At the age of five, I experienced sexual abuse

My uncle raped me as a child. He even 'shared' me with his friends. I haven't told anyone and they still...

Asim B May 27, 2013
It all started when I was about four or five years old. I used to live in a small rural area located near Mirpur Khas in Sindh, Pakistan. I stayed there for nearly a decade.

By means of introduction, I come from a moderately educated Muslim family background, where the joint family system is preferred.

Just like any other family, in front of my parents, I was a typical 'playful' and happy-go-lucky five-year-old boy, but there has always been something inside me that I could never share with anyone - not even my mother, who is the closest to me.

I used to visit my grandparents and spent more than half of my day at their house. The other kids and I used to spend our time playing games. It felt like my second home.

One evening, when it was starting to get dark outside and I was afraid of leaving alone (my father used to pick me up), my uncle offered to drop me home. As soon as we left their house, he stopped by the adjacent building; he started to touch me in a weird way. I did not understand it at the time, but he sexually abused me.

I had absolutely no idea about what was going on. Confused and beyond terrified, I didn't know what to do. It was as though I had been hypnotised. I couldn't move a single inch. He asked me to do nasty things and I followed his every command like a dumb puppet.

When he was done, he warned me to not tell anyone about it and assured me that it wasn't a bad thing to do and we should do it again.

This went on regularly for a few years. Yes, that long.

He didn't just keep it to himself. He told his friends, who also indulged in molesting me regularly. I was a sex toy for them. As I grew up, quite a number of my relatives got involved in abusing me.

I don't know for sure why I couldn't tell anyone about this, but I just couldn't. I guess I simply stopped trusting others. I was afraid that if I told my parents and they didn't believe me, there would be a fuss and my molester would find out. This could cause him to do worse things to me. The odds of that person manipulating my parents were high, especially because I was living in a rural area.

Eventually, I moved to another town. I thought I would never have to face those who tortured me ever again, but things don’t always work out the way you wish. They started calling me on my cell phone, gave my number to many others and started threatening me. They even came to my house. Let me tell you that the man who first abused me has not changed a single bit. He is still the same – dirty as ever even after all these years.

This was the main cause of my depression. I have even considered suicide many times in my life but I can never buck up the courage to attempt it. Ironically, the image of me killing myself is like a nightmare. Days, months and now years have passed by, and I have not fully recovered.

Recently I decided to consult a psychiatrist. While it has helped me a little, I still can't forget those agonising moments.

One has to be completely insane to be molesting a fragile, innocent five-year-old. It is one of the most inhumane crimes one can commit.

I haven't been abused for years now, but that doesn’t mean I have had a break from the emotional wreckage going on inside me. I still get occasional threatening calls, vulgar text messages and emails. I've even stopped visiting my hometown.

I am still waiting for a day when I will not have to face those brutes any more, but it might just be my wishful thinking. The feeling of not being able to discuss it with my closest friends and family leaves me extremely isolated. It's like I am trapped somewhere and have no way to get out. I feel like there is nothing to look forward to in life anymore.

All I can do now is pray to Allah (SWT) to help me get through this mess. It has been too long now and I think I have paid all my dues.

I sincerely hope no other child has to go through a hell of this kind. It didn't stop for me for a long time, but even if it had only happened once, the emotional trauma would continue to live with me forever.


If you have experienced sexual abuse in Pakistan and want to share your story, email us. We will keep your email and all details confidential, and blogging anonymously is possible. Additionally, if you are a psychiatrist or counselor that specialises in child sexual abuse, please contact us and share your expert opinion.
Asim B The writer wishes to remain anonymous. An alias has been used instead of his real name.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Insaan | 11 years ago | Reply @lodhi: There is lot more Incest in segregated societies and is more or less accepted by families.
Insaan | 11 years ago | Reply @khurshid khan: I was an ER physician in a suburban hospital in NY. At least once a week a couple brought their infant for asessment of possible physical abuse by a baby sitter. Sexual abuse is much more pervasive in Pakistan. Big difference is Pakistanis hush up the matter as mostly the abuser is a uncle or another closed relative or a close family friend. Are you saying every week you found an infant that was sexually abused in ER of a NY hospital? This is only possible if lot of drug abusers lived in that area. Most baby sitters are females. Are you saying all these infants were abused by females? I have hard time believing you story. I live close to DC, never heard of such problem around DC, MD or VA.
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