A Delhi based lawyer and an advocate of child rights, Eliza Rumthao of Ukhrul district, recently launched a comprehensive handbook, “Legal handbook on Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012: A Guide to Handle Sexual Violence Cases of Children” at the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (CNESPR), Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI), New Delhi.
Present at the launch were professor Simi Malhotra, Director CNESPR, JMI and Professor Sabiha Hussain, Director Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women Studies, JMI.
Speaking on the occasion, Eliza Rumthao said, “the survey of the ministry of women-children development states that 53.22% of our children are sexually abused. Child sexual offense is a dark subject to discuss or talked about in our society. So sexual abuse is hidden and pervasive in nature because of the social stigma, shame and fear attached to the victim.”
“The legal handbook is to help those survivors or parents who may have to go through the process of our criminal justice system,” she added.
On the similar subject of sexual offense, a young poet from the state, Yuimi Vashum also launched a collection of her poems that talks about “coping with sexual abuse as a kid, of falling in love, of heartbreaks” at the recently held International Literature and Art festival, Dehradun.
Titled as “Love, Lust and Loyalty”, Yuimi Vashum weaved a brutally honest and yet stunningly soulful poem that will stir the emotion, and at the same time, make readers clench their fists with anger. And yet Vashum began her painful writing with words of ‘forgiveness’ that has liberated her from the monster she was trapped.
Yuimi Vashum wrote of her book, “I seek to speak for kids who had to endure the abuse in silence, because nobody said it was a crime and could seek help; no warnings. I also want this book to be a tool of awareness for parents. Through this book I want to communicate with victims of sexual abuse and emphasise that when we (victims) overcome shame, we are just like everyone else; entitled to love, lust and live."