Platform for queer community to talk about abuse

screenshot of website.

A Bengaluru-based website, which invited sexual abuse victims to tell their stories, has now opened the platform for members of the queer community.

Since its launch in January 2017, ‘How Revealing’ grew into a platform where hundreds of abuse victims shared their stories and came together. 

Human rights advocate Urmila Pullat, who launched the website, said there were close to 200 stories, of which 10 are from the queer community.

“The stories (in the site) are repository of incidents that have never been reported. In most of the cases, the victim had never shared their experience with anyone. The platform offers them anonymity, making them feel supported and safe. The feeling that ‘you are not alone’ and ‘there are so many victims like me’ helps them overcome the trauma,” Pullat said.

The website recently launched the campaign #BreaktheSilence and opened its doors for the queer community as well. Urmila said that the campaign will be extended to the queer community starting with the queer magazine, Gaylaxy, till the end of August.

The campaign will focus on people identifying themselves as queer and invite them to share experiences of sexual abuse, harassment, sexism and bullying, and seek support if they wish to.

It aims to draw attention to issues, especially the petition against Section 377 (that criminalises homosexuality) and the movement to end stigmatisation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, making it difficult to access support and speak about the gender-based violence and bullying.

“Since the matter is before the Supreme Court, the campaign makes more sense and we invite queers to share their experiences,” added Urmila.

Stories shared

A story shared by a member of the queer community talks about the sexual abuse by his cousins and his helplessness in informing his parents about it.

“For 11 years of my life, I put up with this abuse. Most people didn’t believe me when I shared my story with them. They thought I ‘enjoyed’ the abuse because I was gay. Or that this was the reason I became gay,” he said.

In another story, though the victim complained about incidents of abuses with his parents, he could not get help. “I was sexually abused by one of my relatives when I was only seven. I couldn’t speak to my parents because I didn’t know how to explain it. But sometimes I said what was happening to me and, in return, I would only get beatings. That’s it,” said another victim.

The campaign is on in Gaylaxy magazine till August end at https://howrevealing.com/BreakTheSilence.

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Platform for queer community to talk about abuse

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