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In October 2013, Paro, a 3 year old child was playing outside her home with her younger brother when she was picked up by a man. The man came to Paro and lured her away on the pretext of offering her sweets. Paro let herself be taken away. When her mother returned from the market, and found Paro missing, she got worried and started looking for her. She was then informed by someone, that a little girl had just been found in a forest nearby. When she reached the spot her daughter was lying in the hedges with grievous injuries on her body and on her private body parts as she had been raped brutally. She was operated on and underwent a colostomy operation.
This case was referred to HAQ by the Youth Parliamentarian Foundation to provide assistance to the family as the parents were daily wage laborers and didn’t have enough money to bear the medical expenses. Paro’s family had to face the wrath of the neighborhood when the police rounded up many youths for questioning. The family faced mass boycott in the locality. When they first met HAQ’s counselor, Paro’s family was traumatized and agitated and had no means to help their daughter. HAQ provided psychological and financial support to the family. HAQ’s efforts were focused on helping the family and the child to cope with the trauma and to provide legal assistance in their case.
Paro used to remain silent, uncommunicative and always sat on her mother’s lap. A poly bag was attached to the left side of her stomach which she had to carry due to colostomy. For a long time, she was scared of dark places and strangers. She didn’t go out alone and stayed with her mother. With HAQ’s intervention she started opening up and is no longer emotionally withdrawn. She now behaves like any other child of her age and the smile was back on her face. She likes chocolates, plays with her mother and younger brother. Constant support to the family, especially the mother, has helped them demand justice for their child.
HAQ’s counsellor and lawyer accompanied the child to the court and helped to ensure that their statement got recorded properly. The child was also able to identify the accused person without any fear.