Actresses have been coming forward of late to talk about the existence of a casting couch in tinsel town. After horrific details of two rape cases (an 8-year-old in Kathua who was killed and a teenaged rape survivor in Unnao) and another similar incident of gang rape and killing of a minor girl in Surat unfolded, celebs alike are expressing their anger and shock at the gloomy state of affairs. The attention is now on girl children who are vulnerable to sexual abuse and harassment. Many women are sharing their stories of sexual harassment and assault when they were kids through the hash tag #MeToo made famous in the US and now trending globally.
Actress Nivetha Pethuraj from K’town is the first one to come out in the open and say that she too was sexually harassed when she was five years old. In a video post on her twitter handle, the Oru Naal Koothu girl has revealed this and she goes on to address burning issues of child abuse, women’s safety and also advising parents and requesting men folk to respond too.
“There are many problems confronting our country today. Some of them we cannot control and only a few we can. One such problem that we can control is women’s safety. I am putting out this video because many women and men who are watching this video...would have been sexually harassed when they were children, which includes me too.”
The Tik Tik Tik star adds, “At the age of five, how do I go tell my parents about what happened? How do I explain? I did not even know what anything meant at that age. Such crimes are more often than not perpetrated by people around us — like relatives, friends, neighbours etc., who we know, rather than strangers.”
She requests parents to be more responsible. “I know it will be very uncomfortable, but sit your kids down and talk to them about it. Start from when they are 2. Teach them what wrongful talk is, what wrongful touch is. You never know when they will go through pain and all these things. We don’t know what happens at school, tuition or at a neighbouring house.”
Nivetha went on to say that the police can do only so much to help and that as a society we must be more vigilant. Calling on her male friends Nivetha said, “Form a community group of 8-10 people and take turns in pairs to observe what’s happening from morning to night in your streets. It’s easy for you to find out if anything shady is going on. You can question it easily.” On a concluding note she said, “I get scared when I go out and I suspect everyone I see.”
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, who has been vocal on many social issues and even launched the campaign ‘Save Shakti’ to encourage more women to speak up against sexual harassment and abuse, feels that a death penalty for rape is the only way to stop this violence on women.
Taking to her social media in a series of tweets, she wrote, “It’s time to ask us before it’s too late. Is this the kind of society we want to live in..!! They say our future is determined by our past suffering #timesup”.
She wonders if you make a #wink a trend, then why not #deathpenalty? “Haven’t we suffered enough at the hands of our politicians... Rapists ... Pedophilic monsters..!! Plz I beg of u start asking questions n start standing up for the right causes.. Do what u can but do something.. When we can make #jallikattu #cauveryissue even a #wink trend….”
Varu says it can happen to anyone. Is a child’s life worth only a day of mourning and rage? It can happen to any of us. I don’t need to be a mother to feel this rage and pain..plz jus be human and we can make a difference thru social media today.. Before it’s too late let’s make the change. I alone have 800k followers that alone should be able to cause an effect. Spread the word..no time for silence anymore.. Let’s unite and demand justice..Make the #deathpenalty for rape a law. She adds, “I don’t feel safe anymore and it is time the perpetrators pay for their mistakes.”
Malayalam actress Parvathy who has acted in award winning Tamil movies like Poo and Mariyaan and who won a special mention at the recent National Awards for her movie Take Off, posted her picture holding a placard which read, “I am Hindustan. I am ashamed. 8 years old. Gang raped. Murdered in “Devi-stan temple. #Kathua.”
Varu says it can happen to anyone. Is a child’s life worth only a day of mourning and rage? It can happen to any of us. I don’t need to be a mother to feel this rage and pain..plz jus be human and we can make a difference thru social media today.. Before it’s too late let’s make the change.