Have you ever thought of marrying someone who was raped? Neither have I. Rape victims are usually sympathized with but no one wants to marry them.
My husband is a rape survivor. And I still chose to marry him
I remember the first time that I talked to him. Our families met through some mutual family friends and suggested that we consider marriage. He came over with his family and that was the first time we talked to each other. He said to me that he did not want to marry anyone. I sat there thinking why he was making such a bizarre statement. His family was outside asking for my hand in marriage and here he was saying that he did not want to marry anyone.
Our families decided that they wanted us to meet a couple of times before they finalized the wedding
He was very charming and intelligent and made me laugh a lot. But then what was the problem, I would think to myself. Was it someone else? I even asked him and he brushed off the idea with laughter. A couple of months went by like this till I actually gathered the courage to ask him. I wanted to know. It was okay if he did not want to marry me but what actually was the problem, I had to know.
“Do you think people marry someone who has been raped? Would you?”, he asked me
What does that have to do with our marriage? I thought to myself. Then I thought about his question and I said people generally don’t. No one wants to marry someone who has been raped. No one knows why but it’s as if they committed the crime and are punished for it. Come to think of it, it’s actually very rude. Someone who has been through a traumatic experience is made to feel guilty and ashamed and it is believed that they are not worthy of marriage.
“Would you marry someone who was raped?” he asked again.
My eyes met his and I was shocked. He didn’t have to say a word after that. With tears in my eyes, I said yes. It was almost as if he could not believe his ears. He asked me if I was sure and I again uttered yes.
There is constant silence and shaming for rape survivors
They don’t talk about it, they cannot express their anger and sorrow. Everyone pretends like everything is normal except that victim is constantly silenced and made to believe that there is something wrong with him. It made me realize the plight of every rape survivor out there, the emotional trauma that they go through and the inability to make bonds. If we are not going to take care of them and own them as our people, then who is? Who is going to tell them that it’s ok to feel sad and violated and angry? Who will help them regain trust? They deserve love and understanding. This is a problem that does not affect any particular gender, it shatters all.
In the aftermath of the Zainab incident, I wanted to narrate this story as well and urge people to be a bit more loving and kind and understanding
I live with a rape survivor and trust me, they don’t have it easy. They go through so much every day that it is important to stick by them. Please stop associating rape with gender, age, outfits or believes – it happens regardless of everything. Blaming a victim for a such heinous act is the worst thing anyone can do. Let’s make their lives a little less miserable.
*this article is the narration of a story told by one of our readers, who refuses to be named*
Pakistan, We Need to Talk About The R-Word. Rape.
A Letter to My Ex-Boyfriend: You Ruined My Body But Strengthened My Soul
Cover image via: hindi.news18.com