MTV: Educate your judges about sexual assault. Stop victim blaming and shaming.

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What happened on the second episode of MTV Roadies Rising was insensitive. This year's show is being judged by Neha Dhupia, Karan Kundra, Harbhajan Singh and Prince Narula.
A girl came forward bravely to share her story on sexual assault and was met with an accusatory, victim blaming response from the judges. They asked her why she didn't come forward earlier, blamed her for not saving his other potential victims and told her it was her chance to be a hero as if heroism only means naming your molester on national TV. This implies that survivors who do not speak up are not heroes and that heroism is all about speaking up rather than surviving. Heroism isn't relevant when it comes to issues like sexual assault. They also went on to bleep the name and place after making her say it.

Here is a transcript of the exchange -

Ranvijay: You got molested when you were young?
The participant tells her story and says her parents don't know about it
Ramvijay: how old were you?
Ranvijay: have you met him after growing up?
Neha dhupia: is he in your family?
Ranvijay: and don't you think he's doing it to someone else? You think its okay for him to do it to some other people? What have you done to stop him?
Neha dhupia: you have your parents, you could've told them? You're staying silent to save your parents relationships?
Ranvijay: You have been through so much in life and youre saying let other kids get molested by this idiot uncle of yours so that your parents can have a good relationship with this asshole?
Karab Kundra: You've got a platform here to stand for LGBT rights, your dad is watching and hopefully that uncle is watching too, please tell his kids what their dad has done. Take a stand.
Harbhajan Singh: God gives very fee people a chance to be a hero. You have a chance that can benefit a lot of people. You should do it, even if it means a temporary loss for you. In the end you'll be a winner.
The participant then goes on to tell her parents and names the guy and the place and speaks about how guilty she felt that she didn't speak up earlier (which I'm sure was excaberated by the reactions at this moment). The show went on to bleep the name and place after making her say it.Survivors of sexual assault :
- are not to blame for not coming forward
- shouldn't be made to feel guilty about it or pressured
- it isn't their responsibility to protect other potential victims

The guilt, blame, onus and responsibility SOLELY lies on the molester and rapist. Always. It is this kind of victim blaming, shaming, accusatory kind of reaction that prevents people from coming forward and opening up to people.

The judge asked her if she had been molested. This either meant that they were aware of it and had the opportunity to educate themselves and prepare a sensitive response or it meant that they asked such a question because she came out as a lesbian. People often think sexual abuse is what makes a person gay, which is not true. The media is trying to portray that sexual orientation is linked to sexual abuse which is a harmful and common myth.

If they knew about it beforehand, they should've responded in a more appropriate manner. And if this question was asked because of the girl's sexuality then it was asked out of ignorance and it is inappropriate to ask questions like this simply because someone has come out as gay. Either way, the judges do need to be more educated, aware and sensitive when it comes to things like sexual orientation and sexual assault.

A lot of young people in India watch this show and look up the judges. Some might take away the message that sexual abuse makes people gay. Some may take sway the message that survivors are responsible for stopping rape and sexual abuse. Some survivors may feel responsible and guilty. Mentalities like this further the oppression of and discrimination against women and the lgbtquia community. When the participant came out as a lesbian she shouldn't have been asked if she was sexually abused. And when she spoke about being sexually abused, she shouldn't have been met with accusations and made to feel guilty. Both of this brave revelations should have been met with empathy and respect.

I think the judges and MTV should be made to apologize to the participant and also every survivor that was affected by their words and reaction. They should also emphasize that survivors are not to blame for keeping it to themselves and not responsible for stopping sexual abuse. Only rapists and molesters are responsible for that and only they should be blamed and feel guilty.

I want to know if the judges and channel will also be ready to publically name the man and file a police report. They also have a chance to be heroes here and put this man in jail. I'd like to know what they'd think about this.
#notherfault #stopvictimshaming #startshamingrapists

Resources: (starts at about the 4:58 mark) see

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