She was like any other normal girl. She loved spending time with her family. But Tara could never imagine the terrible fate that awaited her. Her parents always felt that there was something different about her. Soon enough, they figured out what it was. Tara was a lesbian. This was absolutely unthinkable to her family and so they decided to do something about it. Her cousin was invited over. Tara was excited to see him. They had been close for many years now, playing together outside her house when they were children to telling each other all their secrets. However, none of that happened this time. This time, her cousin did something brutal to her on the orders of her family. He raped her. On the orders of their family. This was her punishment for being lesbian and they thought she should be “straightened” out.
Tara’s story is an example of the drastic consequences homosexuals in India are facing for their sexual orientation. In Bangalore, there have been two traumatizing instances of what is known as corrective rape. A gay teenager was forced to have sex with his mother to “cure” him of homosexuality. Tara’s story is the second. It is hard to say which is more shocking: the fact that families believe raping their child will change their sexual orientation or the fact that the families themselves are the arrangers and perpetrators of this heinous crime. In the last five years, there have been approximately fifteen cases of corrective rape reported in the state of Telangana. Many more cases go unreported. Yet, not many people are familiar with the term “corrective rape.”
Corrective rape is a hate crime against members of the LGBT community, in which family members of the homosexual individual arrange for a family member, usually a cousin, to assault the individual in order to discipline them. In many cases, the victims are forced to marry the cousin who has raped them. As it is rarely reported, due to the involvement of family members, there are hardly any statistics available.
Spurred by the two instances of corrective rape in Bangalore, filmmaker Deepthi Tadanki has embarked on a journey to create awareness regarding this issue and stop it. Her film is the story of three friends and how their lives take a turn for the worse when one of the girls’ family suspects her to be involved with her friend and take matters into their own hands. Based on the instances of corrective rape in Bangalore, Deepthi Tadanki’s film “Satyavati” is forty percent complete. All that’s left is the rest of production and post-production.
“When a stranger assaults you, you go to your family. But when your family attacks you, who do you go to?” Deepthi wonders. “Corrective rape victims rarely report the crime and on top of that, members of the LGBTQ community barely have any rights in India. In most cases, the victims would get punished for being lesbian or gay rather than the family for perpetrating this kind of violence.”
Deepthi Needs Your Help
Deepthi hopes that her movie will reach the global audience through international film festivals and spark awareness about this crime across the world. Her goal is to prevent this inhumane crime from continuing and revolutionizing how the current generation perceives love and sexuality. In order to do that, she requires your support. Every little step makes a difference.Help her tell the untold stories of many youth today and join in the fight against corrective rape.