TW Warning: These stories contain detailed descriptions of abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, physical violence and other forms of harassment and discrimination which may be triggering.
I always avoided going to Madressa. Finding different reasons not to go. Sometimes, I would purposely delay coming home from school just so I wouldn’t have to go. But it didn’t always work! Some days I had no excuse, and I was dropped off to Madressa. My feet always dragged as I walked in. I knew what was going to take place and there was no way I could avoid it or stop it.
It was always the same. My Ustad would call me up for “sabuk”. He would pat the space furthest away from everyone else for me to sit, against the wall, out of sight of the others. He would attend to the other students first, set them their work to do and then come to me. He always had that particular smile I hated. The one that told me what was coming next. I cringed waiting for it, praying it would not last but a few minutes. His hand would slip around the bench and in some obscure, acrobatic manner, would find its way up my dress, stroking my tummy. He would often pinch me so hard it hurt and leave a black and blue bruise. He would also stroke and knead my breasts (of which I didn’t have much at the time!) with his invading hands. I so badly wanted to get up from my spot, jump across the bench and slap his repugnant smiling face! Or scream at him to stop! But I did none of these things! I just sat there, full of fear, shame and pain praying for it to end!
If you or someone you know is being abused and needs help, please contact BAML’s Hotline at 284-2613 or 257-5582. WhatsApp Messages are also accepted. This is a free, highly confidential service.