In the concluding portion of this two-part series, a Hindu girl shares her true-life experiences of victimisation on a university campus, at the hands of a guy she met during freshers. The first part can be accessed by clicking here.
It wasn’t too long before the Summer Vacation, and I was relieved to be able to get away from Wasif. He had begun texting me saying “I’m going to have you no matter what, just watch”. I was initially worried, but then thought to myself, “How can he have me when I am saying no, obviously he’s talking rubbish”. But he carried on pestering me. Wasif told me I had to meet him during the holidays, but there was no way I was going to meet him alone”. He started threatening me, saying that if I didn’t meet him he would find out where I live and come to my house. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How can all this happen just because I didn’t want to be with him? I was getting scared of going back to Uni because although I could avoid him over the summer, what happens when I’m back at Uni with him there? Messages kept coming from him, with threats too. One particular message has stuck in my mind. It said “Hey, if you don’t have a relationship with me I’m going to tell your parents you’re going out with me and I stay over at your flat”. I was worried sick and couldn’t believe this was happening. Most people look back at Uni as the best days of their life? But for me it was turning the total opposite. He stressed me out so much that it began to show. My family started asking me “What’s wrong, why are you so quiet.” They noticed that I wasn’t eating properly. It was all down to this situation. But I kept quiet about it. I was too afraid to tell them about the nightmare I was going through.
Back at Uni, I thought that he may have forgotten about it over summer, and I could start afresh. How wrong I was! It was the total opposite. He became more and more aggressive. I was suffering in silence. I didn’t tell anyone about this – not even my best mate. People were always asking me what was wrong. I tried to act as normal as I could, but obviously there was a change in me. I became withdrawn and lost focus. I began to loose weight because of the stress I was in.
This carried on. A few months passed on, and one day, Wasif hit me with a new and even more shocking bombshell. He told me I had to convert to his religion. I was about to die of shock. Convert??? Why??? I would never do this. He brought me some religious books, with titles like “How to be a true Muslim” and so on, and said “You best start reading them.” I refused to take them and told him to leave me alone and that being friends with him was the biggest mistake I had ever made. He became really aggressive and forceful. I was very scared and wondered how long this would go on and what I had done to deserve this. I thought to myself “How can this guy who seemed so down to earth and normal have turned out to be a religious fanatic and a psycho?”
Soon after, he threatened that he would go to my family and show them pictures of him and me together – sexually. I thought to myself “How can he do this, we haven’t been together in any other way apart from at Uni”. But something came to mind. He was very talented with graphics, including manipulating photographs. I had seen some really good pictures of him with celebrities, that all looked so real, even though they weren’t. I couldn’t put it past him that he could use the same techniques to make pictures of him and me. Now I was totally scared. What if he carried out his threat? What would my family think of me? What would everybody thing of me? Surely they would think it was somehow my fault.
Wasif then started asking me to pay him off. “Oh my God – pay him off?” All I did was tell him I didn’t want a relationship, are you meant to pay guys off who you don’t want to be with? How was I supposed to pay him off? I had a student loan myself and was frequently in overdraft. Surely if I was rich I wouldn’t have had to have a student loan or be in overdraft.
Finally I ended up telling my sister, after nearly two years of going through hell. She told my parents. I was in tears while she was telling them. “I’ve really let them down”, I thought to myself.
However, my parents were supportive. My fear that they would blame me was unfounded. They told me I had to tell the police because this guy shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this. I was very afraid of what he might do and going to the police was the last thing I wanted. But my dad wouldn’t take no for an answer. As parents they were obviously doing what they thought was best for me.
I finally went to the police to resolve this matter. I knew that Wasif would tell them a different story to mine. And yes, that’s what happened. He said that it was me who asked him out and that he never asked me to pay him to leave me alone, but rather that he just wanted to borrow some money. After so many interviews we both had different stories, which meant the matter would have to go to court, which I couldn’t handle. I just wanted my normal life back. So the police involvement ended there. But since the police became involved, it meant Wasif no longer contacts me in any way. And since then my life has finally changed for the better.
I know that there are other girls who are going though similar situations. If anyone is suffering or has suffered what I did – speak out. Please don’t suffer in silence. If only I spoke sooner I wouldn’t have lost my health, peace of mind and the first few years of my Uni, which could have been the best years of my life.
By Natasha Jalota
(Note: the picture is not off the author)