Last week the Mumbai Police launched a YouTube video campaign focused on empowering women to break the silence concerning sexual violence and harassment. Produced in partnership with the Ogilvy and Mather marketing agency and Code Red Films, each video films a Mumbai Police officer talking about the issues women face in Mumbai and the steps to filing a police report.
The “Campaign For Women’s Safety” campaign intends to share with women a simple message: no one — not even your husband — should disrespect you. In one of the videos, Police Inspector Rajendra Chavan shares with women, “If someone harasses or disrespects you, you have the right to file a police complaint, and we request you to do so.” Throughout the videos, officers acknowledge the discomfort women may feel coming forward with their stories and assure women that there are female police officers that can collect these reports at each station.
The Mumbai Police’s campaign comes fresh off the heels of the 2012 New Delhi gang rape in which a young girl died from injuries she sustained from being brutally raped and beaten on a New Delhi bus. In just the few short months since the New Delhi rape, India’s parliament has passed an Indian Rape law that makes repeat sex offenders, or rapists whose violence leads to their victim’s death, eligible for the death penalty. The passing of this law coupled with campaigns like “Campaign For Women’s Safety,” shows the aggressive measures that are being taken to ensure that tragedies such as this December’s gang rape never happen again. By choosing to use YouTube as the platform to share their educational messages, the Mumbai Police are also making a point to educate younger Indian women about the prevalence of sexual violence in their community so that they grow up more aware of the legal services they have available to them should they be harassed or assaulted. A simple concept with a big message, it will be interesting to see the impact this YouTube campaign has in protecting the health and safety of India’s women.
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