There Should Be No Time Limit For Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse To Report Cases
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Dear Ms Maneka Gandhi,
I am writing to you on behalf of all adult and child survivors of childhood sexual violence.
Let me introduce myself. I am a survivor myself and all my childhood, even at an age when children played with dolls, I was scared of any kind of masculine figure around me. I was repeatedly raped from around 7 till the age of 18. When I was not getting raped, I didn't remember the rape, however, I would get flashes of hands trying to touch me and beat me up.
I never had the courage to speak up, and I couldnt speak up because I never remembered, as clearly I do now, about my abuse, when i was not being abused. It took me several years to decipher the images in the many nightmares and form a holistic picture of what had occurred. 20 years after my last abuse, I still grapple with some fragments of my past, which are like parts of a jigsaw puzzle that are waiting to be placed systematically to reveal the real picture.
Over years, I have spoken to over three lakh survivors, of all genders, abused by all genders when they were children. The oldest person I know is 84 years old who remembered how they was abused when they was 8. They remembered at 84 vividly. Fear of intimidation, impacts memory. You cannot remember everything when your life is in danger, however, after a while when you look at the incidences with a calmer mind, you may be able to put things in perspective and complete the story. This may take 1 year, ten years, or even 80 years.
I urge you to remove all conditions about the age of revelation of an episode of child sexual abuse.
Anyone should be allowed to report anytime about child sexual abuse, even if it is 80 years later. I urge you to not have a cap on the age limit by which it could be reported.
I trust you would do the right thing by removing all limitations and this will go a long way in ensuring that survivors muster the courage to speak up and see hope in a humane and scientific judiciary , even though the chances of conviction is very difficult as it is difficult to prove after a long period of time.
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