Speaking Up by Tvishi Duggal

To successfully complete the given activity I tried to reach out to as many people as possible. I spoke to 20 people of various age groups. I learned that most of the individuals had experienced some form of sexual abuse in their life. Many of my friends (18-20 years) had not spoken to anyone about it and some had taken many years before opening about the incident. Some members of my family (30-45 years) had never spoken about it as they either felt embarrassed or thought that it is not an important topic. I concluded that one fears that it was their own fault which led to such a situation and therefore it becomes difficult for them to speak openly about it. This topic is also never discussed very openly by parents or by teachers in schools or colleges and so if one has been a prey, they feel ashamed. In today’s society, people fear being judged and so they refrain from bringing issues related to any form of abuse in the public domain. I feel it is extremely important for one to talk about this, as when I was a child, I too went through a similar experience. I took many years before opening up to my mother because i felt embarrassed, but once I spoke to her about it, I had nothing to be afraid of. I felt liberated and understood how important it is for one to speak about such life altering situations. I also feel parents should, from the very beginning bring up such issues and address them very patiently and in a positive manner so that a child is able to protect themselves. Some individuals also fear that their parents might react in a negative manner and therefore it is important to be patient and empathetic.

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