Many years ago a girl, who I had come to know & become close friends with just a few weeks before, told me in a moment of utter, open honesty that she suspected her father of having raped her when she was just 5 years old! 5 years old – how any sane man can think of harming an innocent girl of that age is beyond me and how can he even think sexual thoughts about her is also alien to me! And the fact that it was her own father; I must admit that although I was 21 at the time, I was still quite naive and still innocent to a little extent that I was quite shocked at this revelation by her.
“Are you sure?” was what stumbled out of my mouth at the time. She said that she herself wasn’t sure but a few years ago during an argument in which all her siblings & her parents were involved in, she supported her father’s point of view and her mother was so angry that she took her aside and asked why did she always blindly side by her father and didn’t she know that he had molested her when she was a child! The girl was shocked and couldn’t speak for a while. She retreated into a shell and didn’t speak to her parents or her brothers & sisters for a couple of days. Her father came and told her later that it wasn’t true, that her mother didn’t know what she was talking about, she was very simple minded and not very educated (she had only completed high school while he was a respected doctor). She believed her father for a while but in the back of her mind she knew that he had raped her.
I would late come to know through other sources that yes he did molest her and there was infact an official enquiry into it but without sufficient evidence against him it was ruled out. Her parents separated for a while but due to lots of other reasons, which I can’t go into detail over here, her mother felt that she had no option but to stay with the father for the kids sake. I came to know of how the mother came to initially suspect something was wrong, how their relatives tried to intervene but because they lived in another country, there was only so much that they could do. The details, which I got to know from several sources are gory and I even managed to read a couple of letters that her mother had sent to her family back in India at the time.
Back to the day this girl, who is just a year older than me, told me about this stuff. My shock must have been all over my face cause she was more worried about me and changed the subject and speak of more cheery things to say. I didn’t quite know how to react and felt like a douchebag afterwards. I remember laying in my bed for an hour afterwards thinking how someone could do that to a 5 year old girl and how could someone do that to his own daughter or to anyone for that matter. I also remember going for a walk to clear my head and walking for almost 3 hours aimlessly. I’ve heard a lot of stuff happening to a lot of people since then and perhaps I am better adjusted to helping & talking to someone who has gone through that but I will never forget that time when this girl told me about it.