#MeToo: I was Young, Innocent and Scared to Speak Up

When I was around young age 8 years I went to the market with my mom. She told me to buy some things from the market. I was alone when I suddenly felt someone touch my breast tightly. That incident scared me a lot, but I didn’t speak anything at that time. I did not even tell my mother about it. Then again when I was 15, I had to face a similar incident. I was walking alone when some bike borne men came, touched my back and sped away! I could not do anything because it happened at around 5:30 am during the winters, and there was no one around at that time.
I recall when I was around 13 or 14, my cousin brother would do things that would make me feel very uncomfortable. He was nude and he kissed my body. He would do it whenever he got a chance. This happened with me 3-4 times. I asked my mother not to allow him in our home. I remember telling that in a very angry tone, because I didn’t know what was actually happening to me. I always remained silent whenever such incidents happened with me.
There was another man in our neighbourhood who would often visit our house. I hated him, but did not have enough authority to forbid him from our home. Whenever he visited, he would do something weird, but since our family was poor, I had to keep quiet. But one day I shouted back and asked him to leave. I told him I will tell everyone about his deeds, but he instead threatened me with dire consequence if I was to say anything to anyone. That scared me even more and I kept mum. I still hate him whenever I see him.
I have developed the courage now and am brave enough to take actions against such persons now. But at that time, I was innocent. These incidents in life have made me stringer and I can fight without any fear now. I am 24 now, and a proud lesbian.