‘Stop Molestation Campaign’ gives voice to the victims  

City couple opens a call line as a step towards breaking the silence around molestation

Published: 01st May 2018 04:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st May 2018 04:03 AM   |  A+A-

Edmond and Joanna Owhorode who started the campaign, against sexual assualt, that follows the format of a reality show

Express News Service

BENGALURU : There’s been an outpour of rage by citizens on the 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.

Edmond 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. Edmond, co-host of the show, says, "After the Kathua incident, I was irritated, angry and turned off. I have two 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 ridding the taboo surrounding rape and molestation, Joanna 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 certain voices keep speaking up, 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. Edmond often comes across callers who say they have erased any sort of memory of such incidents. "But I tell them that we want to 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 in 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, in the hope of turning victims to victors, he says. 

Fact file
What: Stop Molestation 
Where: Across Karnataka
Call: 97427 43406
When: Every Sunday, 6 pm onwards


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