Bengaluru: Playback singer Chinmayi Sripada has said that though #MeToo movement provided the much-required momentum to the issue of sexual harassment faced by women, the pressure on survivors to prove the charges is breaking them.
While speaking at #FoundMyVoice, an International Women's Day event organised by Change.org India and Christ (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru on Thursday, she observed, "Men who shame women, encourage men to rape, make rape jokes at audio launch events; ask for virginity tests for heroines, continue to lead the Union. How come no one questions that venom? I am speaking up so that we arrive at solutions and engaged conversations and not unilateral monologues.”
Ever since Chinmayi spoke about her sexual harassment and exposed some of the prominent South Indian film personalities, she has been denied work and subjected to social media abuse. "There is a concerted attempt to silence survivors of sexual assault. My career is almost over. Only because I dared to speak up and found the courage to stick to my stand. In the Tamil film industry, during the past few months I have been banned from the South Indian Cine, Television Artistes and Dubbing Artistes Union for speaking up," she added.
She said any attempt to destroy her career or fade the #MeToo movement would never silence her.
Many other change makers from the She Creates Change community of Change.org who have run impactful campaigns on the platform also shared their experiences and journey at the event.
Garvita Gulhati from Bengaluru spoke about her efforts to conserve water. Sonali Gupta, a person with the disability from Mumbai, spoke about her fight for accessibility. Pranay Manjari Samal from Odisha highlighted the challenges for a woman in supporting her parents after marriage and Mariam Rauf from Kottayam talked about how she wanted to break away from her trauma of being abused as a child.
Durga Nandini, Senior Director, Change.org India said, "Like Chinmayi, tens of thousands of women are isolated for speaking out. They are punished for having an opinion. At Change.org, we believe that women should never feel alone. Through our flagship program called She Creates Change, we are building a community of women changemakers who can draw support from each other and join hands to create change.”