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Kho Gaye Hum Kahan's Delicate Portrayal of Child Sexual Abuse Hits Home For Many

What sets the film apart is the portrayal of a male protagonist as the survivor of sexual abuse.

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(Content Warning: Mention of sexual abuse & film spoilers)

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, streaming on Netflix, is more than a coming-of-age story of three friends and how social media influences their lives. The movie delves into intimacy and its significance for those living under the shadows of past traumas.

Imad, played by Siddhant Chaturvedi, is a stand-up comic caught between toxic dating patterns, self-discovery with the help of a therapist, and navigating intimacy when he finds 'the one.'

It all ties together when, towards the end, he publicly shares the story of repeated abuse by someone close to his father.

This is the lived reality of many. The 2020 data by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that 96 percent of sexual abusers of minors in India are relatives or friends of the family.

"I was 6 years old when I was abused for the first time and it continued for the next 10 years. I was burdened with confusion, self-doubt, hate, anger & so much more. I did not understand what to do but because I lived with the trauma for such a long time. I did not want to let it ruin me anymore. And then I did what I had to. I broke my silence and I spoke about my truth. And I didn't let people ruin my story and my narrative of what my life should be like."
Lokesh Pawar, Activist, Survivor of child sexual abuse
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What sets the film apart is the portrayal of a male protagonist as the survivor of sexual abuse.

Data points on child sexual abuse.

(The Quint)

What sets the film apart is the portrayal of a male protagonist as the survivor of sexual abuse.

Data points on child sexual abuse.

(The Quint)

In a room full of people, ask them to raise their hands if they have been sexually abused or inappropriately touched when they were kids. You will be shocked to see how many hands go up. That's how common this issue is.

From Monsoon Wedding, Highway to Kahaani 2, Indian cinema has time and again addressed the issue.

What sets Kho Gaye Hum Kahan apart is that the film portrayed a male character as the survivor of sexual abuse.

Due to stigma, shame, and societal conditioning, many men never share their stories. However, if you ask around, you'll realise how both boys and girls equally suffer from such abuse.

Calls to report exploitation by family members increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, not just in India but worldwide.

The Childline India Foundation reported a 50% increase in the phone calls than usual during the lockdown.

After The Quint's video with Lokesh Pawar, so many of you shared your stories with us.

  • 01/04

    Comment on The Quint's YouTube video on sexual abuse of minor boys.

  • 02/04

    Comment on The Quint's YouTube video on sexual abuse of minor boys.

  • 03/04

    Comment on The Quint's YouTube video on sexual abuse of minor boys.

  • 04/04

Most people are in denial about sexual abuse of boys and this mindset has silenced many young boys. Being touched inappropriately is a genderless story.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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