Viviana Mall’s film #MeraFarzHai 2.0 urges people to speak up against domestic violence 

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As the nation adopted unprecedented lockdown measures during the pandemic and followed the stay-at-home directives for safety, many women experiencing violence found themselves trapped with their abusers, worsening the impact of their abuse. Domestic violence cases saw a dramatic rise in the past year.

The violence continues unabated and a substantial number of cases are going unreported either to safeguard family’s reputation or due to fear of shame to identify oneself as a victim. To curb the menace of domestic violence and encourage people to take responsibility by reporting such incidents, the second edition of #MeraFarzHai was launched by Viviana Mall in partnership with Thane Police, ahead of International Women’s Day.

Although #MeraFarzHai began as a campaign in 2020 to safeguard women against those who violate their rights and space, the DNA of the campaign is to equip each one and all with the armour one needs, to carry out their Farz, and push them to take the very first step of reporting any incidents of violence against women.

As part of the campaign, a short film conceptualised by Viviana Mall and supported by Thane police will be showcased across 150 screens in the Mumbai Metropolitan region on the occasion of women’s day. The film urges people to not be mute spectators and call on them to think of it as their Farz (responsibility) to speak up against domestic violence.

The core idea of the video is that one voice against domestic violence can change someone’s life, so don’t hold back, and #AwaazUthao against the act of abuse to create a safer space for women all around.

The film has been released on YouTube and amplified on other social media platforms to ensure it reaches the right target audience, calling more people to join the movement against domestic violence.

The association with Thane Police aims to draw attention and make victims and people aware of the helpline number 103  available for women’s safety, thereby encouraging individuals to take action for every cause possible.

Further, to lend voice to the victims of domestic violence and call for national action to ensure a safe environment, Viviana Mall together with NatConnect Foundation has created

an online petition seeking community support that victims desperately need. The petition addressed to the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development, makes an appeal for policy changes to protect whistleblowers who come forward to report such incidents, create safe shelter homes for victims and their children and the need to create counselling centres for couples and family members. The petition has been supported by various activists, NGOs and celebrities.

Rima Kirtikar - Chief Marketing Officer - Viviana MallRima Kirtikar, Chief Marketing Officer, Viviana Mall, said, “Over the years, our social initiatives have focused on the welfare of women because we firmly believe that any social, political and economic development we seek centers around empowering women.

“Through our unique property ‘ExtraordiNAARI’ we have launched some ground-breaking campaigns like Stop Acid Sale, Women on Wheelchairs, #MeraFarzHai, that have been lauded, helped provoke change and resonated with women from all walks of life.

“Domestic violence has been a serious issue faced by women in India and the recent figures suggesting the pandemic has worsened it further highlights the need that it is our responsibility as a society to find a solution together. Violence faced by women can affect every aspect of their lives, from their mental health, social life, financial security, relationship with their children and work life. Many women continue to live with the perpetrator, mostly their partners to safeguard the reputation, due to fear of shame or pressure from family.

“Through the campaign and support from Thane Police, we have created a film that will be rolled across 150 screens urging people to not ignore the woes of victims they may know in their vicinity, and report such incidents on the emergency help line number 103.

“The severity of domestic violence impacting the mental and physical health of women also stresses the need for policy changes concerning safety of the complainant, counselling measures to alleviate victim’s trauma and temporary protection and shelter homes for women. An online petition has been launched requesting for measures to create a safe environment for the victims of domestic violence,” Kirtikar said.

Launched in 2015, Viviana Mall through its flagship campaign – ‘ExtraordiNAARI’ aims to take up various women centric social causes and aims for the betterment of women in society by creating awareness and a long-lasting impact on society.

In 2018 Viviana Mall launched #STOPACIDSALE campaign where they highlighted unheard and untold stories of acid attack survivors in India. The entire concept was taken a notch ahead, where the acid attack survivors walked the ramped at a leading Fashion Week.

Viviana Mall was lauded for its innovative and socially relevant campaign against the sale of Acid aimed at prevention of an ever prevalent social malaise of scarring caused by Acid Attacks at the ICSC Gold Asia Pacific Shopping center awards 2018, followed by ICSC VIVA Best of Best  Award at Las Vegas in May 2019 for the same initiative.

In 2019, the Mall applauded Women on Wheelchair through their campaign #RespectWomenOnWheelchair. This campaign was in association with the NINA foundation, which aimed to portray women who have broken through the shackles of disability and achieved success in their respective fields despite facing challenges. Through ExtraordiNAARI Viviana Mall aims to facilitate changes in the society in the coming years.

In 2020, MeraFarzHai, (it is my responsibility), was launched that focused on gender sensitisation and creating awareness among the people to stand against sexual harassment faced by women, especially in public places. To reach a larger audience, a video was created and released across 150 cinema halls in the MMR. The campaign received over 18 million views across different social media platforms.

The campaign was recognised in India and abroad that led to similar campaigns being launched by Ontarion government and L’Oreal Paris. Inspired by Viviana Mall’s initiative, Ontarion government launched #WhoWillYouHelp in September 2020 followed by #StandUpAgainstStreetHarassment by L’Oreal Paris, in November 2020.The campaign film was also reposted by Telangana State Police on their social media handles.

Petition link: Here