"The singular focus and attention she brings to this project is commendable and absolutely essential..."
As a fellow journalist, I have followed Sonal Kellogg’s work with great interest, especially the sensitivity and open-ness that she brings to discussions on sexual violence. There is so much poise and grace in her writing and conversations on the subject and most of all, the company of an insider, a sufferer and therefore a deep empathy. The singular focus and attention she brings to t his project is commendable and absolutely essential. So many parents and children go to school with increasing trepidation about the environment of violence we inhabit but with no vent, no outlet, no go to place with the fear, guilt, uncertainty and just plain empathy. This space provides all of that in spades and therefore has my unequivocal support. I am so proud to know Sonal and this very special initiative.
Revati Laul, Independent journalist
"It is this enforced, damaging silence that Sabfree seeks to break. The truth shall set us free...."
Sabfree is a safe space whose time has come.
Barely a day goes by without at least one report from somewhere in the country about children being sexually abused in a range of places that are assumed to be refuges where their well-being, safety and security are at the top of the agenda: homes and schools. Religious institutions are also emerging as sites where children are not safe from abuse.
The latest available official crime figures suggest that in over 95% of the reported cases of sexual assault, including cases involving children, the offender was known to the victim/survivor. In nearly 10% of the cases an immediate or close family member or other relative was the perpetrator. Neighbours were the predators in over a quarter of the cases (nearly 29%) and other known persons were the culprits in over a third of the cases (nearly 35%). Sexual offences, together with kidnapping and abduction, constituted 81% of all crimes against children. To make matters worse, crimes against children appear to be on the rise. (NCRB data, 2015)
While the statistics are shocking and frightening, it is even more disturbing to recognise that they represent just the tip of a huge iceberg. The majority of children and adults who experience sexual violence are unable to report them even to close family and friends, let alone the police. In the case of children, especially, even if they summon up the confidence and courage to confide in an adult they love and trust, they are often not believed or advised to keep quiet, conceal, forget (if not forgive) – for their own sakes, they are told.
It is this enforced, damaging silence that Sabfree seeks to break. The truth shall set us free.
Ammu Joseph, Senior journalist and author
This site is valuable. When a space is created for survivors to share their stories, it greatly enhances their journey into healing and recovery.
Anuja Gupta, Executive Director, RAHI Foundation