14 Feb 2009

Two thirds of all Indian people I know have been abused

This Valentine's Day, before we express our love to the significant people in our lives, lets remember that several hundred million people around the world are probably unable to enjoy love as much as the rest of us can, or be intimate with their partners without being affected by trauma that persists from their childhood.

To draw an analogy, yes, when we were young our parents asked us to finish the food on our plate because children were starving in poor parts of the world (and they still are). I haven't seen this in many other parts of the world, but in most parts of India, ostentatiousness is looked down upon when there is so much exposure to extreme poverty everyday. So just as we must respect other people's hunger and poverty, so must we respect the inability of many people to love, be loved and be happy.

Am I being overly dramatic? Well I wish I was.

Consider this: India has 19% of the world's children. Yes, 19%. One in five. And over half of them - 50%, have been and continue to be sexually abused. This according to a UN study in partnership with the Indian government conducted in 2007.

What does that mean? Even if there was no child sex abuse in other parts of the world and remained only in India, such figures mean that one in every 10 children in the whole world would have been sexually abused. The actual figure though, is much higher. There is probably more abuse in your country than you imagine. And these things don't happen to 'other people'. There is probably evidence of some sexual abuse in your extended family. People you know still struggle with it and find it difficult to come to terms with it.

And for Indians under the misconception that this only happens in rural parts of India, well, I am from a fairly elite background and there are several people I know and mix with, who were sexually abused. These are people who have come out in the open - many more lie quiet, too traumatised by their childhoods to ever speak about it again.

What better way then, for those of us who are fortunate enough to have led relatively happier childhoods, to give a little money to a charity that helps such children. They only need $12K (although if you're a millionaire and want to donate more, please do)  - a small drop comapred to what is needed, but hey, its not so difficult to make a start. Your $20 will go a long way.

Here's a repost from 12Kfor12K

After the original charity encountered some last-minute problems, we are delighted to announce the charity the 12for12k Challenge will be supporting in February.

Stop the Silence is an amazing charity that is doing some incredibly difficult and heartbreaking work - dealing with the sexual abuse of children.



Across the world, 150 million girls and 73 million boys are subjected to forced sexual intercourse and other forms of sexual violence (WHO, 2002). In the U.S. at least one out of four girls and one out of seven boys are sexually abused by 18 years old. Nearly 50 percent of all sexual assaults are against girls aged 15 or younger. There are an estimated 60-80 million survivors of CSA in the U.S. alone.

Life outcomes often include poor school performance, depression, psychosis, promiscuity, teen pregnancy, prostitution, drug abuse, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, homelessness, suicide and homicide, and chronic disease. Between doctors, lawyers, social service workers and many others, it costs the U.S. billions of dollars each year to address the aftermath of the abuse - it needs to be prevented, and treated correctly if it happens.

The Mission of Stop the Silence is to expose and stop child sexual abuse and help survivors heal worldwide. The charity’s overarching goals are to:

1) help stop child sexual abuse (CSA) and related forms of violence;
2) promote healing of victims and survivors;
3) celebrate the lives of those healed.

Through their work, Stop the Silence aims to address the relationships between child sexual abuse and the broader issues of overall family and community violence, and violence within and between communities.

While the popular belief is that sexual abuse is carried out by strangers who lure their child victims, the majority is actually carried out by people in positions of trust. Family; friends of the family; teachers; community leaders and more. This leaves the child feeling as if they’re to blame - why else would someone they trust abuse them in this way?

While our original charity for February was going to be an animal-based one, the 12for12k Challenge believes strongly in what Stop the Silence is trying to achieve. We hope you do too, and help us raise much-needed funds for this inspiring cause.


  • Note: When using the ChipIn widget to make your donation, the email on the front page will be the main 12for12k Charities one. However, your payment does go directly to Stop the Silence and your PayPal or Credit Card receipt will show this.


Related posts:

  1. The First Charity for the 12for12k Challenge
  2. Total Raised for January
  3. PayPal Option Now Available

1 comment:

  1. Pran,

    These statistics you post are frightening. When you say that even if all was well in the rest of the world there would still be at least 10% of kids abused, it really does put it into context.

    Thank you so much for highlighting this sad statistic and for offering your support to what Stop the Silence is trying to achieve. People like your good self and Stop the Silence is the reason something like 12for12k exists.

    Thank you so much.

    Danny Brown
    Founder, 12for12k