Kolkata: American gender activist and lawyer Vivian Huelgo on Wednesday drew attention to similar issues of gender bias in India and the US, saying that female victims of sexual violence face hostile questions from law enforcers in the US.
“If my husband walks in and says that ‘my car has been stolen’, they will look for the person who stole the car… they will look for the car.”
“If I walk into a police station and say I was sexually assaulted, they may ask me what I was wearing, whether I was drinking, whether I had sex with the person before,” Huelgo told the media here, adding she was informed about the existing gender bias and “negative experiences” of victims in India.
Huelgo is chief counsel to the Task Force on Human Trafficking and Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence of the American Bar Association.
She was speaking at a round-table discussion at the American Centre here.
She said: “The most difficult change to implement is to change mindsets and to raise awareness. Changing gender bias is a lot harder than drafting and passing legislations.”
Enlightening the media about challenges of cyber crimes against women and labour trafficking in the US, she stressed on co-ordinated services as being “crucial” to address the issues.
“I definitely think that the idea of co-ordinated services is a knowledge point we (India and US) should share,” she said.

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