American actress Alyssa Milano’s request from the social media has resulted in millions of tweets as she asked women to share their personal experience with harassment and sexual assault with ‘me too’ hashtag, which culminated into more than 6 million users talking about it on Twitter and Facebook.
All of this comes in the backdrop of new allegations against popular Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein has been accused by a dozen women of sexually harassing them, even raping them. Since these allegations have come to the fore, people all across the world are sharing their own personal experience with harassment on Twitter and Facebook. Some of the tweets are shared even by men who have been on the receiving end of indecent behavior.
‘Me too’ hashtag is exposing a very common yet abhorrent happening in the world. Alyssa stated that her friend suggested her the idea of ‘me too’ social media campaign. She tweeted that if women use the ‘me too’ hashtag for sharing their own experiences with sexual assault, it would help the world to figure out how grave the situation is. Famous female celebrities like Anna Paquin, Debra Messing, Sophia Bush, Brooke Smith, etc. have used the hashtag ‘me too’.
Society doesn’t like women who confront tormentors says, Amitabh Bachchan
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan rues how patriarchal mindsets still dominate most part of India, where the society has not allowed women to freely use the fundamental right of legal recourse in cases of harassment.
“Many crimes against women go unreported because women are scared to go to the police station, where they may face further harassment. Legal recourse is the fundamental right of every citizen and women have been denied that right because society does not like a woman who confronts her tormentors,” Amitabh, 75, has penned in a foreword for “Pink: The Inside Story” (HarperCollins/226 pp/Rs 299).
The book, by film historian Gautam Chintamani, chronicles the making, impact and script of “Pink”, which bagged the National Award for Best Film on Social Issues for provoking discussions on crimes against women.
Amitabh’s statement fits in a pertinent way as far as the current scenario in the global entertainment industry is concerned.
After multiple women stood up and raised their voice against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual harassment and rape, more women have spoken out about their experiences with filmmaker James Toback and even actors Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman.
“Women today are more educated and financially more secure; they are ambitious and assertive; and yet, there seems to be no end to the atrocities perpetrated against women. You just have to pick up the newspaper every morning to know this,” Amitabh Bachchan writes.
He says he himself chose to feature in a film like “Pink” (2016) — which highlighted how “no means no” — because “as an older member of the industry, I felt there needed to be a change in my engagement with my profession”.
In the film, he essays Deepak Sehgal, a lawyer who fights in favor of three girls and makes valid arguments to highlight the issue of consent and a woman’s right to say no.
Big B says in the book that his relationship with the three girls reminds him of his own bond with his granddaughters.
“It’s important to me that they grow up in a society that offers them the necessary protections and privileges.”(IANS)
New York, October 8, 2017 : Researchers have found that all forms of victimization – bullying, cyber bullying and harassment – can damage the entire school climate.
The study, published in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, measured the impact of poly-victimization – exposure to multiple forms of victimization – on school climate at the middle- and high-school levels.
The results showed that bullying, cyber bullying and harassment were significantly associated with decreases in perceptions of school safety, connection, and equity.
“For each form of victimization, school climate measures go down precipitously, so if we only center the conversation about kids who are being bullied that limits it to ‘that’s not my kid’,” said study author Bernice Garnett, Associate Professor at University of Vermont in the US.
“But if we change the conversation to bullying can actually damage the entire school climate, then that motivates and galvanises the overall will of the school community to do something about it,” Garnett added.
Based on data from the 2015 Vermont Middle and High School Pilot Climate Survey, the findings highlight the need for comprehensive policies that address all forms of victimization to offset further erosion to safe and equitable school environments, which is tied to educational outcomes.
Overall, 43.1 per cent of students experienced at least one form of victimization during the 2015-2016 school year.
Just over 32 per cent of students reported being bullied, 21 percent were victims of cyber bullying and 16.4 per cent experienced harassment – defined as “experiencing negative actions from one or more persons because of his or her skin, religion, where they are from (what country), sex, sexual identity or disability.”
