April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month; as ongoing events reveal, this is a large problem and together, we need to bring about much needed change.
Feelings of guilt and shame are common reactions following a sexual assault. Because of misconceptions about rape, some survivors blame themselves, doubt their own judgment, or wonder if they were in some way responsible for the assault. Feelings of guilt and self-blame may be reinforced by the reactions of others, who, because of prevalent myths, social stigmas and taboos, may blame the survivor or criticize his or her behavior. This may lead some survivors to remain silent about their situation and may feel ashamed or guilted into it.
As Jakara put it, “To those that have endured such crimes, we are with you. You are loved and you are not alone. You have a voice and you have our support. … There are far too many of us that have experienced this sort of violence; together we can make our voices a thunder.”
Below is a poem by one woman who writes about her feelings of pain and being silenced in an abusive situation.
I will remain quiet, although my soul is screaming.
My clothes are stitched but my soul is ripped apart.
Do you really want to hear the story from the start?
But, I will remain quiet, although my soul is screaming.
You can’t see my bruises, yet my soul is in pain.
But just because you can’t see it, is my pain in vain?
Don’t worry, I will remain quiet, although my soul is screaming.
I won’t say they raped the body, because it’s the soul that was raped!
It’s not the physical damage but the mental torture I can’t escape.
But I will remain quiet, although my soul is screaming.
As I believe Waheguru will serve justice one day, and on that day I will be there to hear what your daughter has to say.
by Neet Kaur
The above artwork is by Neet Kaur. You can follow her on Instagram: Neet.kaur1827
For more Kaur Life articles on the topic of domestic violence, click here.