Priya Ramani Says Her Victory Will Encourage More Women To Speak Up. We Hope So Too!
Back in 2017, the #MeToo movement gained momentum on social media after American actress Alyssa Milano spoke up about her story of sexual assault by film mogul Harvey Weinstein. The entire world spun on its axis as women came together to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault. Since then, almost every #MeToo conviction has proven to be a milestone for the entire movement that has now spread across the world. Be it the conviction of Harvey Weinstein himself, or the acquittal of Priya Ramani in the case filed by Union Minister MJ Akbar against her for criminal defamation after she revealed how he had sexually harassed her decades ago, every time a verdict in favour of the victim gets pronounced, women everywhere are filled with a new hope and strength to stand up and fight for themselves.
With a judgement that acquitted Priya Ramani of all charges filed against her by MJ Akbar, in retaliation of her claims that he sexually assaulted her under the pretext of interviewing her for a job, the court asserted quite a few observations that will go down in history as a victory for the #MeToo movement.
Also Read : Verdict In MJ Akbar Defamation Case Against Priya Ramani Deferred. Why Justice Delayed In #MeToo Cases Is Detrimental To The Movement
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Speaking about the impact her case would now have on all #MeToo victims out there who couldn’t speak up, Priya Ramani said, “This battle has been about women, hasn’t been about me. I just happen to represent all the women who spoke up, the women who spoke up before me and the ones who spoke up after me. I thought this was a very apt judgment. My victory will definitely encourage more women to speak up and it will also make powerful men think twice before they take victims to court. Don’t forget that I was the accused in this case. I was accused just for speaking up.”
Standing up against all odds, surviving the intimidating and harsh brunt of the army of lawyers that MJ Akbar pitted against her, Priya did not lose sight of her own truth and fought tooth and nail for a verdict that did right by every woman who has ever found herself in a similar situation, or god forbid, ever does.
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She added, “I thank everyone who stood by me, especially my witnesses who came to court and testified on my behalf. I thank the court for this verdict. I thank my lawyers, Rebecca John and her amazing team…They put their heart and soul into this case.”
Priya Ramani’s lawyer Rebecca John also spoke on the win and said, “When you fight powerful people and you have truth on your side, the journey becomes very, very relevant to you personally,” as it did to so many of us closely following up to see if justice could would be delivered or denied, yet again.
The ruling passed by the court was a testament to how victims cannot be stripped of their dignity and self confidence in light of coming forward. As of now, Priya Ramani has won a case that was filed against her and not against the alleged perpetrator MJ Akbar. Although the win doesn’t guarantee a future full of fair convictions, but what it did give us is a good start and a reason to keep fighting. We are yet to find out if Priya Ramani will go ahead with legal proceedings against Akbar, but until then, it is time to relish in this victory of all women.