I was almost raped on my wedding night.
-Answer By a Victim who decided to change the fate.
I am sure it may not be this way for all weddings out there. I am not even saying that this is the case for many weddings. But yes, if you are getting into this, you should always know that this is a possibility that you cannot ignore, and which no one would ever tell you.
I hail from a typical middle class background, from a not-so-big town in (South) India, and after I turned 22, everyone around me was worried that now is the time for me to get married otherwise I would never get married/ bring shame to my family/ marry after my younger siblings get married/ run off with someone (yes, they said all these things in front of me!) so, yes, I needed to be married off to someone, who was not my boyfriend.
Now, there’s a culture in South India, if a family doesn’t have a lot of money — girls are married to their cousins/ mother’s brother, where the age difference is not too much (say the mother was the eldest daughter, and brother was the youngest, with a huge age gap). This way, a girl stays ‘within the family’, and also there is no question of dowry, since they are family.
Similar to this, my wedding was arranged right after I graduated from college, to my “mama” (mother’s brother) who was a few years older than me. My case was complicated because I had a boyfriend already, and my family didn’t approve of him when I told them about him (he was not South Indian, which was a mortal sin in my parents’ eyes). I tried to protest, but using the usual emotional blackmail arguments, my father forced me into the marriage – he was very sick at the time, and the onus was on me to “fulfill his wishes.” (He’s very much fine now, but I am inclined to think he’ll fall sick again when it’s my younger sister’s turn to get married. Indian parents force you to think this stuff about themselves).
I was forced to break off all contact with my boyfriend (mobile, internet snatched away, I don’t think I could even have sent a letter, it was so bad) and forced to dive head-first into the wedding arrangements.
The day of the wedding came, and after a really embarrassing lecture from my mother, about my “marital duties” since I was the eldest daughter and no friends had been allowed to my wedding (my parents believed they would whisk me away from the wedding if they came to know), I got ready for the “wedding night.” I was already feeling completely shitty about the whole thing, having been cut off from every person that I wanted to be with, being married to my ‘mama‘ in secrecy, and not even knowing whether to think of him as a husband or my mama, and just wanted to sleep hoping a new day would bring a new start.
I waited for my husband to come and when he entered, we exchanged a few awkward sentences about the whole day being tiresome. I then told him “I’m feeling very tired, I will change and go to sleep now” but I was not prepared for what happened next. He suddenly kissed me, and I was a little taken aback, but I just pulled away slowly, and told him that I was not in the mood, and reiterated that I was very tired. He ignored me completely, and kissed me again, this time with more force, and when I tried to push him away, he slapped me.
This was followed by the most horrible experience of my life, the details of which shake me to this day, and I somehow escaped by locking myself in the bathroom.
I knew I had nobody to turn to — he was my mother’s brother, and my father was sick. Even if these were not the circumstances, I doubt anyone would have supported me.
I stayed in this abusive marriage for a few months, which was the darkest period of my life. Thankfully, I was not foolish, and I had a job to support myself, unlike a lot of other women out there, suffering daily. I ran away, before it was too late. Now, nobody in my family knows where I am, and what happened. I am sure they must say the worst things about me, and mention my name with disgust and shame. But this is one decision that I made with careful deliberation and I will not let myself regret it. I am considerably happier now, very much single, with no intention of getting married again.
I am happy to have put this behind me, but want to extend my support for all those women who are in the same situation as I was. One experience is enough to scar you for life.
The memories are still fresh, and will take time to fade away, but it will.
In any case, this prompted me to contact my sister, and I finally did talk to her. I pretty much expected what would happen, but I finally confirmed that my parents hate me, and somehow this is after knowing what had happened.”My ‘husband” complained to them that I wouldn’t put out, and was a “disobedient and unfaithful wife,” and some synonyms of “whore.” My sister is suffering at home, but she’s doing well otherwise. I have arranged for her to meet me, and we’ll see where it goes. I hope everything will become all right.
I urge people to change their views about women and morality, respect and rape. I hope people change their thinking.