14th February, a day dedicated to express love, companionship and passion for our loved once. There are different forms of love. The love we share with our parents, Kids, friends, life partner and of course between lovers. There is no religion or nationality attached to this wonderful day. A pure celebration of Love.
Even though it’s a day for everyone, it’s more celebrated among couples. So all the pretty ladies out there, how did you feel when u wore that awesome sexy outfit you bought the other day? Did you find the right red lipstick? Finding the accurate red shade is devastating. And… Hey… you, Handsome what did you do? Did you buy nice red roses and chocolates? I assume you planned a nice romantic day for your Love from morning to night. Dinner at a nice romantic restaurant which plays nice background music, not too over powering just like a soft silk shawl carried in the breeze. Most probably you had a light Mediterranean meal with a smooth, balanced, velvetly red wine. I know it may sound cheesy and cliché; ultimately I am exceptionally girly and a hardcore lover of romantic movies 😉
In one way or other we all spent some quality time with our loved once. Unfortunately there is another group of people who might never be able to have this special moment. Who might never be able to express their emotions and try to hide their entire life. I am talking about victims of sexual assault and rape. I recently read an article in the telegraph about an Indian teenage rape victim, who was allegedly sexually assaulted a second time while in hospital receiving treatment for the original attack.
Headlines about sexual abuse and rape aren’t a rarity anymore. Few of the incidents catch more public attention and go viral but the majority remains untold and is hidden far away from the public. Blaming victim’s is another common behavior in our society. As soon as we talk about an incident the first few statements will be like:
“Victim was not appropriately dressed!”
”Something like this will never happen to someone from a good family!”
“Victim must have provoked them!”
Victims are silenced by a process that heaps shame, fear and guilt on them. The demoralizing experience is not alien to victims in India, who choose to speak out against sexual attacks.
Sexual violence is not only taking place in India. Since I am an Indian my focus is automatically set to “on what’s happening in India.” According to WHO recent global prevalence figures indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
Being a victim of any kind of crime can be frightening and upsetting. However, rape and sexual assault are particularly distressing crimes for the victim and the effects can last for a long time.
Let’s take action to help those instead of pointing fingers at them. Donate whatever you can to a nonprofit organization of your trust. Each and every penny counts. My personal choice is this project, which is started by Smita Sharma. She has started a Kickstarter page, where she is raising funds for two groups, including one based in London, which work in the community educating people to make people aware about sexual violence. There are many other nonprofit organizations worldwide, which helps victims to build a life after. Donating money is not the only way to help. If you know anyone from your circle, then be there for that person. Accompany the victim in their daily activities and highlight to them various institution where they can avail professional help. If needed raise your voice for them and protect them.
So don’t hesitate and let’s try to make the world a better place; You and I, we are the ones who can make this change!