There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
- Maya Angelou
Read stories from our work!
The three boys ran into the CSJ office playing, hitting one another and laughing. Sameer, Binay and Bipin* are an energetic, mischievous bunch. They had come to meet our lawyer and social worker before their court testimony to go over what had happened to them.
In the eyes of many young women who’ve been sexually harmed, justice means overcoming stigma and shame attached to abuse and moving forward with their lives. To live with a supportive family, and even starting a family of their own. Tara’s story beautifully portrays this new beginning.
Our team has known Tanvi* for quite awhile now. Her case came to us in September 2014. Despite all that’s happened in her young life, she is warm and loving, always ready to greet you with a hug.
Many times, people equate convictions in court with justice. While convictions validate a victim’s story and may play an important role in securing justice, true justice requires much more. Navya* is quiet and shy but has a constant smile on her face.
As I look back on CSJ's journey, it's been encouraging when people express how they are moved by our work. In late 2013, shortly after CSJ started operations, CSJ supporter Kimberly Hocking painted a watercolor and wrote a poem that reflected the courage of one of our first cases: a gangrape of a teenage girl named Archana. The case details are less important than Archana's courage to report the case and pursue justice in court. The watercolor and poem continue to inspire, so I share them here.
Every time we meet Rahil, he exudes warmth and has a smile on his face. His sense of responsibility and capacity to love his family is uncommon for an 8 year old boy, especially with how much hurt he has already experienced.
CSJ’s work is hard on so many levels. Our team supports children who have experienced horrible injustice and intimate betrayal. On a daily basis, they work closely with these children and their families, and their stories bring us close to the ugly side of humanity. As we touch this darkness, it’s important we learn to see light in our work...
Counsel to Secure Justice has been advocating for Navya and Ujala in the justice system. But outside the courtroom, True Justice is healing from trauma and finding hope and purpose after sexual abuse.
After an argument with her stepmother, 15-year-old Bhoomi* visited her upstairs neighbor and friend. He persuaded Bhoomi to leave her family and meet his friends. “I’ll keep you happy,” he said. Then he sent her with a friend to another house. Bhoomi’s voice wavers as she comes to this part in the story.
Lily was nine when a stranger in her neighborhood raped her. While she was taking her younger sister to urinate outside near her home, a man approached and asked them to come to a secluded jungle area. The man seemed nice and said he was their neighbor’s uncle. He offered to buy Lily biscuits, so she she went with him and sent her younger sister home.
Seventeen-year-old Laxmi’s hands and legs trembled the day she entered a Delhi trial court to testify against her father, who had raped her repeatedly. But by the time she sat before the judge, her fear had turned to anger.
When your own home is not safe, where do you go? When CSJ met 13-year-old Rhea, she was trapped in a cycle of family violence. The first time her father raped her was during summer when, to stay cool, the whole family slept on their home’s concrete floor.
* CSJ protects the identity of children in the stories we share. Images that show faces are illustrative only and do not reflect individuals in the story. Names and identifying factors mentioned in the stories have been changed.