Every Child Matters

 

“After a visit to the village, my parents left me there to help with work. I could never study past grade three. I was 11 and I cried every day to return to my family and school. A year into this new life of looking after the cattle and the farm, my grandmother started to hit me. She would beat me at every small inconvenience and sometimes for nothing at all; pulling my hair after I’d spent a long day on the farm.
I was treated this way until I was almost 20 – for so long that I forgot to fight back. I am so habituated to the beating that I would just stand and receive it, even today.

My parents came back to my life after 10 years, only because they were scared of rumours about me going around with men. I was happy to be back with them, but the joy was short-lived. My brother got in an accident and my father blamed me for it. He hit me with the bhukari logs until I couldn’t move. He cursed at me, and I just stood there until he was done. We didn’t speak for a year after that, but mostly because he didn’t want to speak to me.

So, I set out for Thimphu. I had dreams about this place. I dreamt that if I could get a job here, I’d save and buy things for myself as I like, and learn to drive. It wasn’t as easy as I imagined, but I worked as a waiter and soon fulfilled the small dreams I had. Soon, I got a driver’s license, got married and had a baby.

Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last. I was paying Nu 5,000 for rent while on a salary of Nu 6,000, with a baby to care for. While I desperately needed more money, mishaps kept occurring such as small robberies and failed businesses. When I felt hopeless, a fortune teller told me that things would take a turn in my life.

I spent long days for the last three years in a pan shop that I bought with all the money I’d saved. My child and I spent our days in that little space, while I did my best to make a life for us. I recently bought a car for us with that money and some loan.
Brought up in an abusive home for years, I never learned to seek help – even in my adult years. Neither could I understand why my grandmother despised me so much.
All the times I got hit as a child shook my morals, but now I don’t let anything bother me at all. My family has disowned me, and we no longer stay in touch. And that’s okay, I am fine on my own. Moreover, I will never allow my child to know any form of abuse like I did.”

Humans of Thimphu with National Commission for Women and Children – NCWC, BhutanUNICEF Bhutan and Partners stands in solidarity with survivors and calls for urgent actions to end violence against children.

If you, or someone you know, has experienced violence, Feel free to seek help from the following organisations.

NCWC Woman & Child Helpline: 1098
Royal Bhutan Police: 113
Nazhoen Lamtoen: 1257

#EndVACinBhutan #EveryChildMatters

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