Hyderabad: A 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by her stepfather while her mother was away for work. The courageous girl spoke to NDTV and narrated her ordeal. Eight years ago, this man, whom the victim calls ‘daddy’ had married her widowed mother. In April, after the girl, who studies in class eight had her first periods, he sexually assaulted her and threatened her not to reveal anything.
The victim said that he told her that she must not tell anyone and if she did so, he would not look after them anymore. Four days after the incident, when her mother, who works from 10 am to 10 pm at a retail store, was about to leave, the girl cried and told her not leave her alone at home.
After the mother confronted her husband, he first accused the victim of lying then fell at their feet asking for their forgiveness. He told them that he committed the offence under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The mother and daughter believed him. However, the man this month again sexually assaulted the girl while her mother was out for work, the girl said as per NDTV.
“He beat me, kicked me for telling my mother. I locked myself in the bathroom but he broke the door. He beat me with a belt and tried to force himself on me,” she told NDTV. On that day, victim’s mother returned early and found the girl covered and pretending to be asleep, as she was forced to do so by the man.
Her mother sensed everything and found her daughter assaulted and crying. Both mother and daughter immediately went to the police station to file a complaint. “We had to go to three different police stations, after which my complaint was registered,” the young girl said.
After the complaint was filed, the ‘step-father’ went missing. Later he tried to contact the mother, seeking forgiveness. He has been now taken into custody. The girl then contacted a child rights organisation, Balala Hakkula Sangam, seeking help. “I am not safe at home. This could happen again. I told daddy, don’t do this. But he did not listen. So I want to go and stay in a hostel and achieve my goal, of joining the police force,” she told NDTV.
Child rights activist Achyutha Rao says, though the government has amended the Protection Of Child Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, it does not stop sexual assaults against children.
Meanwhile, the victim’s mother is unlikely to divorce her husband for the fear of social stigma.