Stories

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
- Maya Angelou

Read stories from our work!

Why do we use the word survivor for a person who has faced sexual violence? We often hear of a debate around the terminology of ‘victim’ or ‘survivor’, and whether the latter devalues the victims who don’t survive sexual violence. ‘Why do civil society organisations get broiled in these semantic battles?’, some of you may have wondered. Today I would like to explain to you with an example. Why to us, she is a survivor and not a victim.

Growing up in a volatile household which is constantly under the shadow of domestic violence can weigh heavily on a child. 13-year-old Bipin has grown up with a violent and an alcoholic father who would frequently assault his wife, Bipin’s mother, brutally. The assaults would often render her bed-ridden for months.

Nafisa is a fifteen-year-old girl who studies in the tenth grade and loves to draw. She is strong, vivacious and kind. And she is on a difficult path to healing from sexual violence perpetrated against her, by her biological father.

Dimple (name changed) came to Delhi in 2018 to get an education. However, with the burden of the responsibility of having to look after her sister’s children, her original plans did not materialize. While her family said she was thirteen, and she did look thirteen, due to the unavailability of an official document to prove her age, Dimple underwent a bone age test which concluded that she was between seventeen and nineteen years old. Dimple had been sexually abused by the landlord’s grandson. After the first time he abused her, he threatened her to keep quiet about the abuse otherwise he would kill the younger children in the house.

Nafisa is a fifteen-year-old girl who studies in the tenth grade and loves to draw. She is strong, vivacious and kind. And she is on a difficult path to healing from sexual violence perpetrated against her, by her biological father.

* 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.