Stand with Suzette Jordan
There is rage in the City of Joy. Hundreds are expected to protest outside Ginger restaurant in Hazra, Kolkata, on Friday, 19 September, a week after the manager refused entry to Suzette Jordan for being a rape victim.
Posting to her Facebook page, Jordan called the episode “another humiliating moment in [her] life!” In response, men and women across the country took to social media calling the incident a “national shame” and urged the people of Kolkata to boycott Ginger restaurant.
In February 2012, Suzette Jordan left a popular Kolkata nightclub with a male acquaintance who offered her a ride home. Three other men joined them in the parked car. Once the car started moving, they pinned her down, held her by gunpoint, and beat and raped her. She regained consciousness on the roadside after they had thrown her body out of the car. In June 2013, Jordan—who up to that point had been known only as the “Park Street rape victim”—revealed her identity:
If I fight, I need to fight for who I am, not behind a mask, not behind a screen, not behind a blurred image. I have nothing to hide. I was raped. I was brutally raped. I was tortured but I am alive for that, and I want to fight for the women that have lost their lives.
She has been fighting ever since—for justice and for dignity, for herself and for other survivors like her. Jordan has faced constant ridicule and victim blaming, discrimination for jobs, and pushback from family who were shocked that she would go public with her identity. Despite these obstacles, she has shown incredible bravery in sharing her story, supporting other survivors to find strength in life after rape, and advocating for an end to the “re-rape” and humiliation that survivors face from police and society.
Suzette Jordan doesn’t want to be remembered as a brutalized rape victim. Today she calls herself not only a survivor but also a thriver.
As the recent incident at Ginger restaurant shows, the ridicule isn’t over. Jordan is still fighting. And thankfully, there are good people among us who will stand with her. Friday’s protest, coordinated by Take Back the Night Calcutta, will take place outside Ginger at 7pm. As of Tuesday morning, music promoter The Conchord Alchemy have canceled the Friday evening event they had planned to hold at the restaurant.