Published: 30th April 2018
This Karnataka couple's 'Stop Molestation Campaign' gives voice to victims
The call lines are open to those who reside within the state. Eventually, they plan to hold a webinar for each state of the country
There’s been an outpour of rage by citizens on the rising number of rape cases across the country. Angered citizens have been coming out in groups to voice their concerns. Among them is a proactive couple who has gone a step ahead and is reaching out to those who have been subjected to any form of crime through a recently-set-up helpline.
Edmonds Owhorode and Joanna Owhorode have started an initiative -- Stop Molestation Campaign --- which follows the format of a reality show, wherein the callers' live calls are streamed on their Facebook and Youtube accounts called Anti-Suicide & Success Campaign.
This initiative, a sequel to their previous 'Anti-Suicide and Success Campaign', is organised every Sunday. Edmonds Owhorode, co-host of the show, says, "After the Kathua incident, I was irritated, angry and turned off. I have two pretty daughters myself. Upon reading reports I wondered, how any human being could be so cruel. My anger inspired me to take a step and do something."
Pointing out the importance of removing the taboo surrounding rape and molestation, Joanna Owhorode says that "silence is a secret killer. Our society has cultivated an attitude of being shy, reserved and not being able to open up. Most often such incidents take place in the family but is hushed up because of the stigma associated with it. Even the government wants to keep silent. Only when some voices keep speaking they are forced to do something."
"There are some changes that have happened since Nirbhaya. But since there's politics involved in the Kathua case, we don’t know what will happen. Most callers often hesitate to speak about their own individual experiences," she added.
Edmond often comes across callers who say they have erased any sort of memory of such incidents. But I tell them that we break the silence. It's the only way perpetrators of this crime will know that they can't always get away with what they have been doing. Only when this 'secret' gets public, can the cycle be discontinued, he adds.This month, the webinar is focussing on Karnataka.
The call lines are open to those who reside within the state. Eventually, they plan to hold a webinar for each state of the country. Edmond says, "I will use my staff, my people to connect with other states in other languages. We want to reach out to people in every nook and cranny. There are molestation cases even in offices. If we can get those from offices to speak, I would consider that our biggest achievement."
For the moment, it’s one step at a time, or more like one call at a time, in the hope of turning victims to victors.
What: Stop Molestation Campaign
Where: Across Karnataka
Call: 97427 43406
When: Every Sunday, 6 pm onwards