#IgnoreNoMore: Utthan Salutes Breakthrough and Uber’s Campaign Against Gender Violence

Dear Breakthrough and Uber,

We read about your newly launched ‘#IgnoreNoMore’ campaign that encourages bystanders to be vocal about violent activities against women. We believe this move will be instrumental in harbouring the change it is supposed to make. To begin with, we would like to thank you for coming up with this powerful and fantastic initiative that will send the message to all bystanders — that sometimes, they can become the change-makers the society needs, and the support a survivor or victim requires.

As leaders of Utthan, a survivors’ collective of trafficked victims, we have faced a lot of domestic violence and societal stigma, and the worst part of it all is that we’ve found little to no support from the people around us — ones who were witnesses to the violence. They would act as mere indifferent spectators to what  transpired and would pass it off as a sad story.

“Utthan understands the crucial role that bystanders have to play whenever such acts of gender-based violence take place in public spaces.”

We have come across many such cases where the wife was being tortured by her family, and the people around her, despite having seen and heard about it, had turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the entire violence. The bystanders here feel that their involvement might lead them to fall into trouble as a result of being associated with the incident, and what do they do? Just like everyone else, they too end up victim-shaming, stating that all of it is their fault. Quite interestingly, we have seen that if anyone protests against the injustice, even more violence is meted onto the survivor.

But Utthan understands the very crucial role that bystanders have to play whenever such acts of gender-based violence take place in public spaces. We are well aware that the day they start intervening in such incidents, domestic and public violence, and the stigma around it would be thrown right out of the society’s door.

As a group of survivor leaders, we will be more than happy to provide any kind of support required in this campaign. Also, we would want this movement to extend to our villages and communities so that more such spectators step up and become change-makers in the society. Bystanders turning to supporters and being a source of strength for them is what this campaign is about, and we celebrate such a unique enterprise that will involve the community and unite them with the survivor. The resultant product will then be a united stand against discrimination and violence.

Once again, we salute Breakthrough and Uber for bringing about a strong force of change in society through this campaign, and we offer all our best wishes for the same.

In solidarity and offering energy to the campaign,
Utthan

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below