When your protector is your predator

In 3-year-old Madhav’s eyes, his father was a hero. He was taller, he could throw the ball farther than Madhav could. Madhav especially loved it when his father took him out to the park. What he didn’t like were the secret games his father forced him to play when mom wasn’t around. These games would hurt, but his father had made him promise not to tell anyone. Until one day, two years later, his mother Neeta found out. His mother cried and his father was angrier than he had ever seen him. Madhav wondered if it was all his fault somehow. 

Madhav’s mother Neeta, immediately reported his father to the authorities. Things changed overnight. His father’s family disowned all of them, including his younger brother. His mother was distraught but held steadfast in her quest to protect her children from abuse. But having been a homemaker throughout their marriage, Neeta was suddenly looking at a bleak future for herself and her children. 

The beginning of the pandemic, soon after she left her marital home, made things worse. She was unable to pay Madhav’s school fees and the child faced the prospect of dropping out. This was when CSJ met a very distressed mother and son. For them to heal, it was necessary to give them a sense of security. Our social worker worked with state authorities to allow for some grace period to Neeta to pay the fees. Through consistent follow up, Madhav’s fees for the rest of the year were waived off. 

In the meantime, our social worker also identified state run schools that could help Madhav continue his education at affordable fees. He was admitted to a government-run school with minimal costs through CSJ’s efforts. Simultaneously, an application was made to the court for interim compensation. 

Neeta however wanted her children to get the private school education she had once dreamed for them. Our social worker informed her about the process of applying for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota in schools. Following her advice, Neeta managed to get her younger child admitted under the EWS quota in a private school. Later, Madhav also got admission in another private school. CSJ also advocated successfully for an interim compensation of Rs. 50000 which helped in paying for his education. 

Rule-9 of the POCSO

India’s Child Protection Act) Rules allows the Special Court to order interim compensation for the child’s needs related to relief or rehabilitation after the FIR’s registration. This compensation is adjusted against the final compensation, if any.

Constant support and counselling helped Neeta and Madhav gain the confidence to look forward to a life beyond trauma. Neeta filed for divorce and she and the two boys are now happy with their lives together. Madhav has turned out to be a brilliant student, winning many awards in school.

A little help can go a long way in helping survivors find their feet after trauma. You too can help them take the next steps to a life beyond trauma.

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