The Internet is a curation of all things wonderful, or terrible, depending on which side of it you wander into. A group of young Indians have attempted to do their own bit, by providing a safe space for those who have experienced sexual assault or sexism in India. Consisting of a lawyer, graphic designers, and website developers, this little group developed a website called, ‘How Revealing’, that aims to break the stereotypes surrounding safety and security in India for everyone by sharing real experiences, online.
The name came up due to the reactions that normally followed any molestation charges, or a sexual assault case that blew up. Every victim’s outfit would be scrutinized, which often lead to the question, “Did you see how revealing her top was?” and then the conclusion, “No wonder she was molested!” That’s exactly what the website is out to change — people’s perspectives. The varied accounts on the site prove that it isn’t the victim’s fault; clothing is not the root cause of rape or molestation. Certain NGOs are also working towards this goal, by showing Indians that there is more to sexual assault than what the victim was wearing.
The idea behind the website, isn’t just to post stories, but to help the people who do write in, to express their feelings, whether it be fear, guilt, shame, anger, trauma, depression, or any emotion, in general. People may deal with sexual assault in their own way, but bottling it up is one of the worst. Besides an open forum with shared experiences, the website also offers a ‘Support’ section that links people to organizations and initiatives that are willing to assist those seeking help.
The Huffington Post reported that the website came into being on 13 January, 2017 but had been an idea in motion since 2014. They decided to keep the format simple, so people could maintain their own pace when it came to healing — by sharing their story, anonymously. The founder talked to the Post over email, about how it helped her to deal with all the conflict in India, “The project converted and channelised all the anger and despair I felt every time a survivor was blamed, every time I was made to feel like I was asking for it, every time the sexual history of a complainant was more important than the crime.”
The website contains several accounts already, although they are all filtered through for abusive language, or threats, so readers and participants can feel safe. The stories uploaded already range from experiences with pedophilia to male bullying for being too effeminate to groping, stalking and so much more. You can take a look at the website and read through experiences, here,
Feature Image Credit: http://www.howrevealing.com
Words: Cara Shrivastava