January 28, 2005

'My community shunned me because I exposed rapist priest'

ic Croyden

Jan 28 2005

HER voice is quiet and gentle on the other end of the line, it sounds like she has been crying.

She begins by saying that she does not want to speak for long. But, once she starts, there is a lot to say.

Last week, this brave woman heard the news that her priest, Somanathan Ramanathan, the aya of the Hindu Temple in Thornton Heath, had been found guilty of raping her twice.

It is the result she has been praying for since she first went to the police. But, now, excluded from her community for daring to speak out, she faces rebuilding her life on her own.

She said: "I feel like I have been in prison for two years. Now I'm free, but not free to go where I belong, which is with my community. I have been totally betrayed by my own people. Now that he has been found guilty, they feel sorry for him.

"They look at me like I was a slut. But, the community make it so that we are the guilty party. We are made to feel that we should shut up about it.

Posted by kshaw at January 28, 2005 08:53 AM