Set an example by not using disrespectful images of women in sexual violence reporting
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A scared figure crouching in a corner, a large hand covering a mouth trying to muffle a scream, outstretched arms pleading for help, tattered clothes . . .
We have all seen these images that accompany media reports of sexual violence against women.
As a woman who has survived sexual harassment like so many others in India and around the world, I have felt insulted looking at these images. I don’t want to be depicted this way.
It’s ironic that while the media reports may be geared towards raising awareness and justice , the images themselves end up doing more damage. Because they reinforce the stereotype of women as “easy prey” in turn encouraging rape culture.
One powerful way to make society view such women as “survivors” and not “victims” is to change the way the media depicts them.
Today’s news media needs to replace these damaging stock images with new images that are sensitive to all survivors.The NGO Breakthrough has created a path-breaking bank of images to portray survivors in a just light.
I’ve started this campaign asking Network 18 to set an example by boycotting damaging representational images and using those that are gender-sensitive. Sign my petition.
Network 18 is an award-winning leading media group with a wide audience base. Their philosophy is "On Your Side", aimed at bringing viewers from the sidelines into the middle of the discourse. If Network 18 takes this small step, they will be setting an example for other media houses to follow.
As more and more women feel empowered to speak out today in light of the #MeToo movement, the news media can do its bit. Gender-sensitive images will enable and encourage more survivors to break their silence and seek justice.
Sign my petition to restore the dignity of survivors of sexual violence by portraying them with respect beginning with the images we use #GenderSensitiveReporting
Picture Courtesy - Breakthrough India
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