Decades on, search for justice against paedophile

At 52, Canadian woman of Indian origin breaks her silence

August 15, 2016 03:17 am | Updated 03:17 am IST - CHENNAI:

Wanting to break the silence that protects paedophiles, a Canadian woman originally from Chennai has filed a complaint against a relative of hers who had sexually abused her as a child.

“I am 52 now and I still find it difficult to talk about it… how do you expect 10 and 11 year old to go to the police and talk about being sexually abused. I just wanted to let paedophiles know they are no longer protected by our silence. The only way to start turning the tide is to break the silence. If you shine the light on it, it can’t hide anymore,” she told The Hindu over the phone.

The incidents of abuse happened when she was around 10 years old and lived in various homes in Anna Nagar and Shenoy Nagar. They apparently stopped when she told the man to stop.

“I understood he was doing something wrong only after I watched a TV show in Canada and then I started reading about it. When I was in my 20s, I tried to lodge a complaint in India through my brother, but that did not work since there were no laws pertaining to sexual abuse,” said the woman, who now wants parents to be able to protect their children from such men.

For sometime, she kept information about being abused to herself but when a niece was about to move to India with her family, she was afraid she too may have to face such a situation and then informed her family.

“My brother accosted him and at first, he denied having done anything. But when he persisted, the man confessed to what he had done. However, he said he had done it out of love for me. His wife told me she had forgiven him, but I couldn’t,” she said finding it difficult to talk about the incidents.

Since her family knew about his acts, they ensured that she did not meet him anywhere. “It has been at least 25 years now, but it has never quite settled,” she said adding that in 2013, she decided it was time something was done about the matter and took it to the Canadian police. Though a file was created since, the perpetrator was not in Canada and when the incidents happened she was not in Canada, so nothing could be done.

“I was advised to mail the report made by the Canadian police to the police in India. I mailed it in March and I didn’t expect to hear back from them. But I did. I met a senior police officer,” she said.

Investigation on the case is ongoing, police officials confirmed.

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