Prior research had shown that students from vulnerable populations are most frequently victimized.
The new study found female and transgender students were more vulnerable to poly-victimization. (IANS)
Gurmeet Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 years in jail on Monday, but what took the case 15 years is the question that needs consideration
He’s not the only self-styled godman to have been involved in sexual assault controversies
One of the most controversial ‘guru’ to make it to the list is Asaram
New Delhi, August 29, 2017: Self-proclaimed godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, now known as Khaidi no. 1997, was sentenced to 20 years in jail in a rape case, on Monday. The Dera Sacha Sauda chief has been convicted of raping two women followers in a case that dates back to 2002.
It was in 2002 that a rape survivor, who was also a Sadhvi anonymously wrote a letter that, eventually, led to the downfall of the empire of Gurmeet Ram Rahim. The letter was addressed to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and described how the sect chief sexually exploited several women. It was later in 2003 that the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered CBI probe into the rape and sexual exploitation of the Sadhvis by the so called “Guru.”
The long wait for justice finally ended on Monday, but the question that arises is: What kept the case pending for 15 years? Was it the power and political connections of Ram Rahim? Could he be a major contributor to the vote banks be the reason for the unconscionable delay? To find the solution to this riddle is a tough job, and keeping in mind how our system works, might take another 15 years, but why was the justice delayed is a question that certainly deserves an answer.
One amongst myriads of the reason for the delay in justice was the horror of being threatened by Dera Chief and the co-conspirator. Many victims preferred to keep close mouthed than exposing the wrong doings at the Dera. Often those who opposed the Dera Chief were either murdered or menaced for doing so.
Not to forget the infamous murder of Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, the courageous journalist who exposed the debauched Ram Rahim. His son Anshul Chhatrapati has been fighting for justice for past 15 years, however, the case is still unresolved in the same CBI court which sentenced Dera chief 20 years of jail. Anshul called the sentence, the first tribute to his dead father.
He was merely 21 years old when his father was shot dead on October 24. Helpless Anshul wandered here and there to save his father who battled death for 28 days in the hospital. Policemen refused to lodge FIR against Dera chief back then, recalls Anshul while speaking to wionews.
Anshul also explained what kept justice for more than a decade:
“The CBI investigation was perpetually being thwarted by Congress and other local political parties. I give all the credit of bringing this case to justice to the CBI investigating officer who, against all odds and pressure from various political parties, did his work diligently. It is because of his work that today we have been able to seek justice”
When CBI probed into the matter back then, 17 sadhvis showed up but only two of them agreed to present in the court.
The official system of government should work upon instilling the confidence amongst the sufferers of torment the Dera Chief inflicted upon them. Many people have come forward to confront their plight openly, however, there are also many of them who live in constant suspicion and fear.
The fact that he’s not the only self styled godman to add to the list of those who have been involved in sexual assault controversies is not pleasing to know. According to The Indian Express report, a woman in Kerala chopped off the genitals of one of the ‘godman’ to defend herself from sexual assault. The minor attacker claimed that the attacker, who goes by the name of Ganga Shashwatapada Swamy, had repeatedly been raping her since past few years.
One of the most controversial ‘guru’ that makes it to the list is Asaram. About the complaint that lodged on August 20, 2013, Asaram on the pretext of giving the 16-year-old girl his blessings, raped her at his ashram in Jodhpur. After his arrest and the girl and her family’s willingness to speak out against Asaram, many more victims started to come out, reporting similar incidents against him. According to the reports, Asaram allegedly assaulted many victims, including both the ‘sevikas’ and minors from his ashram. The case is pending with the Supreme Court.
Asaram’s son, Narayan Sai has also been accused of rape and sexual assault. He’s currently in jail for the rape of a woman at one of Asaram’s ashrams.
Salute the judiciary for standing up for what is right. Wish justice is not delayed and hope is not lost for any victim of rape & abuse.
The judgment against Ram Rahim, however, has given the people hope that Justice could be delayed, but would not be denied.
– by Samiksha Goel and Naina Mishra of NewsGram
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