The Stream

Indian comic features rape survivor as hero

Project aims to highlight stigma faced by victims of sexual assault.

A new comic book addresses the issue of sexual violence in India through the story of a rape survivor named Priya. Creator Ran Devineni says he was inspired to start the project, titled Priya’s Shakti (Hindi for “Priya’s Power”), after witnessing the reactions to a 2012 gang rape case in New Delhi that made international headlines.

In the comic, a woman named Priya is helped by the Hindu Goddess Parvati after being sexually assaulted. The Goddess then inspires Priya to challenge the cultural stigmas faced by many rape victims. The comic also features real stories of Indian women who have experienced sexual assault.

On Monday, the creators made the comic available as a free download on their website. They also commissioned street artists to paint murals around Mumbai, which can be scanned with smart phones to unlock special animations from the comic.