And with that, dear friends, we reach the end of October, a month and more when over 80 bloggers (and their readers) focussed attention on the violence faced by women. Whether Female Foeticide or Domestic Violence or Marital Rape or Street Sexual Harassment (we refuse to call it the cutesy Eve teasing), to the horrific aspects of gender based violence like rape, murder, acid attacks, genital mutilation, we discussed them all.
Across the blogosphere, women wrote about aspects of gender based violence they had witnessed or experienced, their reactions to it. Some sent in anonymous survivor stories which we posted here on the blog. We partnered with organizations like Prajnya, RAHI, Blank Noise, Bell Bajao and Women in War Zones for gender violence-related posts and live chats on Twitter, meant to provoke discussion and debate on issues. We had a Twitter chat with a lawyer meant for people to ask questions on the legalities surrounding various issues, and to help people know their rights when it came to gender related violence.
Helping us in this effort were Blogadda, Womensweb and The Alternative, which promoted the message, and helped us reach a wider audience. Add to this, the kindness of columnists like Namita Bhandare, Priya Ramani and Natasha Badhwar who wrote about these issues in the course of the month, helping amplify the message. The effort was simple, to get people to start talking about these issues, about why we keep silent when harassed on the streets, (the Keenan Santos murder happened this month), about why we consider a little bit of slapping around our fault, about why we take it for granted that marriage automatically confers sexual consent, and why girl foetuses are unwanted.
Thank you, all you wonderful people, who pitched in, who wrote in, who responded, who added your voice to ours, who stood by us, while we tried to get our voices heard. Thank you for your attention to the messages we tried to put out, thank you for your pro-activeness on twitter, your comments on our blog, your posts on your own blogs.
Violence Against Women is not going to go away. Not in a hurry. Maybe not in our lifetime. But let us all make a start. Somewhere, somehow, in our own little ambits, by refusing to be victims, by refusing to watch silently while some other woman is being made a victim.