You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Thousands of survivors of sexual violence march to demand end to such abuse

Social Issues

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Thousands of survivors of sexual abuse in India, who have formed a first-of-its-kind collective to seek justice and provide support to others, travelled from across the country to participate in a dignity march here on Friday to demand an end to such violence.

The survivors, both women and children, who have faced some form of abuse in their life, travelled 10,000 km connecting 200 districts in 24 states starting from Mumbai on December 20.

One of them was 56-year-old Bhanwari Devi, gang-raped and brutalised over 25 years ago. Bhanwari Devi, who is still awaiting justice, asserted that she would continue to fight for it.

The National Network of Survivors, the first-ever pan-India network to mobilise and orient more than 25,000 survivors and their family members across 25 states and 250 districts of India was launched at Ramlila Maidan during the culmination of the march.

A fierce Bhanwari Devi said,"I will not be silenced. I will continue to fight till my last breath until I get justice. The Vishaka guidelines was formulated to curb workplace harassment after Bhanwari Devi's case.

Ashif-Shaikh, Convenor, Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, Dignity March said when the march was started, their objective was to encourage children and women to speak out about their experiences of sexual violence without shame and put an end to the wide-spread culture of victim-shaming.

"It is also unfortunate that while there is a huge anger against rapes, millions of victims, primarily children are trapped in commercial sexual exploitation and community-based prostitution. Society says this because they have paid money, it is not rape. But it is a case of serial rape and a heinous crime," he told reporters.

After interacting with 25,000 survivors, 2,000 stakeholders, 200 policymakers and 2,000 lawyers from across the nation, the 'Dignity March' has presented a vision document 'Safer India for Women and Children' comprising key recommendations to prevent sexual violence against women and children, he added.

Recalling her horror, Mamta from Ujjain said on the pretext of providing a job, she was trafficked and raped.

"They assured me a job and took me to an isolated place. I was confined in a room for four days where they raped me. A third person arrived and had a word with the other two.

"Later I was taken to another place. They left me at a house and got my signature on a blank paper," she said.

When I objected, they told me I was purchased for Rs two lakh. They confined me there for around six months. When I returned home, my husband had left me, she added. It was then that she decided to to approach the police and file a complaint.

"For four days, no official at the police station was ready to hear me. Then I approached the sub district magistrate after which police registered my complaint. A medical examination was conducted after four days," she added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, February 22 2019. 18:05 IST