Child Sexual Abuse
When Chinmayi shared that she'd been groped at an event, several people shared how they'd been abused as children.
Chinmayi/Facebook

Singer Chimanyi's recent tweets have kindled a discussion once again on child sexual abuse and the need for a law that allows adult survivors to report offenders.

On Monday, Chinmayi posted a series of tweets, which were triggered after she was groped at an event last week.

She said that she had first shared the story on Instagram and was shocked to learn about the sheer number of men and women who had been molested as children, even though the experience she had written about was not a case of CSA.

"After almost aeons I got groped at an event yesterday. I happened to share this story on Instagram and what shocked me is how many men and women have been molested as children (teachers, brothers, co passengers, uncles, grandparents and even women)," she wrote.

In most cases, the abusers were known to the victims - a fact corroborated by official data - and the common places where abuse took place were homes, public transport and even educational institutions, she stated.

However, not many victims are able to share their experiences with their family or friends, fearing no one would believe them. With the stigma around sexual abuse and violence so strong, it becomes very difficult for children, specially boys, to talk about the abuse they may have faced.

"Men are shamed if they share an account of sexual assault/molestation during childhood. Women who gathered the courage to share have been blamed 'she enjoyed it'. Imagine grown adults accusing a child of enjoying sexual assault. And other seemingly sane adults believing it," one of the tweets read.

Chinmayi goes on to talk about victim shaming, the trauma that such abuse leaves behind and the need for support for victims.

Soon after, several publications put out stories based on her tweets, some with insensitive headlines.

The singer not only called them out, but also appreciated a publication that chose a sensible headline.

"All of yesterday I mostly saw vernacular and English language handles writing totally insensitive headlines (not that it affected me) but that is *exactly* what prevents others to speak of their story. The lack of sensitivity and kindness," she tweeted.

Stating that a law for survivors to report child sexual abuse as adults must come through, Chinmayi urged people to expose abusers and keep the conversation around the issue going.

A few months ago, Poornima Govindarajulu, a child sexual abuse survivor,  started a petition urging "the Government of India to allow adult survivors to file complaints about childhood abuse."

In her petition, she wrote that even if children understand that they have been abused, "It's unrealistic to expect young children to walk to a police station and file a complaint about abuse."

Speaking to TNM, she had said, "But today, as an adult, the power is balanced. I am financially independent, and have people who support me, and resources to go after him legally. I had none of that as a child. I should have support and legal means to stop my molester from potentially continuing his offences on other children."

Read: 'Let adult survivors of child sexual abuse report crime': Woman takes fight to Maneka

Along with DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, Purnima also met Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and discussed the issue.

Days later, the minister said that she would help take forward the petition that aims to bring offenders to book.