Yashma Gill urges sexual assault survivors to narrate their stories

Her recent initiative, 'Ab Aur Khamosh Nahi Reh Saktay' is inspired by drama serial Phaans and aims to lend a voice to survivors of sexual assault

By Cutacut Editorial Team

KARACHI: Drama serial Phaans featuring Zara Noor Abbas as a rape survivor has been driving the conversation around sexual assault and the turmoil that survivors go through when they do choose to speak up. Yashma Gill, who plays the role of Hafsa (the sister of the accused) in the drama has chosen to push the narrative forward and encourage survivors to speak up in real life as well. Through her initiative, ‘Ab Aur Khamosh Nahi Reh Saktay’ (we can no longer stay quiet), Gill hopes to create a safe space where survivors can tell their stories and their stories are believed in.

Taking to her Instagram to introduce her project, Yashma Gill revealed how it has been inspired by drama serial Phaans. “When I signed this project I knew I was keen on making a difference. I wanted to help bring a new perspective to this mindset and belief system that revolves around rape culture. I wanted to try to provide a platform and for the people of our country to understand that this blame game and stigmatisation surrounding the victim needs to stop,” she wrote. “Let’s make the consequences of the crime worth fearing and not the consequences the survivor has to face.”

‘Ab Aur Khamosh Nahi Reh Saktay’ is a dance performance featuring Yashma Gill and Talal Rehman, with the latter having choreographed the routine as well. Dressed in black, Gill and Rehman, through their performance, narrate a story of sexual assault, with Gill playing the survivor. Choosing the OST of drama serial Phaans for her video, Yashma Gill definitely struck a chord with her viewers and followers of the drama. At the end of the performance, Gill’s character manages to push her criminal down and walk away with her head held high. Meanwhile, the story of Zeba, the protagonist in Phaans, is yet to reach a conclusion.

Yashma Gill can imagine how difficult it is for survivors to speak up which is why she has offered to use her voice to pave the way for their stories. “I urge people to join hands and be able to voice and portray their own message or story in any form and through whichever platform available closest to them. And for those who cannot, I urge them to personally approach me and I will try my personal best to make sure your voice is heard!” she encouraged her followers.

Here is to hoping that artists and actors at large are able to lend their voices for meaningful causes and that one day, we will build a society where survivors have the courage to narrate their own stories without any fear or shame.

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