Transcript of Chat With Harish Iyer | April 4 2012

Q. Could you detail the kind of signs a parent should watch out for. #CSAAM

A. parents need to know that they need 2 look for signs. The child might not have the power of language to use words like “ABUSE”, visible change of behavior. Stomach aches. Urinary issues. Mood swings. In many cases, sudden bad breath, phobias #signs #csaam

Q. Most people repress memories of csa. Did u always know or did you later realize so? #CSAAM

A. i shut my mind at the time of abuse. i realized it was wrong. I tried telling mom. She didnt get my hints. .I thought my abuser was right he said “if i tell any1 they won’t believe me”. Mom had no idea boys need 2 B protected

Q. Can u share a few tips on how parents can handle such news. On how they can be kind to the child.

A. 1.listen 2 the child  2. Trust the child. 3. Don’t Ask The Child “Why you didn’t tell me than” 4. Act against abuser

Q. What goes on in the mind of a child who understands that something wrong is happening, but feels powerless?

A. Feeling of worthlessness. I felt i was born to serve my offender with sexual pleasure. The child builds a world w/in the world. A fantasy world that only ppl he/she/T loves R allowed 2. For me it was Bollywood

Q. Would you like to tell us how you healed yourself and emerged a survivor?

A. during abuse – cinema helped me get into a fantasy world. my little time with tarzan and Sridevi in dreams helped. My dog helped me stop it. the only one to love me without judging was my dog jimmy. He licked my tears and emoted. I returned his favor. I started speaking 4 animal rights & slowly gathered courage 2 stand up for myself and my rights. I healed myself by speaking about it. And now, i continue to heal myself by helping others heal themselves. #csaam

Q. if we got to know the child is sexually abused what should we do immediately? The first step, I mean what to say or console him/her.

A. don’t say anything. They don’t want to listen to you. They want you to listen. and believe me that’s the best thing. There is no better remedy than a hug. Hug and listen, all the child wants 2 hear if you have to speak is “I’m there with you”

Q. Did this affect you in the future, in terms of being able to trust, what are the emotional scars of long-term CSA

A. i had no Male friends. Thought every man will abuse me for a long time. Sexual relations/sexuality “was” an issue

Q. Is pedophilia also an innate character, like homo or heterosexuality, or is it just urge to exploit?

A. I amn’t a shrink. But, i ‘think’ pedophilia is more about power dynamics than actual sex. I don’t think it is innate

Q. how to get the child to speak about the daily happenings around her when she is away at school or elsewhere?

A. First create a culture of with a child like a child. It’s fun to kid. Let them wrong. Don’t judge

Q. Is it better for adults to come out of the closet, even if they’re unsure, bout CSA that happened to them?

A. there is a part of you that is stagnant in time because of abuse. You can’t go too far if you are stuck in time. To address an issue, one needs to undress the issue. Some adults shy away from speaking up as they know it’s emotionally overwhelming. I still cry when i hear stories.

Q. The awareness could be generated in the urban areas through media but what about the similar kinds of cases in rural India?

A. sex education needs to imparted all across the country, urban/rural immaterial. The best thing we can do is keep speaking about it. Even if it hurts, keep speaking. U never know whom u inspire. I’d say a rounded approach is needed. Not just media and all have to happen parallelly


🙂 thanks for the initiative and giving me a platform to share.