Kunwar, 9: The Boy who lost his voice

CSJ’s social worker and counsellor work patiently with children like Kunwar to make sure they feel safe

At an age when most children play with crayons and watch cartoons, four-year-old Kunwar’s uncle wanted to make a dirty video with him. He was so young that he didn’t even have the language to describe what was happening to him.

His parents had domestic problems of their own, and so no one realised what was happening until an older child in the neighbourhood happened to witness Kunwar being abused. Even after the case was registered, his family kept pressurising him to settle it amicably so that they would not have to deal with disrepute and discord.

It was left to CSJ to support Kunwar.

When he was called to give testimony, it was as if Kunwar had lost his voice and no amount of soothing words from the prosecutor or the judge helped. Looking at the equation the boy shared with CSJ support worker, the judge allowed for a few hours in a vulnerable witness room, where CSJ support worker Shabana tried to get the boy out of his shell. The family meanwhile kept trying to tell the judge and the prosecutor to drop the case.

The trial resumed in the judge’s chamber, where Kunwar encouraged by our counselling, responded to most questions. However, the moment the court asked him about the incident, he became tongue tied. The prolonged pressure from the family seemed to have had a huge impact on the little boy’s psyche. The judge deferred the rest of the testimony till January 2024 and ordered further counselling for Kunwar.

Kunwar needs immediate help. CSJ is trying its best to actively support Kunwar, so that he can find his voice again. We want to ensure that not only does he get justice but also adequate support to be able to continue his education and come out of this on the other side.

We request you to open your hearts, so Kunwar can speak up without fear.

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