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Sketch by a 10-Year-Old Girl Victim in Delhi Sends her Rapist Uncle to Jail

Delhi court judge Vinod Yadav gave a verdict in girls' favor

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Rapist was convicted based on this sketch
Rapist was convicted based on this sketch.

New Delhi, August 27, 2017: Based on a pencil sketch of a 10-year-old child victim, Delhi court judge Vinod Yadav has taken the decision to punish her 45-year-old uncle for rape and sentenced him to 5 years in jail on June 2016.

Her uncle Akhter Ahmed, who has been jailed for sexual assault, said that the girl had been tortured to speak against him in the court. He also said that she is not a competent witness but the sketch she drew to keep herself busy during trial proceedings, made the Judge to put the rapist behind bars.

The judge gave the verdict based on, “A close scrutiny of the drawing reveals that she has depicted an abandoned house in gloomy colors, a girl carrying some balloons with intermingled threads and her dress lying removed.” The Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said that the sketch highlighted the lasting torturous impression of the sexual assault that is left on her the mind and this ruled what the uncle earlier said of her not being competent to testify against him.

ALSO READ: Serial rapist has killed over 30 children: police

The girl’s horrifying incidence which is like a nightmare had its origin in the year 2014, the time when she moved in with her aunt from Kolkata to Delhi. Her mother died and her father (who was a drug addict) abandoned her. This is also the year when her trauma started.

Her uncle used to sexually abuse her. The little girl tried to confide in her aunt, wanted to tell her what happened with her but she thought her aunt wouldn’t listen to her. So, one day, she just ran out of the home so as to escape the torture she was dealing with. A conductor saw her on a bus in November 2014, she was sitting all alone and crying. He tried to talk to her and find out what is wrong but she didn’t say a word. Thus, he handed her over to the police, who called in the counselors for help from a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Haq Foundation.

According to NDTV report, the girl’s counselor Uzma Pravin told, “For the first few sessions the girl was not revealing what was going on in her mind but as she became more familiar, she started opening up in bits and pieces.” Uzma joined the puzzle pieces of information together and started to shape up the young girl’s narrative until she was more coherent.

But when the counselors gave her a sheet of paper, pencil, and crayons during the proceedings of the court, they thought it was a way to help the child stay busy with something and would feel less nervous about what was going on. But, one day when the young girl showed the sketch she made to the counselor Uzma Pravin, she gave it to the judge.

She said, “Her drawings revealed a lot about her. There was always something in it. Most children can’t express themselves. However, if we try to look at their drawings, we can understand them,” mentions NDTV report.

Her colleague, Bharti Ali, said that drawing therapy was one of the child-friendly practices which the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Gita Mittal encouraged foundations like Haq to undertake  Bharti Ali said that the court verdict was a kind of positive development and a moment of victory but she hoped that more judges in future could use and allow innovative methods like this.


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How Americans Are Handling Post 9/11 Trauma

Eighteen years ago, more than 60% of Americans watched as the worst terror attack ever to occur on U.S. soil unfolded on television

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empire, state, building, us, 9/11, terrorism, safety
Covered in dust, ash and falling debris on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, New York City Transit's express coach #2185 could have been written off and sent off to scrap. It was decided, however, to rebuild her as a symbol of NYC Transit’s resiliency and a rolling example of the dedication of the agency’s employees. Wikimedia Commons

Eighteen years ago, more than 60% of Americans watched as the worst terror attack ever to occur on U.S. soil unfolded on television — either in real time or in repeated replays.

That up-close view of the murders of almost 3,000 people jolted Americans out of the sense of security they’d enjoyed at least since World War II.

“I think that up until that time, perhaps people were more optimistic or certainly had a sense that it couldn’t happen here. Terrorist attacks were something that happened overseas, but not in the United States on our soil,” says Roxane Cohen Silver, professor of psychological science at the University of California, Irvine.

“The concept of fearing violence on a day-to-day basis just wasn’t part of the existence of most people in the United States.”

Empire State building, US, New York, 9/11, trauma, mental health
TV viewers said the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack was the all-time most memorable moment shared by television viewers during the past 50 years, according to a 2012 study. VOA

Cohen Silver, who studies the impact of collective trauma, says some individuals with no direct connection to the 9/11 attacks exhibited symptoms that experts had previously assumed were the result of direct exposure to trauma.

“Individuals who watched a great deal of television in the first week after 9/11 were more likely to exhibit post-traumatic stress symptomatology and physical health ailments years later,” she says.

Those symptoms often included anxiety and fear, as well as the onset of physical health ailments such as cardiovascular issues.

“We learned from 9/11 that large-scale events could impact people beyond the directly affected communities, that the events that occurred in New York could impact people in Kansas,” Cohen Silver says. “The second message we’ve learned from 9/11 was the important role of the media in transmitting that awareness and that potential anxiety.”

Empire State building, US, New York, 9/11, trauma, mental health
Students and others watch live television coverage of the 9/11 attacks on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, Sept. 11, 2001.
VOA

In the 18 years since 9/11, the rise of social media and smartphones has resulted in increased access to images of mass violence. In addition, there are no news editors or other middlemen to weed out potentially disturbing content. The speed with which these images reach people has also escalated.

Young Americans born after 9/11 have grown up in a world where acts of mass violence are increasingly commonplace.

More than 230 school shootings have occurred since 1999, when 13 people were killed at Columbine High School near Denver.

Mass attacks continue to occur in places that Americans commonly view as safe spaces, from the 2016 Orlando nightclub attack that killed 49; the 2017 Las Vegas concert shooting where 58 people were killed and hundreds more wounded; to last month’s shooting at a Texas Walmart that left 22 people dead.

ALSO READ: Chennai Experiences Most Cyber Attacks Among Metro Cities

“We’re so consumed with new events, you know, current events, hurricanes, mass violence events. And there are many of these that occur, and they’re all tragic,” says Cohen Silver. “But the psychological effects of September 11, 2019, cannot be directly linked to the 9/11 attacks without considering all of the rest of the things that have occurred.”

While the average American cannot control the violence around them, they can protect their mental health by not inundating themselves with images of the tragedies, which can be psychologically unhealthy.

“I believe that people can be informed without becoming immersed in the media. There’s no obvious benefit to repeated exposure to images and sounds of tragedy,” says Cohen Silver. “And so, once people are informed, I would say to practice caution in the amount of media attention that they engage and the amount of media exposure that they engage in.” (VOA)