It can happen to any woman, no matter what she’s wearing. This is the message that comes across in the photos Indian women are posting online showing the clothing they had on when they experienced sexual violence, in any form.
The campaign, called “I Never Ask for It”, was launched by the activists behind Blank Noise, a popular Indian blog. It’s been launched on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
The problem of sexual violence has been a big topic of debate in India ever since a 23-year-old medical student died after being gang-raped on a New Delhi bus in December 2012, prompting massive protests. Another high-profile case this year, in which a renowned magazine editor was charged with raping a journalist, has kept the issue in the spotlight.
Despite the widespread coverage of the issue, it appears that campaigns like this one are still very much needed: just a month ago, a female Indian politician and member of the country’s women’s commission said that gang rape victims may be inviting attacks due to their clothing choice. “Rapes take place because of a woman’s clothes, her behavior and her presence at inappropriate places,” Asha Mirje told local media, prompting fury from many other politicians and activists.