The #MeToo campaign empowered a lot of people to come forth and speak freely about their encounters with sexual harassment. The example of Harvey Weinstein’s scandal, where dozens of women kept quiet about their assault, enabling harassers to roam unpunished and hunt for their next victims, was key to the campaign. Using the hashtag #MeToo, people filled social media with stories of sexual assault. At an open mic session in Delhi, young Afreen Khan also detailed such an incident – the time she was molested by her stepfather.
“As-Salaam-Alaikum, Abba. Kaise hai aap? Kya hua? Pehchana nahi? Main. Aapki beti.” (Greetings, father. How are you? What’s the matter? Do you not recognise me? It’s me. Your daughter) Afreen starts her story with a candid salutation to her father in a video titled ‘Kya Yaad Hai Aapko?‘(Do You Remember?) by Tape A Tale.
Taunting him for abandoning his family and never turning back, Khan recounts how following their divorce, her mother remarried. Her step-father, she says was “very nice” and would give her chocolates every day. One day, when her mother was out of town, she found her step-father in her bed. She was sexually assaulted that night, but managed to escape. But she could never escape the trauma. She said, “Dusre kamre me khud ko band kar liya tha maine. Aur shayad aaj tak us hi kamre me band hu mai.” (I locked myself in another room and perhaps, I am still locked in that very room.)
Outlining how sexual assault of children and abandonment affects them as adults, Khan’s harrowing experience is heartbreaking. Hear her retelling of the night that changed her forever below:
The video, which has been around for a while has evoked empathetic reactions on social media:
This takes a lot of courage… https://t.co/uEICnbGPV7
— gaurav tripathi (@gauravtripathii) November 1, 2017
Seriously..the way she explained everything make anybody cry.. https://t.co/5V48vcXvg0
— Anuvrat Brhamchari (@AnuvratB) October 27, 2017
— Sanjana Koul (@koulsanjana) October 24, 2017
— Rajputani (@AAnjel92) October 23, 2017
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