For a whopping seven years, Hassana, 14, was not only sexually assaulted, she was molested and humiliated by her father. Immediately after the death of her mother, the father transferred the emotions he had for her mother to Hassana, their only daughter! He slept with her, brutalized her whenever she says no to his advances. He scares whoever comes to her rescue by claiming she was insane.
“My father usually tell my rescuers that whoever offers to help me will suffer from the mental problem. Hearing that, people kept their distance from me,” she alleged. According to her, her father became so obsessed with that he was always quick to assist her. She said she makes her hair under the strict supervision of her father. She added that he inserted sanitary pad for her whenever she is in her menstrual flow.
“Each time, he does that, he would say he is doing what my mother could not live long enough to do,” she said. Consequently and psychologically, Hassana bored the pains of having sex with her father. “My father dared not see me with any man, he would chase them with a cutlass,” she said. Eventually, a helper came her way who took her to For Aisha,12, another rape victim, it started by sending her on an errand.
According to her, her neighbor takes advantage of the absence of her mother by asking her to go on an errand for him or offer to wash her vaginal whenever she urinate or defecate. “He told me that whenever I urinate or defecate, I should let him know so that he could help take good care of me,” she said. Aisha’s neighbor graduated from sending her on an errand to washing her vaginal and to fingering her.
Eventually, he got to his main point of defiling her at age 10. Thereafter, he gave the little girl stern warning not to tell anyone. The illicit affairs went on for two years until it got to the knowledge of the girl’s mother. However, Aisha’s mother was still grateful that the damage did not go beyond sexual abuse as the girl was not infected or impregnated. “I thank God that she is fit to go back to school now,” she said. Meena,13 had gone on a holiday to visit her aunt in Pune from Mumbai. While in Pune, she helped her aunt who sells Fabrics and locally weaved a basket to stay in the shop. On a fateful day, her aunt sent her to one of her basket suppliers within the neighborhood. On getting there, the supplier, Isha by name offered a drink and asked her to wait while he helped her put together the remaining products.
“That was all I remember. I woke up to see that I was tied to the ground, my mouth gagged! Then he came on top of me- very painful. I couldn’t scream out nor moved because my mouth was covered and my body pinned down. Throughout that day, he kept entering into me. He would stand up and go outside for some time and then come back to continue with me,” she narrated. Meena continued that for four days, she was in the man’s custody, and surprisingly, her aunt did not come to look for her. When she eventually got home, her aunt begged her not to say it out. “She promised to buy plenty gifts for me,” she said.
But Meena could not keep that to herself, for she told her parents on the phone. According to her, they rushed to Pune to report to the police but more shocking was the carefree attitude the police displayed on the issue. And her aunt, she said denied any knowledge of such incident. Rape issue has become so rampart in Pune Maharashtra state to the extent the women lost their cool and protested the incessant rape issue. Recently, a group of women tagged ‘Professional women groups’ in Pune trooped out in their dozens. Born out of anger and concern for their daughters and girls, they defied the early morning downpour a few weeks ago to stage a protest rally against rampant cases of rape in Pune and environs.
They carried placards with inscriptions, “Real men don’t rape,” “Enough is enough” and “We say no to rape.” The protest which was jointly organized by alumni of the St, St. Merry secondary school, Pune, and hordes of other professional women bodies in the city was aimed at drawing attention to the menace of rape. Hajiya Aishatu Dankani, one of the conveners of the group stated that rape case upsurge in Pune due to the state government lackadaisical attitude towards it. “We seek permission to take to the streets three weeks ago, but the government prevented us from doing so on the excuse that we will embarrass them.
We waited patiently but the menace kept growing on a daily basis,” she said Another Convener, Hina Kapoor said that “as we came out, we already saw heavy Security officials stationed all over. We thought that since the issue of rape affects every other person, the Pune government will lead us to our designated places of visits that include House of Assembly, Taj Palace and lastly government house. Unfortunately, he was not there.” She vowed that “We are ready for anything and we are ready to even go to court if the menace does not stop. This is about the future of our children and I don’t think we will joke about it.
” Unfortunately, rape issue is not limited to Pune or other Northern parts of India, it’s all over the country. For instance in Maharashtra state, among many other rape stories was the case of a 72 years old woman- Victoria. Two days ago, on a day that seemed quite normal for Ankita, while working on her farm, was raped. She narrated that some men suspected to be Pune herdsmen took a turn to rape her on her farm in , Maharashtra Local Government area of Maharashtra State. “I was working on the farm when the two men invaded my farm and before I could question them about their mission on my farm, they gagged me, tear my clothes and took a turn to rape me. They threatened to kill me thereafter if I make any noise. They left me badly injured on the farm,” she explained.