To tell the story of a sexual assault is like going down the memory lane and relive those horrifying moments. Words are enough to explain something so traumatic. And fighting court cases against an abuser is one of the most terrifying experiences. For a 10-year-old girl, who might have a limited understanding of human vices and laws that keep a check on them, a sketch did all the talking.
A crayon sketch made by a girl in the courthouse recited the story of her sexual assault. She was 8 when the atrocities began as her mother died and the alcoholic father abandoned the child. Her aunt took her responsibility and brought her to Delhi from Kolkata.
The aunt mistreated the child and made her work at houses of others. To add to her sufferings, her uncle, Akhter Ahmed, allegedly sexually assaulted her several times before she decided to run away from the house.
Ahmed was arrested in June 2016, but his lawyer argued that the girl could not be considered a ‘competent witness’ as she had been tutored to accuse him of rape.
The girl was given paper and crayons to stay occupied during the hearing, but the case took an unexpected turn when she drew an abandoned house, holding balloons, a dress lying beside her, and filled it up with dark gloomy colors.
The Times of India has quoted the additional judge ASJ Yadav saying:
If the elements of this drawing are considered in the background of facts and circumstances of this case, then commission of sexual assault upon her by somebody in her house after undressing her, and it leaving an impression upon her mind, becomes evident. Therefore, I find the child victim to be a competent witness.
Ahmed has received 5 years of jail time and a fine of Rs.10,000. The court has ordered a compensation of Rs.3 lakh to be deposited in the girl’s name. She has been taken care of in a children’s home and is attending regular school.