Mapping Sexual Harassment
I came across a very interesting article on the internet recently. The Women’s Equality Party, a new collaborative force in British politics, has come out with a new initiative which asks women across Britain to share a photo of their hand, with the location where they were sexually harassed, along with the hashtag #WeCount. Then women are asked to mark a live map with the date and time they experienced an incident of sexual violence or harassment, which will serve as a visual reminder that rape and sexual violence is far too common.
On the map, the Google drop pin is transformed into an exclamation mark and coupled the message ‘It Happened Here’. The results will be used by the Women’s Equality Party in its campaign to end violence against women. As per studies, approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales every year.
I feel that this hard hitting campaign is extremely relevant for Delhi as well. As per the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau report (2014), the city reported 1,813 rapes in 2014, up from 1,441 in 2013, making it the official ‘rape capital’ of the country.
Such a campaign in Delhi will help us get a comprehensive representation of the problem, and the large scale of sexual harassment prevalent in the city. It will also empower women to speak up about experiences of sexual harassment, and remove the taboo revolving around talking about such instances.
Sexual violence is more prevalent than we think, and occurs in every locality, with every kind of woman. It is high time we, as a community, raise our voices against it, and campaigns of this kind can be one way to do that.
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