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NGOs ask women to ‘erase the shame’
ST Correspondent | Friday, 25 November 2016 AT 09:43 PM IST
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PUNE: Around 20 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working on women's issues have come together urging women to speak up against cases of sexual violence.

To curb these cases, the NGOs have jointly announced a campaign  'Erase the Shame - Bindhast Bol' at a press conference on  Friday.

As part of the campaign, NGOs have launched a toll-free number to help women come forward and speak up against sexual abuse.

Veteran writer, editor and feminist Vidya Bal, co-founder of Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal (MASUM) Manisha Gupte and Commissioner of Police Rashmi Shukla were present for the inaugural session of the campaign.

The campaign will be carried out for the next 15 days starting from November 25 and will end with a huge rally on December 10, which is celebrated as 'International Human Rights Day'.

While speaking at this programme, CP Shukla remarked, “It is necessary to teach our boys to respect women."

She added that they must ensure girls have the courage to stand up against any kind of violence. “Parents must trust their daughters and become their strongest support system,” said Shukla.

Bal, while sharing the concept behind naming the campaign as 'Bindhast Bol', added that it is an apt call for anyone who experiences sexual harassment to speak out without fear or shame because it is the perpetrator who is at fault, not the woman or child.

Throughout the 16-day campaign, various activities are being planned such as film screenings, flash mobs and street plays to create awareness about women's rights. The organisations are also urging police to respond positively and sensitively when survivors of sexual violence approach them.

The NGOs have announced that if any woman who comes across or herself faces any form of sexual harassment they can immediately give a missed call on 9223300075 or share their story by calling  18002000058 which is the toll-free helpline.

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