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Be A Survivor And Stand Strong

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There is still prevalent a shameless abuse of human rights. Trickling from patriarchal social norms, which continue to perpetuate violence. If the growing incidence of crimes against women is to be checked, one of the first steps we need to take is to bring about a change in the attitude and perception of our youth. India has 356 million youth who are vulnerable– either as perpetrators or as survivors.

The nationwide campaign launched against gender-based violence (GBV) focuses on violence against women and girls (VAWG). #BasAbBahutHoGaya symbolises the end to tolerating violence and encourages everyone, especially the youth, to take action.

Director Feroz Abbas Khan says, “Our society needs to realise that abuse happens, and happens often. The fact that, studies show over 70% of victims choose not to complain, talks about the false standards we bear at home. It is time to shatter such misgivings. We also need to start being supportive of victims and call out people who are in the wrong.”

Well-known journalist Barkha Dutt’s recently shared her personal experience of sexual abuse at an early age, which was released by the Population Foundation of India (PFI).

As part of the campaign, the film deals with child sexual abuse and the fact that violence against women and especially children often go unreported because the victims are too young and confused about the incidences. Moreover, the majority of such victims feel it is their fault.

In the film, Barkha Dutt speaks about her horrifying experience of sexual abuse at an early age and the significant role played by her father in raising her to be an independent and strong woman.

“I don’t know of any woman who hasn’t experienced violence of any form. But what is worse, is the fact that women have been socialised to accept violence. Also, children who get sexually abused start feeling that it’s their fault. The one way to record what has happened to you is to tell someone about it and most importantly accept that it is not your fault,” says Barkha.

The kernel message here is that violence against women and girls should never be accepted. Therefore, it is designed to motivate young girls to stand up against violence and also to demonstrate and advocate to boys that violence is not a mark of a man. It has no connection to masculinity but rather with being a bully and a coward.

Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India points out that in most cases the victims know the abusers. “As parents, it is our responsibility to make our homes a safe place for our children. Let the abusers bear the burden of shame. As a society, we need to be more sensitive and encourage people to speak up. Along with speaking up, we need supportive parents so that children can deal with such abuse and abusers,” she says.

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Regards,

The CSR Journal Team

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