Swasika's comment dismissing abuse in film industry draws flak


Actress Swasika's comments on the Women in Cinema Collective and the safety of women within the film industry are drawing flak on social media. In an interview with an online channel, the actress stated that a victim should approach the police or a Women's Commission instead of going to an organisation like the WCC, if she has to register a complaint.

“If you had a bad experience, why would you want to approach WCC? You can go to a police station or the Women’s Commission,” she asks in the interview. She also adds that one can't guarantee they will get immediate justice if they approach the WCC or any other organisation. “I don't think you need an organisation to do that,” she said.

Netizens came down heavily on the actress' comment that “In this industry, no one is forcing you to sleep with anyone. That’s how safe it is. If we say 'no', no one will force you to do anything against your will,” the actress had said.

She further added, “ A room you locked cannot be opened without you yourself unlocking it. If someone comes in the middle of the night and knocks at your door, why should you even open it? Why should you agree to a drink and a chat (at that hour)?” she quipped.

Many said the actress was contradicting herself by making such a statement. “The actress first said the industry is safe. She then adds there is no need to open when someone knocks at the door in the middle of the night. She is contradicting herself,” one user wrote.

Others accused the actress of speaking from a privileged space. “Do people rape by asking your permission? They just force themselves on you,” said another user.

Surprisingly, many of those who are criticizing the actress for her comments are men. A user who goes by the Instagram handle bhavanikunjulakshmi criticised the actress heavily for her comments. “You didn't invite violence. You experienced abuse not because you didn't say 'no' nor because you said it too delicately. You're not responsible for the actions of your abusers nor do you ever have to explain yourself. Swasika is silencing many survivors by claiming that survivors could have stopped violence against them. Kerala has seen 2,032 reported cases of rape...etc. How many women we know haven't reported (their experiences) because they fear that people like Swasika will blame them,” she wrote on her Instagram handle.

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