I cower in a corner
My knees drawn to my chest
Trying to make myself as small a target as possible
Maybe then he won’t attack me again
My own father
And I am not even ten yet.
I lie in a field
My dupatta in shreds beside me
Like my dignity
I know no one is looking forme
I’m a lowly farmer’s wife
And my caste is too low for me to matter.
I’m naked in a police station
My protectors are my assaulters
My village razed to the ground
“Suspected terrorists” is the cry
My pleas are not enough to convince them
My body is my punishment.
I nurse my baby girl in fear
They might snatch her away from me any moment now
They haven’t let me feed her
Her existence is an annoyance, an irritant
Her grandmother dropped her on her head
Two days after she left my womb.
I’m that sister whose brother had a fight
I was used as a tool for revenge
And so they raped me again and again
I crawled home in need of strength and support
My brother declared I tainted his honour
And put me to death himself.
I’m deaf, mute, blind
Handicapped in body, disabled in mind
I can’t speak, I can’t comprehend
So I can be used and abused
By anyone passing through
I’m not a person, I’m merely a toy.
My uncle sold me to these men
They pumped me full of drugs
Then raped me till I bled
I stand today on a balcony
Garishly dressed, exposingmy body
The paint on my face covers the scars.
I’ve been forced upon by my husband
Date-raped by my boyfriend
Sexually tortured by the police and the army
Forced to accept my rapist as my husband by a khap
Exploited in orphanages and rehabilitation centres
Abused in school by peers and teachers alike
Nobody looks for me
I’m invisible and unheard
If I’m lucky, I’m a statistic
If I’m unlucky, I’m not even reported
Lost in the numbers, a speck of colour on a chart.
All I want is someone to stand up
And ask what happened to me
To think about me once in awhile
As a woman, a human, a living being
Give me justice, respect, equality and empathy
Show me I too can live with my head held high.
I too am Damini, I too am Nirbhaya
I too am Amanat, I too am Jyoti.
Light a candle for me, walk for me
Speak for me, Look out for me
Don’t forget me, don’t ignore me
More than their brutality, your indifference kills me.
WRITTEN BY – Meenakshi Ganesh (http://fisheyes-meanie.blogspot.in/2013/01/because-im-woman.html)