Sunday, 27 September 2009

Protest today 1pm march from LSE to the Indian High Commission

Protest TODAY 1pm LSE march to Indian High Commission- Justice for sexual assault victim

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We're holding a demonstration in support of Kaya Eldridge an LSE graduate who was sexually assaulted whilst on an internship in India; and subsequently humiliated by the courts.

We will meet at the LSE at 1.00pm outside the tuns (the LSE SU bar on Houghton street) and march down to the Indian high commission.

Please come along even if its just for 10mins. It's really important that we put pressure on the Indian government to ensure that when Kaya goes back to court on wednesday she is treated fairly.

This is not simply a demonstration for Kaya Eldridge it is also an important protest to highlight a problem faced by thousands of women across the world.


The below is from an article in the Independent:

'....Ms Eldridge, from south London, came to India at the end of July for a three-month internship with Mahila Swaraj Abhiyan, an NGO in the western state where she is working on a project designed to help empower women. She says she was assaulted by a plumber employed by the organisation who had been called to repair her shower when she was alone in her apartment.

After making a complaint to the police, a case was heard earlier this week where charges of molestation were put against the plumber. Ms Eldridge said the government appointed her a lawyer but no translator. She said she considered the questioning she underwent by defence lawyer Sanjay Prajapati to have been a “second assault”.

“People have some sort of idea that sexual assaults only happen to certain sort of women; it can happen to anyone, regardless of who you are or how many sexual partners you’ve had,” she continued. “To question my character in court was not only entirely irrelevant but totally humiliating.”......'


In the fight to bring Kaya justice we must seek to highlight the rights of Indian women; linking this case to social movements such as the Pink Chaddi campaign in India. We must see this as an opportunity for international feminist solidarity uniting with wider struggles across the globe, which demand the recognition that no woman is to blame for sexual assault and harassment; challenging the view that alcohol, promiscuity, and provocative clothing legitimise rape. This is a view promoted not only by the Indian legal system, but by courts in the UK, the US and by our very community. According to a London Student survey, 1/3 students still think a woman is to blame for rape if she has been drinking.

Rape is rape, no means no, and victims must be brought justice and support rather than receiving the criminalisation and humiliation that Kaya has experienced. The true criminals, the perpetrators of rape must be prosecuted, and condemned in every society. We must see this case as a warning and challenge the systematic subordination of women, control of female sexuality and objectification of the female body, that enshrines, normalises and normalises violence against women as acceptable social interaction.

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