Roshni was preparing to crack the herculean Joint Entrance Exams to get an entry into either Engineering or medical colleges. She was asked to take tuitions from Professor Bimalendu C, who would help her with Maths and Physics in which she was weak. Roshni was thirteen and Professor BC was 45 forty five.
It was three in the afternoon when she reached her tutor’s house. Instantly she experienced an eerie feeling. She disliked the place. A few boys sat inside the room neck deep in solving their equations on Werner Heisenberg and Neils Bohr, when Roshni caught a glimpse of her tutor.
He was short, fair, potbellied and grey haired. She caught him staring at her from the untidy bed on which he was sitting, wearing only a pair of trousers, his chest bare. The room smelt like rotten flesh. Cobwebs hung on its green walls. The boys were seated in wooden chairs but Roshni wasn’t offered a seat. She chose a corner to sit in and opened her books. BC stirred came to her and gave her a tough sum knowing fully well she was a novice and would not be able to crack the question without help. Soon the boys left and BC’s eyes became beady. Surprisingly, he stammered when he spoke to her.
“You’re rather weak in science and I am sorry you will not be able to crack the JEE, unless you take special classes for which you must attend my special coaching classes thrice a week.”
Roshni agreed as she was in desperate need to be secure a place in an engineering or medical college. That was the beginning of destruction.
It was a gloomy Wednesday afternoon when she reached her tutor’s house and this time the room was empty. She sensed something was amiss but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what.
We all have a sixth sense and women in particular, are intuitive by nature. So too with Roshni. She was about to open her books when she felt feisty hands groping her. Before she could understand what was happening, she felt BC’s alcohol laden breath against her mouth. His paw like hands began groping her tiny breasts, murmuring “You are so beautiful, be my bride.”
She was crushed by his bare chest and she could feel that man. BC was about to drag her to that nasty bed, when she kicked him with all her strength. Traumatised and fearful, she was she forgot her books and ran for her life managing to escape narrowly from potential rape.
The next thing she knew was she was in a psychiatrist’s couch. She was so distressed that she refused to speak at all. She embraced a stoic silence. Roshni wasn’t the only victim, there were other girls too which were exposed much later, there were some who enjoyed the abuse and became an addict to such exploitation. There were some who gave in to the demands to crack the JEE, others who ran away and there were Roshnies who couldn’t deal the trauma.
Paedophiles as defined by the fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are individuals who are preferentially or solely sexually attracted to prepubescent children, generally 13 years or less. There are distinct classifications for other attractions to children, depending on the developmental stage the adult is sexually attracted to. Those who find children on the cusp of puberty sexually attractive are known as “hebephiles”. “Ephebophiles” are individuals who are sexually attracted to children who have reached puberty.
Are they born Paedophile and why do they abuse Children? There are a number of potential reasons. Some people who have been sexually abused as children will go on to become offenders. Studies suggest anywhere between 33% and 75% of child sex offenders report being sexually abused as children. The practical application of this information is that preventing child sexual abuse will reduce, but not eradicate, some occurrences later.Then there are others who have not been abused as children but find children sexually attractive. Research suggests there may be a biological reason for this. Data published in Biology Letters found paedophiles’ brains are, in essence, wired to find immature faces attractive. Improving our understanding of how paedophiles’ brains work will ultimately help identify those with a sexual interest in children, if not those who are willing and able to act on those urges.
Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita”. Humbert was sexually attracted to “Lolita” the child and why? It’s just that he lost his love Anabelle who was of the same age of Lolita and could not get over the trauma. But not all are like “Humbert the pervert”, there are criminals too who are driven by a desire to dominate and control.
There was yet another case study of Mrs Hannah H whose daughter was attracted to a paedophile through facebook. She gave in to her daughter’s demands to open an account and that was yet another lifetime lesson for her. The abuser was masturbating on his webcam. The daughter’s first sexual experience was seeing the penis of a paedophile masturbating in her bedroom. She closed the webcam down. Then began the exchange ofobscene, derogatory, misogynistic and sexually abusive messages. When the police read the messages it was hard to take in at first. A mixture of shock, disgust, bewilderment, despair and sadness all combined. The daughter’s childhood tainted.
Behind the locked metal doors of Delhi’s maximum security Tihar jail, Sunil Rastogi — dubbed India’s worst pedophile and the world’s biggest — waits among hundreds to be counted. Only then will he be taken for a psycho-analytic test. Rastogi — a tailor by profession, who confessed to having sexually abused over 500 children mostly girls— said he had a fetish for children because he considered them virgins; wore his lucky red trousers (when on the prowl); and took the Sampark Kranti Express from Rudrapurevery week to reach Delhi. And then, he would look for the lonely terraces of single-storey homes where lowly, daily wage earners lived cheek-by-jowl. These terraces would be used for drying clothes and pickles.
So we need to raise the awareness against the gruesome crime.
Do not let the children surf the internet unmonitored.
Do not let the child to stay alone with a man you do not trust irrespective of the gender of the child.
Educate the child on good touch, bad touch.
Meetings should be held in residential complexes and in schools during which laws regarding pedophiles and every bit of information regarding the signs of child sex abuse should be discussed.
Experts would be brought in to educate the community, and the determination of every citizen would be unshakeable until the most notorious threat to children’s innocence was back in prison or relocated where he could not harm another child.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are currently 500,000-registered sex offenders in the United States and typically 100,000 of those are unaccounted for. These are just the ones that we know about, and as the events at Penn State have unfolded, we have seen how these individuals can find sanctuary in a place where a child’s innocence is stripped of its value.
Well that is the statistics of United States, what about India? Are we aware of the issue, if not please start now, this is the right time. Attack every offender, take help of cops, take legal help, take help of Human Rights.
Here’s a strong message to the society in the words of Anna C. Salter:
“We mute the realization of malevolence- which is too threatening to bear – by turning offenders into victims themselves and by describing their behavior as the result of forces beyond their control. I should meet many people who do not know anyone personally who has been raped or molested as a child. But I can’t remember If suddenly you do not exist, seeing a newspaper without a rape or molestation charge in it somewhere, and when I ask groups how many people know someone personally with a history of molestation, almost always, every hand in the room goes up.”
Let’s create India a nation free of these predators, let’s take the first step, let’s join hands, let’s groom a child not break them for it’s through them we see a better India, a clean India, a developed nation.
Rimli Bhattacharya works in the corporate sector but her passion lies in writing. She has published an Anthology “Book of Light” with Speaking Tigers. She writes for TOI, BloomBrite, Poetry of Moon and is a classical dancer.
Note: Roshni’s story is a true story. Names changed to protect identity.
Image courtesy Google
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