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I'm A Survivor

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by Javed

Sex, Sexuality and anything related is rarely spoken off in the Asian Community. When we sit down as a family watching TV and a scene of an intimate nature is shown we tend to look away out of embarrassment and pretend it’s not happened, silly really.

I do think child abuse is a problem within my community, the Asian Community, it has never really been highlighted in the media or discussed within the community. Until this happens it will continue to be ignored. I wrote a letter to a local religious leader telling him about my abuse and how he was in a privileged position, having a large audience at his sermons, hoping he would address Child Abuse, my letter was ignored.

Silence in the Asian Community is down to shame, embarrassment, lack of understanding & education. Ignorance is truly bliss.

After years of counseling I finally found the courage to tell my mother about the abuse. It was the hardest thing I have had to do, how & where do you start? I was in such a state I just said it, “I was sexually abused as a child”. I had everything planned in my head, what I was going to say & how she was going to react, a fantasy I suppose. I wanted her to put her arms around me and comfort me like she used to when I was a child, but that didn’t happen, how naïve. Her initial reaction was one of disbelief, that hurt. She told a close friend and she said “oh you can take a pill for that”.

My whole family know, and have been very supportive, but still they are unable to understand my state of mind – I needed to talk to other men with whom I could relate and connect with, and share experiences. Talking in the group [Survivors Manchester’s “The Safe Room”] with like minded men has been freedom just to know that you can be totally honest and not be judged, wow.

Survivors Manchester has been a real boon, listening to other Survivors and sharing our journey to understanding has helped build my confidence and am able to see myself as a Fighter, a Survivor. Thanks to Duncan and the service.

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