Account of a sexual harassment

Date: 01-March-2021

I am a 25-year old guy from Kerala, India.

I'm young but am physically weak (just being honest).

Been stuck in home for a long time due to Corona.

There is an institute near my place that has got a basketball court. I like to play basketball, so I asked a priest there (Fr. S****n) for permission to play there. He agreed and I was happy and been going there frequently for some time now.

Sometimes some of the priests who are there in the institute joins me in the basketball court. I met a couple of them. They were pleasant and up-right people, befitting the general idea that we have of a Jesuit priest. Like Fr. A**u from North-central Kerala whose birthday is in January.

Then on 26 March 2021, a priest whom I hadn't seen before joined me in the court. He said his name was V********n and that he was from Northern Kerala. He asked a lot about me and my family. And I mean a lot. I thought it a bit odd but then thought what harm could happen, he's a Jesuit priest after all and acquiesced. In retrospection, that was a mistake. Me answering all those personal questions probably encouraged him. I should've put an end to it there.

The details that he found out from me include (non-exhaustive list):

Usually the priests who play with me leave by 06:00PM and I would leave soon afterwards. But this guy stayed on and so did I.

It got dark. He stopped playing and asked me phone number. I told him. Then he kept away his phone and began making his move. His hands wrapped my torso tightly.

I got uncomfortable and tried to break out of his hands. Then he said:

"Hey, I'm not that kind of a person. I'm doing this out of affection for you.".

That struck me as the kind of stuff a person that he claimed not to be would say.

Then he touched my genitals (over my trouser) as if by accident. I really would've convinced myself that it was an accident if he hadn't done it again...

He also attempted to kiss me. Multiple times. Though I was trying to break his hold over me all this time.

Then he started to pull up the shirt that I was wearing and touch my belly. I protested vocally and physically. Then he repeated his dialogue about his "affection".

I couldn't stop him. After several attempts, he managed to subdue me enough to get his hand completely under my shirt and started to feel me up. He ran his filthy hand all over my belly. At some point, he also poked my belly button hard with his finger. It caused a pain that lasted two full days.

Afterwards, he made me walk while he held me tight to the side of his body. Then he stopped and attempted to take my photograph (I still don't know which part of me was it that he intended to photograph). By this point, I struggle with all my might (because his one hand was busy with his phone) and finally somehow broke out of his clutches and fled the area.

Later that night, this guy messaged me saying "hi". The next day he called me. I didn't answer.

I haven't informed anyone about this incident yet. Am ashamed of reporting a sexual harassment. What would other living near me would say?

I thought Jesuit priests took a vow of celibacy or something.

I have known many Jesuits but first time I'm finding one as this one.

The main reason why I requested an account on Mastodon (@unni@mstdn.social) was to speak about this.

But I am tired of shut up inside home again and would like to return to the basketball court to play. Have no idea what would that guy do if he shows up as well. So I wanted to leave a record of the event online. In case he tries improper behaviour again.

What could happen if I report this incident?

The church has profound influence in the region where we live. So I may find life extremely difficult if the church leadership come to consider me a source of potential embarrassment and wants me silenced.

If church leadership indeed begin to view me as a threat, they would dig up my past and look for things to discredit me with. To destroy my credibility.

What are my options?

More

I met this Fr. Vark again.