In almost every movie, that is based on high school life, consists of the following characters; a nerdy child, a popular girl and a bully. It is only recently that I have started noticing that the reason for their villainous personalities and amoral behavior is the abuse that bullies suffer at the hands of their families. It is this toxic environment that they grow up, which later shapes them to be the negative characters in our lives. The topic of this article is inspired by this idea.
Child abuse, what exactly is this? It can be as obvious as physical harm, where one’s bruises can tell the tale, but in case verbal and emotional abuse, sometimes it takes years for one to understand what they’ve been through and to see how it has affected them. What comes to mind when I say the following words; hanger, slippers, racket, rolling pin? I am pretty sure memes about a mother’s choice of weapon comes to our mind and the sad part is that we can all relate to those posts and somehow find them funny. What does it tell us about our society? I have seen parents hit their child in public because they were infuriated by their whining. First of all, it is because of your parenting that the child is behaving that way, and secondly what on earth makes you think that inflicting pain on your child is a solution to your problem?
Cases of sexual abuse are being reported almost every day. Social media is full of stories of people sharing their experiences, and how traumatizing it was for them to accept what had happened to them, because when you’re a kid, who have no idea what is happening and even if you do, you can’t talk to anyone about it, perhaps because of the overwhelming fear of the abuser. What saddens me the most is that at a fragile age of learning where they should be told to explore the world and have fun, we are forced to teach our children the difference between a good touch and a bad touch.
“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can also hurt me” are words from a children’s poem that tells us about how our choice of words can affect people. People starting their sentences with “no offense” often end up saying something hurtful. In a country like Pakistan where you can hear people cursing not because they’re angry or frustrated, but because they are happy or just hanging out with friends. We might not realize the context of the conversation, but sometimes during one of the episodes when a person is feeling low, our brain brings up all the stuff that was stored in the back of our brain and we understand how mean and abusive those were. People comment on your physical appearance, on your academic performance, on every little thing that you do that later give birth to anxieties or depression when things get out of control. We don’t realize that sometimes in the name of “joking” or “kidding” we are actually hurting someone.
The issue that most of us face is that we don’t have access to the support that one requires after confronting their abuser or seek help to deal with the trauma that follows. Some of us can’t even identify the fact that they were abused either physically, verbally or sexually, because no one ever talks about it. The culture to think that just because everyone can relate to it makes it normal, is not okay. We have to put an end to this. If you’ve ever been abused as a child or know of someone, it is important for either of you to seek help, because we unaware of the fact that it does affect our personalities. Pukaar is a community that provides you with a safe space, where you can come talk about your experiences and can help you to become a stronger person, so that you can be there for others who are in a similar situation as you were once.
Written by: Izza Raza