-survived-violence
In December 2012, a 23-year-old paramedic student from India was gang-raped. A few weeks later, the girl died from her injuries. Since then, the country has been considered one of the most dangerous for women. Foreign media covered the incident, the UK government urged citizens to be careful when traveling to India, and Chinese media called Delhi the "rape capital of the world."
After this high-profile case, gender-based crimes are widely publicized in India, but the legislation still does not provide victims with acceptable protection. Reports of rape in this country appear in the media several times a month, and the victims are often not only women, but also girls under 14 years old.
The details of the crime are becoming widely known to the public, but few people are aware of the consequences for the victims and their families. Five Indian families in which girls were raped told what they and their children had to face.
Source: Daily Mail
Deepti is now seven years old. When she was raped by a neighbor, she was only four years old. My mother was at the market, my father was in the shower. Deepti was playing on the roof of the house when a man attacked her. The rapist was about 20 years old.
The girl's parents contacted the police and immediately demanded a medical examination. But the officers replied that Deepti looks fine, only the girl's pants were taken as proof.
Despite the severity of the crime, many sided with the rapist — he was the only man in the family, and imprisonment would deprive his relatives of financial support. The criminal spent 18 months behind bars and was released on bail. He offered the Deepti family 80,000 rupees (about $900) for them to take the case from the police.
Gidzhantali is nine years old. She was sexually harassed by her father for several years. Last year he raped a girl. Her father threatened to beat her and her mother with iron bars if Gidjantali told anyone about what had happened. At the same time, the girl's mother takes the father's side and blames her daughter for everything. Now she wants her husband to be released from prison. After the case was made public, Gidzhantali's mother admitted that she often had to sleep on the floor, while her husband occupied the bed with his daughter.
Gidzhantali's grandfather reported sexual harassment and rape to the police. Since then, the whole family believes that he should take the case out of court.
"Everyone in the village is against me," the man says. — They don't understand that what my son did is terrible and wrong. Even my wife and mother Gidzhantali. But if I give up, he'll do it again, I know."
Gidzhantali is being bullied in the village. The girl herself says that she is sorry that her father ended up in prison. With him, her family had more money. Every day, Gidjantali's mother calls her daughter a prostitute and accuses her of putting her father behind bars.
Three months ago, eight-year-old Sadaf was raped by a doctor from her village. The girl was going to the bazaar to buy sweets when the doctor dragged Sadaf into the clinic and raped her. When the girl went back outside, she immediately fainted.
The parents found their daughter in blood and immediately contacted the police. However, the local police refused to accept the application and persuaded the parents to hush up the case. The doctor guilty of the crime came from a very wealthy family. He offered the police a bribe and could have harmed the entire Sadaf family.
The girl's parents insisted on initiating a criminal case. For several days after the rape, Sadaf did not leave the hospital bed — she had to go through a difficult period of physical recovery. Now she is afraid to leave the house and does not go to school, although only three months ago she dreamed of becoming an English teacher and attended classes with pleasure.
Five-year-old Nirmala was raped by her mother's boss. She was heading to the grocery store when a man met her and offered to buy sweets. The girl agreed. The rapist lured Nirmala into the forest and raped her there. The man left the victim naked in the woods, the girl was bleeding heavily.
Nirmala needed two surgeries and three months in hospital to recover. The criminal was caught two weeks after the incident. Since then, he has been in prison, and his family terrorizes Nirmala's parents and offers them money for refusing to go to court.
The family moved to another area to get rid of offers and excessive attention from neighbors who believe that the girl's life is already spoiled, and the court will not help.
Now Priyanka is 15 years old. She was raped by a neighbor last year. The man chased the girl for a long time and one night caught her with her friends. He threatened to kill the girl if she didn't go with him. The criminal raped Priyanka near his friend's house.
For 10 days, the police refused to initiate a criminal case, and when the officers finally agreed to accept the application, they kept Priyanka in the department for two days. Until the girl agreed to admit that she went with the rapist voluntarily.
The villagers believe that the girl herself is to blame for what happened. The rapist continued to harass her, threatened her sister and father. Some time later, the criminal and his friends beat Priyanka's father.
Two weeks ago, the girl's parents entered into an arranged marriage between their daughter and a 22-year-old young man. They believe that she will be safe only by getting married and moving to another village.
"I'm angry. There's nothing left in me anymore," Priyanka says.