Radio City’s RJ Ginnie is Talking Stalking With The Quint
Radio City has partnered with The Quint on our Talking Stalking campaign. Award-winning RJ Ginnie has been talking about the menace of stalking on her daily show, and is encouraging survivors to call in and talk about their experience.
The response has been overwhelming, with callers contacting her with their heartbreaking, and often disturbing, accounts of what they’ve had to go through. Some have talked about being stalked as children, and being unable to talk to their parents about it, or if they did, then being told that it was their fault. Others have spoken of how difficult it was to get anyone to take their problems seriously, with stalking normalised to the extent that it is considered harmless.
Through her show, she provides them with support, and a platform where they can finally express themselves.
The Quint Goes on Air With Ginnie
Ginnie has also spread the word about the initiative spearheaded by The Quint to make stalking a non-bailable offence. You can also support the initiative by signing the petition on Change.org.
In late December, The Quint’s Legal Correspondent, Vakasha Sachdev, went on air with Ginnie to discuss why we think stalking should be non-bailable, and address concerns raised by listeners whether this could lead to a misuse of the law.
They discussed how making the offence non-bailable doesn’t mean bail can never be granted – only that it will require scrutiny by a judge whether the accused poses a threat to the victim. This is a significant issue in stalking cases, where the stalkers are often already obsessed with the victims, and are likely to commit further crimes against them, including rape, murder and acid attacks.
In response to the questions of potential misuse, it was pointed out that not only did the statistics show this was not much of a concern, but also that the proposal to change the law also recommends amending the definition of stalking to build in additional safeguards. And of course, the IPC already makes filing false cases a criminal offence, so there are options for someone who has been falsely accused.
What is Talking Stalking?
The Quint has been running a campaign called Talking Stalking for the last few months, encouraging survivors of stalking to come forward and tell their stories. Over the course of the campaign, the sheer volume of replies made us think about making the campaign more than just another online forum – though we do of course, recognise the importance of giving survivors a platform to speak out.
We drafted a detailed proposal with senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal, arguing why the CrPC should be amended to change the designation of stalking to a non-bailable offence. This change of designation should help ensure stalking is taken more seriously and that stalkers are subjected to judicial scrutiny before being allowed out on bail, to minimise the risk of further attacks on survivors.
Dr Shashi Tharoor agreed to work with us on this, and we drafted a Private Member’s Bill with his team, which has been submitted to the Parliament. In addition to stalking, the Bill also proposes amending the designation of sections 354A (unwanted sexual contact) and 354C (voyeurism) to make them as non-bailable offences as well. It also includes amendments to the definition of stalking in section 354D of the IPC to make it gender-neutral and include the safeguards proposed by the Verma Committee.
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