Suzette Katrina Jordan, mother of two daughters, was gang-raped in a moving car in February 2012. Much expected from our comfortable habit of victim-blaming, She wasn’t spared. In fact, she was character assaulted and made an outcast out of nothing. yet, these events didn’t break her strength.
She is referred as Park Street Rape Survivor. Yes, not a victim, a ‘survivor’. She’d refused to live in anonymity and revealed her identity with gusto, so that she could encourage other survivors to speak out. At 40, She passed away in the month of march this year to meningoencephalitis (infection of brain).
Her case hearing is scheduled for tomorrow (10th December, 2015). It’s our time to support her posthumously because by standing for her means, we stand for the other survivors too, for their dignity, justice and right to live with respect
Harrish Iyer, an equal right activist, has shared an inspiring post, for our beloved Suzette, in his Facebook account, I couldn’t help but reproduce it in my blog.
Everyone , irrespective of whether one is man woman trans or intersex…is Suzette.
Everyone who has ever been denied the right to a life of dignity is Suzette.
Everyone who has been humiliated in court is Suzette.
Everyone who has been humiliated at work is Suzette.
Everyone who has been made an outcast by the society is Suzette.
Everyone who has been denied housing because of a history that they never wrote is Suzette.
Every single parent is Suzette.
Every single person who is fighting a battle for just basic dignity is Suzette.
Everyone who raises their voice against atrocities is Suzette.
Everyone who fights their battles headstrong is Suzette.
Every rape survivor who shuns the victim tag is Suzette.
Everyone who chooses to not term the whole world as a dreaded place despite the deadly crime she experienced is Suzette.
Everyone who can have the courage to narrate their rape, and laugh and cry at the same time, while narrating is Suzette.
Everyone who dares to speak up is Suzette.
Everyone who dares to say no is Suzette.
In short, each one of you who has anytime faced shaming and oppression, rape and humiliation is Suzette.
You are Suzette.
Suzette’s rape case verdict is tomorrow.
She is dead, but her mission to find justice is still burning strong.
When Suzette died, the family of the accused distributed sweets. They thought that they have won the case as the sole witness, the one who survived the rape, is dead. Luckily, Suzette had already completed her cross-examination. And was re-raped. She told me that was particularly blamed for the media attention she got. She told me that the court thought that media was influencing the case. I think so too, with no money with her, and the accused with pot full of money, she would have lost the battle if not for media attention. Imagine, being thrust with the underwear on a stick, the one you were wearing when you got raped. And not being able to speak about it, as you are told that the courtroom proceedings cannot go outside the courtroom. These laws are made to protect victims, but on the contrary, they are being used to subjugate them further. It was only after her death that I revealed what she wants rnt through.
I am thankful to the media. And I am left asking for more. Please share this update and this blog as much as you can. Please make an update yourself with Hashtag – #IAmSuzette we need to have this trending. We cannot let Suzette die from our memory ever. She is in every person who has ever been humiliated. Suzette is everyone’s fight song. Tomorrow, the case could tilt on either side. Even if it is in favour of Suzette the accused will apply in higher courts. It is a long battle and every victory counts.
Need you to give Suzette a shout. Use Hashtag #IAmSuzette
I will put up a good fight in her memory. And I urge you to do so as well.
I still have a lot of fight left in me.
Harish Iyer (aka Harrish Iyer aka Aham aka @hiyer) is an icon for the common people. An Equal Rights Activist, he is best known for his quirky campaigns for the rights of Homosexuals, Women, Children and Animals. His life and experiences have been the subject of a book and two movies.