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Prasoon Joshi pens poem in support of initiative against domestic abuse of women

The initiative, titled Act Against Abuse, features actresses Taapsee Pannu, Shabana Azmi, Sonakshi Sinha, Radhika Apte and Aditi Rao Hydari lending their voice to the poem.

Our Correspondent

Prasoon Joshi has penned an emotional poem in support of Femina magazine's initiative Act Against Abuse.

The initiative against domestic abuse of women sees Taapsee Pannu, Shabana Azmi, Sonakshi Sinha, Radhika Apte and Aditi Rao Hydari reciting Joshi's poem in the video.

The video sees the actresses cover their eyes, ears or mouth like the three wise monkeys that embody the proverb 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil'. At the end, they appeal to people to act against abuse.


Domestic violence is real. In India, one-third of women experience domestic violence and the pandemic has seen a drastic rise in cases. 86% of women in India who were subjected to domestic violence never sought help. 77% kept quiet about it. It’s time to speak up and break the silence against domestic violence. It’s time to #ActAgainstAbuse - an initiative by Femina in association with @unwomen and @timesnetwork. Report domestic violence when you see it or hear it – Call 181 or WhatsApp 7217735372 To read more about Femina's #ActAgainstAbuse initiative, tap the link in bio. . . . @azmishabana18 @radhikaofficial @aslisona @taapsee @aditiraohydari Special thanks to Prasoon Joshi for penning this powerful poem. #ActAgainstAbuse #FeminaIndia

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"Unfortunately, the evil of domestic violence saw an upward spike through the pandemic with families confined at home," said Joshi. "And what was our response as a society? It’s heartbreaking to say, but in most cases [it was] apathy. The apathy that leads us to ignore it, pretend it does not exist, condone it, and sometimes even justify it. And makes us, society at large, as much a party to the crime as the perpetrator."

Pannu, who was seen on the big screen earlier this year in Anubhav Sinha's Thappad (2020), a hard-hitting  drama about domestic abuse, felt the poem was almost like an extension of what they had wanted to convey through the film.

"I feel there is no space for disrespect in a relationship of equals," said Pannu. "I’m glad Femina reached out to me for this. I feel this particular topic is a taboo not because anyone feels it’s wrong to stop domestic violence but because everyone feels embarrassed to confess it or accept that it has happened with them when the truth is a majority of our households have seen such violence in different degrees regardless of the social strata of the family."

Sonakshi Sinha, who has previously voiced her opinion against social media trolling, felt that domestic violence against women has increased worldwide during the pandemic. "We collectively need to encourage women to find the courage to speak up and report any kind of abuse that they are facing," she said. "This needs more attention to bring out the much-needed change in society which can only happen when we don't normalize abuse. We must all play a role in breaking this silence."

Veteran actress Shabana Azmi, who is known for voicing her opinion on various social issues, said, “Violence against women has the tacit approval of society the world over. For far too long we have done not enough, for far too long we have tried to escape responsibility by saying it is a private matter, for far too long we have blamed the victim and said she must have done something to deserve it. It's time to say NO MORE.”

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Indian cinema