As this week is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week we wanted to share with you the story of one of our beneficiaries. By raising awareness, we hope that more people will be able to help put an end to such brutalities.
Presently, at The Sreepur Village, 60% of the mothers have faced some form of sexual abuse or violence in their lifetime. We would like to share with you the story of Sathi who is unmarried and an under-aged mother of The Sreepur Village.
“At the age of 12 I was first raped by my brother-in-law. He used to live in our house. When I tried to speak up against it, I was told to remain silent otherwise I would be killed. After being sexually abused for more than one year, I became pregnant and my suffering doubled. My family pointed the finger at me and tried to arrange an abortion. They didn’t allow me to eat. Even my sister beat me a lot because she was afraid of breaking the family or getting divorced. I couldn’t leave my room. I was facing social discriminations and continuous violence in every aspect of my life. I tried to kill myself but failed. At that critical time, with the help of The Leprosy Mission International (TLMI), I was able to give birth to my baby and soon after that I came to The Sreepur Village.
What a life I have already experienced? Two years ago, I wanted to end my life but now thanks to The Sreepur Village I am looking at a brighter future. The Sreepur Village respects me like the other mothers and has also given me the same privileges as all the other children. Because of The Sreepur Village I was able to enrol in the various literacy programmes and now training schemes. I joined class eight, at school, and in 2017 successfully entered the JSC examinations.
I plan to study grade nine at Open University but in the meantime, I would like to join IGA (Income generated activities) which will help me to lay the foundations for a brighter future for me and my child”
Women and children in Bangladesh are sexually harassed and raped by their neighbours, close relatives and colleagues and over 50 percent of rape victims are school children. A sickening rape culture seems to have engulfed the whole of society and the situation is so horrifying that even babies are not spared.
So, it really is high time that we raise awareness about sexual abuse and sexual violence and help put an end to it now!
Ignorance and wrong beliefs surrounding disability, compounded with a negative and derogatory attitude of the community (including family members) have contributed to the marginal development in the disability sector in Bangladesh.