Sexual assault survivors in India are coming forward as the #MeToo movement continues to spread internationally.
A number of high-profile women took to Twitter to accuse powerful men in India’s entertainment and journalism industries of sexual misconduct.
Bollywood actress Tanshree Dutta was amongst the first in the recent wave of women coming forward. Dutta accused actor Nana Patekar of inappropriately touching her in 2008. She received some backlash, while other women actors stood by her.
The Indian government received approximately 39,000 reports of rape in 2016. The #MeToo movement first emerged in India a month after it went viral in the U.S. In November 2017, law student Raya Sarkar also published a list of 50+ academics she called “sexual predators.”
This week, more women came forward accusing prominent men of sexual misconduct including comedians, movie directors, and authors.
Some men have already stepped down from their positions as a result of the accusations. The Network of Women in Media is now calling on news organizations and colleges to investigate allegations against men in media and bring justice for survivors.
Some activists say India’s rape crisis stems from patterns of misconduct. The issue was brought into the spotlight in 2012 when a woman was gang-raped and killed in Delhi, sparking nationwide protests for better protections for women.