#MeToo campaign: Shillong woman accuses priests of abusing her

SHILLONG, Oct 20: A woman from Shillong, has joined the #MeToo campaign after she accused in Facebook post about two priests abusing her when she was a minor.

In a post in Fecebook, the woman said that she attempted suicide three times and twice landed in hospital in a serious condition.

“Through the years I have struggled to find comfort and sanity in spirituality, immersing myself in work, and later, in a close circle of friends I trust, these have helped me pull through. There will always be a part of me that is a big gaping hole of sorrow and darkness- of a childhood I did not know, of an innocence I never knew, of the fear and deep shame I have lived with for so long, and for not being believed, not being protected, and for the deep injustice I felt,” she said in her post.

The woman has named, Br Francis Gale of the Christian Brothers and Br Muscat of Don Bosco as the men who violated her.

In her post, the woman said that she came from a poor and broken family which made her an “ideal profile” for a sexual predator.

She said that she was abused from the age of five years to 12 years.

She said that after her first encounter with Br Gale, she told a family member whom she trusted the most but was instead slapped and told never to make up such stories.

“I never spoke about it again, the abuse continued all the years till, when I turned 12 and started menstruating I mustered the courage to refuse to meet this man or talk to him, I was scolded and beaten but was never gently asked why. Part of that courage came also because I was terrified of getting pregnant,” the woman said.

She said that Br Gale, is still very much part of the religious order. And is currently based in West Bengal.

In her Facebook page, the woman who named her second abuser as Br Muscat of Don Bosco, Laitumkhrah, Shillong (printing unit) who would sit behind his huge desk in his office, where he had drawers of sweets and toffees.

“He would call children to his side of the table and ask us (children)to choose toffees from his drawers and while we did, he would slide his hands up our thighs and feel us up. These incidents with this man was not something I spoke about to anyone in my childhood, because of the larger abuse I faced with the abuser above (Br Gale), this for me then, felt like nothing very serious,” the woman said.

Br Muscat continues in the religious order in Shillong.

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