Trigger Warning: Mentions of Sexual Abuse
“I could have reached out at that time if I knew my voice would be heard. I was just a child” says Razaan who struggled to reach out when she was sexually abused and blackmailed by people she trusted.
Razaan was sexually abused at a young age. “I was abused for as long as I can remember. I didn’t really know what was happening as a child. I would say it happened from 4 years up until I was 14 years old.” Back then, Razaan did not tell anyone as she was young and did not know that what was happening to her was wrong.
“At first he started blackmailing me over the phone. Then when he came back to the island. I was home that day. I had all the doors locked. Someone knocked on the door and when I checked, it was him. And my heart froze. I asked him why he was there. He started blackmailing me. He took me to my room and he abused me. After he left, I didn’t know what to do”.
“I was a really good student. I was in grade eight at that time. But then my grades started plummeting. No one noticed the change” She explained how her trauma affected her studies.
“They scolded me for staying inside. I was very cheerful and went out before everything. After that, I slept excessively to avoid actively dealing with it” Razaan explains how people around her reacted to her changed behavior.
Razaan explains the relief she felt when her aunt saw her chat log with a friend where she described what happened to her. “But because of previous incidents explaining my experience with people, I didn’t tell them. If I knew that they would help me and I would have told them sooner.”
Razaan emphasized the importance of sharing your trauma with someone. “Tell someone. Anyone. The aunt that you love so much, the brother that you hate so much they will help you. They will listen.”
“No one wants this kind of attention. When someone is physically and sexually abused they are not likely to lie about it. We don’t want that on us.” She says.
“They like to groom by giving you stuff and pampering you. It’s hard to differentiate. If you ever feel even slightly uncomfortable around someone. That is something you should look out for. If at any point they start talking about sexual things, it is not right. It is a red flag.” Says Razaan who does not want another girl to go through what she did.
Razaan explains that Maldives is a horrible place for sexual abuse survivors as she and many others like her have seen political figures and people in high positions getting away with sexual harassment. “It is heartbreaking. But where are the culprits?”