"I live in this country alternating between hope and fear.
Hope that nothing terrible will happen and fear that maybe, one day, I will be the unlucky one. Face blurred, splashed across newspaper headlines. My life mired in a never-ending legal struggle to make sure my assailant is behind bars.
That incident on the night of December 16th, 2012 in South Delhi somehow changed us all, indelibly. India went from a nation of forgotten incidents of sexual violence to a nation that was ashamed of its men. Worse, we became a nation that was scared of its men. As I lived and worked in Delhi in 2013, less than 6 months after the brutal gang-rape, I remember pasting a rapist sneer on every male face that I saw -walking on the streets, standing in the metro, waiting at the bus stop..."
The above experience was penned by one of us, in the aftermath of the gang-rape in Delhi in December, 2012.
Who are we?
We are a group of Indians, who have worked together to create www.howrevealing.com in the hope that it will be a safe space to deal with these feelings. Anyone can post their stories here and we hope that writing about them will legitimize these feelings and people know they are not alone.
Why have we started this?
How Revealing is our attempt at helping people deal with this cauldron of feelings - of fear, guilt, shame, anger, trauma, depression, apathy etc... Every feeling is legitimate and those who have experienced sexual assault have a variety of ways of dealing with it. But often, at least in India, there is no outlet for these feelings. People bottle it up and keep them in a cupboard neatly locked up, hoping never to open it again. We are building a 'Support' page with links to organisations and initiatives that can offer support and assistance to people if they so wish to seek it.
The website is also envisioned to function as a repository and fill the information vacuum with respect to incidents of sexual violence and sexism in India. This is a long-term effort and we are here for the long-haul. In time and with enough stories, we hope to affect policy changes in India.
Who can post?
You can be of any gender identity and you need not be someone who has directly experienced it. You could be, for instance, someone who sees men in the bus groping women but do not know what to do or how to respond. Often, passersby and loved ones are unsure of how to respond and are dealing with their own feelings of guilt, shame and shock. You do not need to be Indian to post here – the website it to document experiences that take place in India.
Why 'How Revealing'?
The idea behind the name How Revealing comes from the kind of reactions that accompany an incident. For instance, after an incident of molestation outside a bar, a common reaction is "Did you see how revealing her top was? No wonder she was molested!" We want to do our bit to change this normalization of and need for people to shame and apportion blame on the person experiencing such incidents.
If you wish to get in touch with us to offer your support, to discuss potential partnerships, for media enquiries or to have your services/organisations added to our Support page, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Please note that if you are using the stories or excerpts of the stories published on the website, please let us know and please do not use and re-publish names of the submitters, even if it is there on their story.