There is no doubt that the violence against women in this country is a problem, but few are actively doing something about it. Trisha Shetty and her team at SheSays are determined to change this. SheSays is an initiative aimed to create an environment of zero tolerance to violence against women in India by educating the society with pertinent information regarding the laws and procedure of the Land; further building a network of support that recognizes all levels of sexual abuse and provides the necessary means to fight it.
Trisha Shetty, Founder, SheSays
When asked about what inspired her to start this initiative, Trisha replied “I tend to Google everything and a while back when I did look up information online on what’s to be done if i face any kind of sexual abuse, all that popped up was news articles about rape cases in India or links to NGO’s and their contact information. As a victim of sexual abuse, unfortunately with the way our societal fabric is; it’s hard to even pick up the phone and reach out for help. Complete lack of information and perhaps the notion that the process to file a complaint is arduous and uncooperative; works as a huge deterrent for people to speak up and address the issue. Which is why my Co-founder Neha and I launched the portal, to provide a holistic approach to address sexual abuse. Since the very beginning, the support has been unexpectedly positive. Everyone identified the need for such a portal, and irrespective of gender or institution people have offered support. The biggest take back thus far, has been that although a lot of progress and dialogues have taken place, there is still a lot more that needs to be done.”
Elaborating on what the portal actually does, Trisha said “It’s the first website of its kind that provides all the relevant information in one place. There is pertinent info on identifying acts of sexual abuse recognized by our Constitution presented in a simplified format. The step by step procedural measures to be undertaken when going to a hospital, police station, having lawyers assigned to you, brief on court proceedings and addressing sexual harassment at the workplace are mentioned. The information is also accessible in Hindi, Marathi and German. What SheSays is doing is highlighting all levels of sexual abuse and encouraging the society to work with the system to fight it.”
The portal was launched on International Youth Day, Saturday, 8th August. Commenting on what’s next for SheSays, Trisha added “The team is working on other regional and foreign language translations for the website. Further, we are launching a social media campaign soon to address the need for women to be educated about how to address sexual violence and speak up against it. Regrettably, we as a society have over-time developed a tolerance level towards abuse.
Phase 2 of the SheSays plan involves mapping and identifying the closest police station, hospital and psychologist, along with a direct point of contact by area and institution for immediate help for victims. We are also focusing aggressively on psychological care and rehabilitation for victims suffering from trauma post incidents of sexual violence. “