Tired of hiding, Park Street 'rape victim' reveals identity, urges women to speak up

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Nearly 15 months after she was allegedly raped by five men after she stepped out of a city hotel and accepted a lift in their car, the 38-year-old woman known as the Park Street rape victim has decided to make her identity public.

"I have been a rape victim, a rape survivor. Why should I be ashamed and hide my face? The criminals who raped me should hide their face in shame. I am tired of being referred to as the Park Street rape victim," the woman said on Wednesday, a day after she came out in the open and participated in a protest march against the rape and murder of a college student in Kamduni village this month.

The woman surprised many when she joined the rally in the heart of Kolkata and said she wanted to take to the streets to protest against any atrocities on women.

"I have survived a rape, I wanted to register my protest against rape," she said on Tuesday as she took part in the demonstration called by women's organisations in Kolkata.

Reached at her home on Wednesday, she said: "My kids are very happy but my mother is a bit sceptical, especially after the crank calls I received."

The woman said she wanted to be an inspiration to others who let criminals get way with such crimes out of fear. "If girls don't speak up and complain, this menace will only keep on growing," she said, adding that she would help any woman victim of violence in all ways she could.

"I will never give in and will fight the legal battle to the finish, even if I lose it," she said, referring to the judicial proceedings in her case.

Legal experts said while the media is barred from identifying rape victims, the victims themselves are not.

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