Derek recalls personal trauma while speaking on POCSO

Derek recalls personal trauma while speaking on POCSO

Derek O' Brien

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien on Wednesday narrated his childhood trauma of being molested in a bus in Kolkata as he spoke on a bill that provides for stringent punishment including the death penalty for sexual assaults on children.

O'Brien urged people in public life to speak up if they had encountered sexual offences in their childhood rather than keeping a mum.

“The more we speak, more children will be saved. More people in public life should speak up. We have to reach out to people,” he said.

The West Bengal lawmaker was speaking on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that was approved by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

"With a lot of pride and sadness and hurt but I think India needs to know because my family knows, that on a bus in Kolkata as a 13-year-old after doing tennis practice, wearing short pants and a T-shirt, I got on to a crowded bus and I don't know who it was, but with my short pants and T-shirt I was sexually molested. He ejaculated in this boy's shorts, but I didn't speak,” O'Brien said.

Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani applauded O'Brien in her response. "That fact that an MP today shared what he faced at age of thirteen... 46 years later, tells us what an imprint sexual abuse leaves on a child," she said