Light is Empowerment | Tanvi’s* story

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. Tanvi was abused by her younger brother, father and an elder neighbor, who was like a grandfather to her. When she told her sisters about the abuse, they warned her to keep quiet and not tell anyone.  But she confided in a worker from a local community-based organisation, who helped her report the case to police. As the case wound its way through the criminal justice system, Tanvi received no support from her family. They call her a liar and claim she was mentally challenged. Still, we’ve seen Tanvi transform from doubting herself and questioning why her family didn’t believe or trust her, into a confident, empowered young woman. This strength is rooted in people who’ve come around and supported Tanvi during this difficult time. She has bloomed as a result of unwavering efforts of staff from the shelter home where she lives. A job has given her confidence in her own abilities. Tanvi is developing her own views and learning how to ask questions and express herself. She feels deeply about injustice and wants to help others in need. In April 2017, Tanvi’s case ended in acquittal. It was difficult to share the news with Tanvi. While the outcome disturbed her, she hasn’t stopped believing in herself. “Just because the court or my family do not believe me, does not mean what happened to me is not wrong or hasn’t happened,” Tanvi told CSJ social worker Deborah. “I know my truth and I will stand by it.” This is a beautiful picture of an empowered young woman.

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