Kolkata: After struggling for more than a year to get a job, the Park Street rape survivor has stood up against her circumstances and is now empowering survivors like her through a helpline.
"I have this mission of empowering rape victims like me. With this job, I embark on a new journey," she said, adding that the work is also helping her heal the past wounds.
Besides handling the pain and the stigma after the incident in 2012, it was getting difficult for the 37-year-old single mother Anglo-Indian to raise her two children without a job.
"I found her and the entire family totally distressed both mentally and financially. So I offered her a job in the helpline," activist Santasree Chaudhuri said. Founded by her, the helpline 'Survivors for Victims of Social Injustice', helps women in distress, especially victims of sexual and domestic violence.
"With the job a very big hurdle in my life is crossed. Given my own experiences I can very well relate with women who have been harassed sexually or physically," the rape victim told reporters.
She said sharing her own traumatic experience with other victims was a therapeutic experience. "By discussing our problems together we are trying to break the stigma. When we get ostracised by society it adds to our trauma. We are trying to address that problem with the helpline," said the woman.
Happy with her new job, the survivor is now determined to make a new career that of a woman activist. Besides discussing the problems of the victims, she is also helping in the preparation of a booklet on safety for women at night.
It discusses safety measures women should take while travelling at night and also guides them in dealing with the police and the legal system.
The woman was raped at gunpoint in a car in the early hours of February 6, 2012, by five young men who picked her up from Park Street area. The police in its charge sheet named five persons, of which three are behind bars. Two others, including prime accused Kader Khan, are yet to be arrested.