Survivors of Sexual Abuse in India Are Using Snapchat Filters to Disguise Their Identity

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Yusuf Omar, mobile editor of the Hindustan Times, gave survivors of sexual assault in Mysore, India, the option of a Snapchat filter to obscure their features. It was technologically savvy attempt to give them a sense of safety while they told their stories.


The coverage was for The Climb Against Sexual Abuse, which is an organization that works to break the silence around sexual abuse and plans actual hikes with organizers and survivors. Omar told that he chose Snapchat for more than its ability to hide faces:

Recording with a mask gave them the sense of legitimacy and security that I wasn’t going to be able to show their face, as opposed to trusting a journalist saying ‘Yes, we will blur you afterwards,’ so they felt empowered and in control of the narrative.

Using the inside camera, they felt like they were looking in a mirror...

They weren’t telling their story to me or a camera, they were just looking at themselves in a phone and recalling their experiences – and there was something so personal and sincere about that.

The women were able to choose their preferred filter, which in one case meant a fire breathing dragon. You can check out more here:

Screenshot via Facebook.



Indians are one of the largest group of expats in Dubai. 80 percent of the students in my Gifted and Talented program are Indian girls. These girls are straight badass, 10 and 11 year Olds who have plans for their lives, encouraged, nay, demanded by their progressive parents. They will go to school in the States, they will pursue studies of their choice, and best of all, they will do what they want with their bodies and let no man make that choice for them. It’s a new generation of Indian women who are sick of this shit. Men too. These extraordinary young women are polite, mannered, respectful, headstrong, opinionated, and grateful. I’ve been brought to tears by some of the gifts they drop off on my desk at the end of the school year. These kids are going to change India, it will take time, but they will do it.