Trigger warning: Rape and violence

“He was 32. I was 11. I was playing with my friends when he approached us and smiled at me. I smiled back. I didn’t think he’d ever do something like this. He was my father’s friend. I tried running away but he held me and took me to his house. He said that if I told anyone, he’d kill me. I only vaguely remember the days after that, but I remember asking my mother for Horlicks and mango out of strong cravings. I’d started menstruating at 10, but the periods stopped after that incident. Grandma said, ‘It happens!’

In school, teachers started doubting my growing stomach; I thought I must be getting fat and told them the same. My parents were informed. The doctor thought it was gastritis and I was prescribed medication. I resumed my classes but fell sick a few days later. This time, doctors found that I was six months pregnant. My parents were shocked and sad, but I was too young to feel anything. I didn’t even know what was happening. After regular check-ups and care, I gave birth via C-section. Some people might have said bad things, but most gave their support. Neighbours even visited the house.

The perpetrator was tried in court and punished. I went back to school after a few months with my parents and aunt taking care of the baby. As I got older, I understood everything. Sometimes, it drives me to depression. When faced with similar problems in life, young people like me get depressed. I think we should fight against what we faced and try to create awareness of rape and suicide. I did so by writing about my rape on Facebook. This time, I wasn’t scared of anything and received many positive comments and messages. My family is proud of me for coming this far in life. I am grateful to RENEW, NCWC, my counsellor, school, and the hospital for helping me with all they can to make my life better.”

Humans of Thimphu joins National Commission for Women and Children – NCWC, BhutanUNICEF Bhutan and partners’ call to End Violence against Children.

Violence can be prevented. The first step in curbing all forms of violence against children is to bring the issue to light – in all its complexity.

NCWC Woman and Child Helpline: 1098
Royal Bhutan Police: 113
Nazhoen Lamtoen: 1257
RENEW: 17126353
#EndVACinBhutan #EveryChildMatters


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