Victim-blaming is rampant in India. Instead of making sure that the perpetrators are dealt with and people are discouraged from molesting or raping, the government and our own family members focus on asking women to adapt by limiting their freedom. Just to put things into perspective, according to UNICEF, rape has been “identified by psychologists as the most intrusive of traumatic events”. It has been declared a “weapon of war” by the UN and yet, we blame the target, not the ones who wield the weapon.
“Asked For It” is a phrase that is used (especially in India) to blame the survivor of sexual abuse and needs to be redirected at the perpetrator. The eponymous initiative aims to put the blame squarely on the perpetrator and encourages survivors to speak up. Sharing stories and instances where perpetrators were punished, can deter potential criminals and make the country safer.
Over the years, there has been increasing conversation surrounding rape and molestation. There have been movements against victim-blaming and for women’s rights, questioning the law and more. They mostly reach out to the ‘intelligentsia’, people who were already aware. We, however, wanted hopefully to reach out to a slightly wider audience, with a more direct approach.
In addition, it is an attempt to do away with the unintentional policy of appeasement. Currently, the dominant mindset seems to be – “this is how society is now. You know it’s unsafe. You can’t change minds. Take precautions.” And this mindset needs to change. It is an attitude that encourages rapists or molesters. We believe it encourages victim-blaming.
#AskedForIt is a campaign that states that no matter what the time, the attire, the food, the weather, if anyone sexually harasses another and gets beaten up or jailed for it, the harasser deserves it.
There are several reasons for our initiative:
Through social media, such as our Facebook page, we are encouraging people to publicise moments wherein rapists and molesters were beaten up, jailed or had a case filed against them. We declare that they “Asked for it”. We believe that people should speak out against their perpetrators and therefore, we are encouraging them to share their own stories.
However, raising awareness and not providing solutions can sometimes be counter-productive. Though this is not one of those times, here’s a list of things we think might help (and we welcome suggestions):
In the past, we’ve been part of and supported more ‘elegant’ campaigns. This time, it just felt right to take this approach. As a way to help this campaign move forward, we encourage people to out their perpetrators to family, friends and authorities. After all, they #AskedForIt.
This can only work with collaboration, so if you have relevant stories to share, an opinion on the campaign or even some advice, let us know on Facebook, Twitter (@AskedFor_it) or Instagram (@thefatsmeagolcollective), using #AskedForIt. The comment section over here works too!
Just Cause and Team #AskedForIt