I spend a lot of time browsing trending twitter hashtags. It is like a 'live' hot-line of sorts, connecting me to all the latest updates around the world; be it any topic. At times, when a subject interests me, I plunge in deep; right into the hot debates/
discussions. It’s very mentally stimulating to say the least, and I absolutely love it.

So, as usual, the other day, I was going through the trending topics, when a very popular name started trending. It was that of a female broadcast journalist ( now an editor in a news channel ). She is mostly known for reporting live from war-zones, considered most dangerous places on earth. I’ve since admired her for her immense guts. She is no doubt brave, and is quite intimidating too – the fierce-feminist type. However, when I checked the hashtag, I was in for a shock. The journalist mentioned, had recently written a book ( autobiographical ), wherein, she has confessed that she was sexually molested when she was very young; and how violated she had always felt whenever she remembered that incident, even after decades since that episode happened. More shocking was, the perpetrator being a close relative of hers. With disbelief, I read certain stanzas from her book that was published in an online news-portal. It described the mental trauma she had undergone. I had never imagined such an incident would’ve ever happened to such a powerful-looking lady. While reading, I realized, behind that façade of bravery on the outside, there was vulnerability too. It changed my entire perspective of that journalist big time.

More so, when in that same hashtag, I saw numerous trolls making snide remarks alleging that she might have faked-up the incident. Of course, she dealt with them sternly. But, it made me wonder, how ruthless people can get. Here was a woman, daring to tell her story out in the public; and some people were not just not believing it, but alleging that it could be false too. If a well-known journalist faces this kind of public reaction, imagine the plight of some unknown person who might have endured same trauma or worse. The female, after the molestation happened, had decided to forget that horrible incident altogether instead of coming out in the open and reporting it. I can understand the situation back in the nineties or before, when that incident occurred – women hardly knew of their legal rights. That journalist, of course came to know of them much later, but was hesitant still, until she finally wrote the book.

So, if an educated woman like her was hesitant to even talk about it for decades, one can only imagine what other women goes through. However, her finally talking about the incident has made us so much aware of one fact now. That even the affluent may have faced such situations, and not just the poor of the society. And this really helps.

My 3 reasons why reporting sexual violence is IMPORTANT

1 – It really helps spread awareness. Like the lady I mentioned; her revealing of the horrible torture she went through, makes us aware that such incidences can occur in any levels of the society.

2 – When the ratio changes from 1 in 100 women reporting, to 100 in 100 reporting such crimes, criminals won’t go scot-free like they currently are.

3 – When you #KnowYourRights, you automatically have a safety net.

In 2013, with new changes in the law; in sexual violence - even stalking, sexual harassment and voyeurism etc, are considered punishable offence and not just physical harm.

Theme: 3 reasons why you think it is important to encourage reporting sexual violence.
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( Images - ) Amnesty International has launched the #KnowYourRights campaign, which is a people’s rights educational program aimed at informing people of their basic rights via free educational modules on digital and physical media because knowing one’s rights gives one the confidence to take action. Tell us why you think survivors of sexual violence should come forward to report the crime and not brush it under the carpet.
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