In the face of widespread and alarming incidents of child sexual abuse in Pakistan, many survivors grapple with societal pressures that force them into silence. In a culture marked by false respectability and censorship, media plays a crucial role in amplifying voices that dare to speak truth to power.
Pakistani actor and social activist Nadia Jamil has emerged as a passionate advocate against child abuse, drawing inspiration from her own journey of healing. During a podcast with host Frieha Altaf, Jamil candidly shared her reflections on the issue, challenging the pervasive shame culture.
Highlighting the severity of the problem, Jamil revealed, “The youngest victim [of child sexual abuse] I heard of was a three-day-old child in Dublin or Belfast, I can’t remember. This is nothing new; this disease has been ongoing for centuries.” Criticizing society’s failure to address the grim reality, she expressed disgust, stating, “It’s disgusting that in this day and age, we don’t have the awareness. We can’t talk about it.”
Defiantly confronting societal norms, Jamil posed a powerful question: “How dare anyone tell me I cannot talk about what happened to me when I was a child?” She asserted her ownership of the experience in the face of stigma, saying, “I talk about it, and I talk about it with pride. I say with pride that this happened to me, and despite it, look at me. Those people could not take anything away from me.”
Jamil emphasized that it is the perpetrators whose honor is compromised and commended the growing awareness aimed at challenging prevailing stereotypes. She expressed appreciation for the #notmyshame movement, seeing it as an extension of the MeToo movement, empowering survivors to reject shame imposed on them.
Addressing the importance of mental health, Jamil stressed that investing in one’s mental well-being is essential, regardless of past trauma. She encouraged various forms of self-care, from walks in nature to seeking professional counseling. Stressing the significance of finding qualified professionals, she recommended those accountable to ethical and accredited frameworks, highlighting the value of credited NLP coaches in providing reliable care.