City hosts 'Dignity March' to end victim shaming
Kolkata: In a collective bid to achieve 100 percent conviction rate in cases of sexual violence, Dignity March, a platform for the survivors of rape and sexual violence, conducted a campaign in Kolkata on Friday.
Around thousands take part in this journey - aiming to cover 10,000 km across the country - with the aim to put an end to the culture of shame and fear among victims and instill the fear
of conviction in culprits.
"We need to support the victims of sexual crimes, especially in cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children, as minors are vulnerable and need constant support from their families and society. In the past, our governments and laws have taken a reactive approach towards this issue but it is high time to take a robust proactive measure to create deterrence among "customers" who buy sex involving children.
A 100 percent conviction rate is the only solution that can help us instill fear in culprits and put an end to this menace," said Ashif Shaikh, Convenor, Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, Dignity March, at an event in Kolkata.
The statistics of National Crime Record Bureau 2016 states that out of 15,379 victims trafficked in India, around 58.7 percent is children. Most of these children are trafficked for sex-work (or Commercial Sexual Exploitation).
Dignity March is rooted in a national online survey conducted by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan. The survey 'Speak Out!' was conducted to determine the intensity of sexual violence against women and children and gave the survivors an opportunity to raise their voice against such atrocities.
The survey revealed that an alarming number of people have faced sexual violence but about 95 percent of such cases remain unreported.
Especially, in case of children, most crimes go unnoticed and there is negligible conviction which leads to
impunity among culprits.
Dignity March has already covered Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.