Are law-enforcing agencies hostile to victims of sexual harassment? With a poignant narration, Bhanwari Devi, Rajasthan-based women’s rights crusader, came out with stunning revelations about the trauma she had to bear in her fight for protecting women’s integrity.

At the inauguration of a women’s empowerment workshop organised by the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation and the Centre for Management Development here on Friday, the gang rape victim spoke at length about the “indifference” of investigating agencies to the trauma of sexual harassment victims.

Ms. Devi explained the reluctance of the CBI to prepare a charge sheet in the gang rape case that rocked the country. But for pressure from women’s groups, her case would not have been taken up at all, she alleged. While a law to prevent sexual harassment of women at workplace had been enacted, implementing it was another task. The only solution was for women to break their silence.Ms Devi said she was gang raped and her husband severely beaten up for raising their voice against child marriage in their village.

She charged the police with not carrying out a fair probe and the judiciary for not delivering deserved justice to her. Her case was instrumental in formulating the historic Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act 2013.

(With inputs from PTI)

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