Bengaluru

Driving home the message on ‘bystander intervention’

The firm has created short videos that not only introduce the uncomfortable subject of street sexual harassment, but also offer solutions on how to deal with it.  

Two men catcall and pass lewd comments on a woman on a deserted street. Around the same time, another man approaches the two men, asking for directions. The woman uses this to her advantage and makes a quick escape.

This is among the set of eight short videos that not only introduce the uncomfortable subject of street sexual harassment, but also offer solutions on how to deal with it. These videos have won the global AVA Digital Award this year in two categories: campaign and social media videos.

Created by Curley Street, a city-based film production house, the videos teach about bystander intervention (BI), a subject relatively new to India.

Curley Media, which was started by film-maker Pavitra Chalam in 2012, creates web content on social issues apart from ad films. The team started a digital BI campaign called #Howwillwerespond last year on women’s safety. “BI is a violence prevention strategy that equips the community with information on how to help a person in distress. We wanted to raise awareness about it and help people use the BI techniques in real life,” said Akshay Shankar, CEO, Curley Street, which has made over 200 films on fashion, technology, education and health.

Stating that the campaign is inspired by personal experiences that most women endure, Ms. Chalam said: “As a child, I was taught to be watchful; as an athlete I was always wary of what attention I was drawing while out for a run. As a film-maker, I was able to finally speak through this campaign — for every woman who has encountered violence in any form and for every adult who can be an active bystander. This award is important because it marks the acceptance of a society that’s ready to listen and respond.”

The videos are based on the three D’s of BI – direct, distract and delegate. “We don’t promote direct intervention. The idea is to offer bystanders indirect and safer ways to help.

The video dealing with distract method teaches how to diffuse the situation by changing the topic and the delegate method is about group action,” said Mr. Shankar, adding that they included two additional methods, delay and document, in cases where intervention is not possible.

The team roped in clinical psychologist Divya Kannan, trained in BI, to oversee the content. The videos are available on YouTube. Curley Street’s next campaign will be on ageing and generation gap.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 8:28:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/driving-home-the-message-on-bystander-intervention/article22735422.ece

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