Tarini* was 14 when a man from her village in rural Karnataka allegedly sexually assaulted her in 2013. Intellectually disabled since she was about three years old, she has the mental capability of a child of the same age.
Her mohter, Hema*, filed a complaint in the case a few days after the assault. For four years now, the trial has been ongoing. And for four years now, the family has been struggling with a seemingly insensitive legal system.
Despite her mental condition, when Tarini was cross-examined in court, she was asked very technical questions about the assault, and about her surroundings, including how many goats she had then, how many they had three years ago, the names of temples in her village and so on.
She was also asked leading questions like, "You did not know any temple?" and "You have not seen the accused before?", which could have been confusing to a child.
Listen to Tarini's mother's story here: