The survivor of the Chennai hospital molestation case on her experiences with the media

First, do no harm: a place of healing became a site of trauma for ‘Anitha’. Image is representative. Photo: Mike LaCon/Flickr (CC by SA 2.0)

With inputs from Spurthi Venkatesh

On August 18 this year, 23-year-old Anitha (name changed) was admitted to the High Dependency Unit (HDU) of Vijaya Hospital in Chennai with high fever. What followed, she says, seemed almost unthinkable. As she lay weakened and drowsy in her cot at 2.30 am, a duty doctor arrived to examine her. According to a legal notice issued to the hospital, the doctor’s examination turned into a violation of her body. …

Nisha Narayanan, content marketing specialist, Bangalore

Photo courtesy: Nisha Narayanan

I am a Keralite but I’ve lived all over India, as well as in the USA and Japan. I have been a news junkie all my life, but I’ve started noticing more stories on sexual violence relatively recently, possibly after the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case.

One thing I noticed in India was that many publications still use the word ‘victim’ rather than ‘survivor’. That’s one thing that struck me after reading stuff in the US. The Hindu seems to have changed its policy though. Also, ‘rape’ is used more often than ‘sexual assault’, unlike the US.

In the USA…

Father Chackochan Kalapura, retired psychology professor, Kerala

I was following the case of Bishop Franco. It came on TV but when the Sabarimala issue came up, media people didn’t give much importance to that case. It’s been about two months now. There was news when he was arrested and news when he got bail. After that, there wasn’t much news.

When I saw the first account, we didn’t know what was the truth. We were not sure. At present too, we are not sure. The police were investigating the case, but the media was giving too much coverage. The media and political parties gave their support for…

Korah Abraham, a journalist with The News Minute, shares why taking a stand was crucial while reporting on the Kerala nun case

Korah Abraham believes there’s a place for anger in news reports. Photo Credit: Facebook

In June 2018, a 46-year-old nun complained to the police in Kottayam, Kerala, that Franco Mulakkal, the bishop of the powerful Jalandhar diocese had raped her 13 times, between 2014 and 2016. But it wasn’t until five nuns banded together and protested for her cause in Kochi that the national media truly took notice, public pressure built up, and Mulakkal was arrested on 21 September, nearly three months after the complaint first reached the police. No longer the Jalandhar bishop, he is currently awaiting trial and is out on bail.

What has come to be known as the ‘Kerala nun…

Sindhu Mansukhani, senior subeditor, Mumbai

Photo: Sindhu Mansukhani

Rape is one of the most important beats in journalism. As a crime that has existed in society since time immemorial, and sexual violence being a form of conflict between the sexes, it affects each and every one of us. Its prevalence and the threat it poses makes it relevant for every reader.

The objective of covering rape is to make the reader aware that this kind of violence exists in our society, and that people must remain informed, protect themselves and their families, and take steps for its prevention.

Most rapes are committed by someone known to the victim

The problem of gender discrimination runs deep, and extends to how we make and consume ‘entertainment’

The decision to reinstate Dileep, a Kerala film star who has been accused of orchestrating the sexual assault of a woman actor, in the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) has sparked a fierce debate

As far as falls from grace go, this one has been somewhat cushioned. Dileep, one of the reigning stars of the Malayalam film industry, is currently awaiting trial for his alleged role as the mastermind of the February 2017 abduction and rape of a prominent woman actor. When Dileep was arrested in July 2017 and the charges against him became public knowledge, he was widely condemned by the film fraternity and expelled from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA).

A year or so down the line, though, something seems to have changed.

Dileep was reinstated into the AMMA (with…

Sudha Chandrasekar, homemaker, Chennai

Photo courtesy: Sudha Chandrasekar

I read the newspaper, see a little TV, and once in a while resort to social media for news — all in English. I was not aware the Nirbhaya convicts had appealed for a review of their death penalty but obviously, I think they need to be hanged.

When Nirbhaya happened in 2012, the ordeal that the victim went through was reported very well and correctly. Definitely we all think that what she went through should happen to no girl.

A Times of India video recently showed a woman being dragged into a forest and being molested. The faces of…

First, the assault by assailants. Then, the assault by the media

Journalistic attitudes towards individual rights must change. Image is representative. Photo: Iz zy on Unsplash

Iwork as a YouTube content creator for a popular national news channel. As a journalist entrusted with uploading news videos online, it is my job to watch every item that I put up, double-check its veracity, and write a headline that best captures it. And with every item, I have choices to make.

When a report of a man being murdered because he married a woman from another caste comes up, I can term it a hate crime. …

A national newspaper editor, on how journalists report rape

Newspaper editors have to account for many factors before deciding what goes on the front page. Image is representative. Photo: Sayantan Kundu from Pexels

Some rape cases make the front page. Others don’t. Why? We asked the editor of a prominent national newspaper to walk us through the process of reporting incidents of rape.

The first source of information for us is the police. Crime reporters visit the office of the Commissioner of Police, or keep themselves updated by telephone. The record of calls to the police emergency number at the Commissioner’s Office is made available and from this resource, the reporter can investigate further. Reporters also develop their own sources in various police jurisdictions.

One evening, Swetha* went to a party at a friend’s home. She hit it off with one of the male guests and spent a considerable amount of time with him. Later that night, when she threw up in the stairwell, he helped her clean up.

Hours later, she fell asleep in the bedroom, while her friends danced in the living room. Her new friend told the others that he would “check up on her.” Closing the door to the room, he bolted it from the inside. Minutes later, he shook her awake and persuaded her to have sex with him.

Tasmin Kurien

YouTube Content Creator | Journalist | Singer-Songwriter | Social Worker

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