#MeToo in Kerala Exposes Alleged Sexual Harassment by Makeup Artist Anez Anzare
Anez Anzare is a sought after name in the fashion industry with his brand in all the major towns across Kerala.
In the last two weeks, Kerala has been witnessing a #MeToo wave with several women accusing Sujeesh PS, a Kochi-based tattoo artist of sexual harassment and rape from 2018 to 2022. The outrage opened a can of worms with many others accusing makeup artist Anez Anzare of sexual harassment.
Three women sent complaints against him to the Kochi Commissioner of Police, Nagaraju, on Thursday, 10 March.
Kuriakose V U, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kochi told The Quint, “We have received complaints against Anez Anzare but since they have not been signed, we have asked the women to respond with detailed complaints and signatures. We will take action as soon as we file the First Information Reports.”
Sources confirmed that FIRs will be filed on 12 March. The Quint tried reaching Anzare for a comment but didn't receive a response.
Anez Anzare, with nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram, is a sought after name in the fashion industry with his brand in all the major towns across Kerala. He is a prominent bridal artist and is also a renowned celebrity make-up artist. Malayalam actors, Navya Nair, Rima Kallingal, Augustina Aju, Dileep have been his clients in the past.
However, since 1 March, there have been several allegations that Anzare had allegedly touched women inappropriately while draping the saree, applying makeup or fixing the hairstyle.
“He had started off with the face make up as usual and later he moved to the neck and the next thing I know, he is moving his hands into my blouse and touching boobs. He was adjusting my bra. So I told him I don’t need make up there and he laughed,” read a post online.
Arshootti, who has been collating the accounts of women and helping them get legal aid said that at least 10 women have come forward with allegations against Anzare.
Interestingly, Priya Mauldin from Kochi has shared a series of makeup artists with the caption ‘artists you could instead work with’ under the header ‘Kochi Safe MUAs.’
Several influencers have taken to social media to raise awareness on the issue and also urged women to speak up, even if the harassment dated back to a few years.
A Collective Effort to Map Predatory Patterns Among Abusers
The survivors of the two cases have started an Instagram page called “InSolidarity2022”, where others can come forward to share testimonies and even seek legal advice.
“We want women to know that they can just click on a Google docs link and share their trauma and seek help. We are a few women, who have also been victimised by misogyny. We assure confidentiality and want this #MeToo movement to grow until all such abusers are caught,” Arshooti told The Quint.
The Google Doc asks for details including the incident of assault, details of the perpetrator, what the survivor wants to do about the incident, any other details like caste, religion that are essential to be considered in the case.
“In response to growing misogyny and instances of sexual abuse, few concerned women* have come together to address this issue. We believe that warning each other of predators is only a first step and not the* finality. We are inviting you to share your experiences here in this form so that we can begin processing towards actionable change,” read the document.
In the past three days, they have received over 80 testimonies from women against abusers in art, fashion and film industries, educational institutions, hospitals, fitness centres, police, driving schools and within families. The women's collective also want to map predatorily patterns so that abusers can be caught at the earliest and spaces can be made more safe for women.
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