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I Did Not Tell Anyone About My Cousin Sexually Abusing Me, Because I Wanted To Keep My Family.

I Did Not Tell Anyone About My Cousin Sexually Abusing Me, Because I Wanted To Keep My Family.

I looked up to him


The ordeal started when I was 8 and it persisted till I was 12. I saw him as a brother and when he first touched me, I was in shock. I didn’t know how to react. I was too young to process the gravity of it so I froze. The next thing I knew, I was just blindly listening to his instructions and he told me to not tell anyone. 

He convinced me that if I told anyone, the family would be broken. I loved them and I wanted to keep my family.

I knew I couldn’t live with that guilt if I caused a riff in my family, but I also felt so ashamed that he was doing this to me. Even though I wanted to tell my parents, I held back so the family could stay together. I mean we all grow up being taught how imperative filial piety is. At that point in time, I didn’t realise what he was doing was straight up ‘abuse’ – I knew in my gut that it was wrong, but I just didn’t know what it was. 

“Good Touch Bad Touch”

While I was in school one day, we had sex education. I remember learning about good touch and bad touch, and it hit me that my cousin had been giving me “bad touches”. I also learnt that you could become pregnant through sexual intercourse, and I was terrified for my life. I didn’t know what to do. Again, I froze. My friends saw that I was panicking, and they asked if I was ok. At that moment, I decided to disclose this huge, family-breaking secret to them and confided in them for comfort. 

My friends encouraged me to disclose this to my teachers, but I felt so scared and worried that I would break up the family. So, my friends did it for me instead. The police were called, and they interrogated me. When they asked me how many times it had happened, my body froze again. Echoing in my head were my cousin’s words, “It is your fault if our family breaks up. You don’t want that now, do you?”. 

I reported it to the police but begged them for a light sentence

I didn’t want to be the one to break the entire family up so I lied. I told the officers that it only happened a few times even though it happened almost every single day. I begged and begged the officers to give the smallest punishment to my cousin so that our family won’t break up. I regret that now because he only served 1 year of reformative training. 

I haven’t moved on

In the present day, I have so much hatred and anger in me for what he has done. He robbed me of my childhood and abused me every single chance he got. He knew how wrong it was and he still did it every single day. Due to these incidents, I plunged into severe depression and PTSD. I attempted suicide several times. I felt so unjust and unfair that he got away with a slap on his wrist. 

I wish I had done things differently. I wish I could tell my younger self to be brave and tell a trusted adult. I feel so sorry for my younger self because she went through this alone just because she didn’t want to “break up the family”. I wish I could tell her that it was not and will never be her fault. 

Have you ever been hurt by a family member? How did you navigate through the pain?

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