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Shame on sexual abusers, not ours: Pakistani celebs

Published : Sunday, 14 January, 2018 at 11:02 PM Count : 148

The rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab has outraged Pakistan and with the ongoing conversation about the need to provide a safer environment for our children, celebrities like actor Nadia Jamil and PR maven Frieha Altaf have come forward with their own childhood experiences of sexual abuse.

By sharing their stories, they hope to highlight that Pakistani society is rife with child sexual abuse and that our culture of silencing and shaming the survivors needs to stop, reports Dawn.

Sharing the abuse she suffered at various points in her life, Nadia Jamil shared, "My family still wants me to stay silent. But the shame IS NOT MINE!"

Frieha Altaf also touched on her silencing: "My parents took action but everyone remained silent as if it was my shame," according to Dawn report.

Pakistan based The Express Tribune added, “I was four the first time I was abused sexually,” wrote Jamil on Twitter.

She went on to add that it didn’t stop there. “I was in college when it blew out of proportion. People tell me not to talk to respect my family’s honour. Is my family’s honour packed in my body? I am a proud, strong, loving survivor. No shame on me or my kids. Only pride for being me,” added Jamil in the same tweet.

She went on to share the horrendous happenings and wrote, “When I sexually abused it was by my Kari Sahab, my Driver & then by a highly educated elite family’s son. Now, a happily married business man in London. It’s across the board. Men abuse across the board. My family still wants me to stay silent. But the shame IS NOT MINE! Never ever.”

“Every time a child is sexually abused he/she is me. I will never shut up about it. & I will always say to the child, the child’s families, you, there is no shame for the abused survivor & we can help lead the to a joyful positive productive life. The shame is on the MEN who abuse,” added the actor.

In Jamil’s opinion, the only way to stop the abuse is to educate masses. “The cure is literacy, poverty alleviation and an empathetic education that counters all patriarchal, misogynistic discourse on women, womens bodies and male entitlement to sexual gratification for power. PLUS awareness and protection workshops for kids, schools, parents.”

She further urged women and victims to not feel shame while talking about their stories. “I only share it so more women & men who have been abused STOP feeling SHAME and see their is a light inside them Allah has kept burning. Shine it! There is a way out of the hell of humiliation & pain. We can make it out & up to a beautiful place of gratitude! Always! Shukar always!”

Previously, many other celebs joined #JusticeForZainab protests.

Actors such as Faysal Quraishi, Mahira Khan and Shahzad Roy joined protesters at Press Club Karachi.

Qureshi said, “We have addressed a similar issue before. We have made various dramas about it as well. But here’s the thing…How can a five or six-year-old girl resist a grown man?”

He further added, “We are blaming the parents, blaming the issue and not being aware enough. But there is sound awareness regarding sexual abuse in American schools and it’s happen there as well. The only difference is that we see results there. Justice is served.”

The Raees starlet came forth and said that she wished a time would come when no one will have to come out on the streets demanding justice for any more such cases. “It’s high time we need to put this in our syllabus so that all the children get to know about it. The parents also need to be educated regarding sexual abuse,” said Khan.

Singer Shahzad Roy added that we need to change the social fabric of Pakistan. “We need to create a society where a child who has been abused can talk to their parents and they can take necessary steps to help the child instead of being in denial about it,” he said.

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