Sister Jesme in Kerala has written a book, which talks of the sexual abuse in the cloisters. The book also reveals how she was abused by priests and even fellow sisters during her years in convent.
"When a woman is molested, sexually harassed, will she speak out? Only one out of a thousand will speak out. So think of nuns! They will never speak out. They fear that their nun hood will be lost," said Sister Jesme, Author, Amen- An Autobiography of a Nun.
Her autobiography had to wait till she had retired as the Principal of St Mary's College in Thrissur and had quit her congregation.
Even then there was pressure from the church. She was offered money to stop writing.
''One sister said that she is going to sit in the corner of the chapel and pray the rosary so that all my books will be burnt and no person will be able to read it. I said let us wait and see whose prayer will God hear,'' said Sister Jesme.
The first edition is sold out in less than a month. The second, too, IS fast disappearing from the book shelves.
Even though the church has dismissed the book, in the book readers have found resonance of reality.
Like the case of 19-year-old Sister Abhaya, who was murdered because she spoke out against sex in the convent or sister Anupama Mary, who committed suicide, allegedly unable to face sexual harassment by a senior nun.
''I have just opened a window, only one window, and through that window if they see dust or dirt inside the convent, at least in a corner, and if one sister cleans the corner of the convent, then my book has been rewarded," said Sister Jesme.
The Catholic Church in Kerala has not reacted officially to the 52-year-old nun's book. All it has said is that the book contains only trivial matters. But Sister Jesme is undeterred as she is looking for publishers in English and other regional languages.
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