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A teenager with a bright smile and a cheerful demeanor, Archana once went with Pooja (her landlords daughter) to the tailor. Sadly Pooja took Archana to another place. A man was there who then gave some money to Pooja. Pooja gave him a packet along with her dupatta before leaving the room. The man bolted the door from inside, forcibly tied the dupatta around Archana’s mouth and raped her. He covered her mouth with his hands when she managed to untie the dupatta. He then threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone about the incident. Following this, Pooja took Archana back home.
This incident happened in month of January and man raped her 4-5 times till February. Archana remained silent about this horrific incident for some time until she gained the courage to tell her mother. After listening to her, her mother was unsure whether or not to file the complaint, due to the fear of social stigma. They then decided to lodge a complaint, and went to the police station.
However, with no one to plead Archana’s case, she had little hope that her voice would be heard- until her case was referred to HAQ: Centre for Child Rights. HAQ provided regular counseling to the girl to help her deal with the trauma faced, and the HAQ advocate worked diligently with her to prepare her for a long and complicated trail. Archana courageously told her story in court.
We hope that with our support Archana will move beyond being a victim of sexual violence into becoming a confident and brave survivor. It is an uphill battle but we remain with her to support her, to motivate her and will not give up our support for her during this difficult time of her life.