“If only I had known that there was a way out, I would not have suffered for nearly eight months,” a young girl allegedly sexually abused by her father told her rescuers. Chandra (name changed) is a Class VII student and was rescued from her house in Madurai by Childline workers and the district Child Welfare Committee on Thursday where she was allegedly sexually abused by her father for almost a year. The man, B Ganesha Murthy, who earlier worked as a driver, repeatedly raped his eldest daughter Chandra, and physically tormented her. Chandra’s mother would leave for work in the morning only to return late at night, a situation which Ganesha used to his advantage, Childline staff told The News Minute. Jasmine Angel, Childline staff member, said that the abuse had been brutal, and said that it was clear that the child did not know how to seek help. She said that Childline rescued her the day the child told an aunt of hers what her father had been doing to her. “He used to throw away her bag just so that she would not be able to go to school. If she cried, he would hit her. He would also gag her,” she told The News Minute. He would tie the thaali around her neck, and also say that he intended to do the same to his younger daughters - one a small child and the other an infant - when they grew older. Stating that he hardly went for work, she also added that the girl would be pulled out of school by her father and taken home. Physically and mentally tortured, the girl had a number of injuries on her body, he said. “She told us that if we she had known of this service, she would not have tolerated this for so many months,” said S Joseph Stephen, another Childline staffer. Ganesha’s wife was aware of the abuse, but was coerced into staying silent, he said. “She specifically told us not to send her back home. That is when we put her under the CWC’s care,” Stephen said. Ganesha was arrested on Thursday, after being booked under various provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.