LGBTQ community supports Mumbai-based sculptor who was sexually assaulted in Goa

On May 31, angry that Durga Gawde confronted him for speaking on the phone while riding his bike, Brian Franco allegedly verbally abused and molested her
Some members of the LGBTQ community have called it a human rights issue.(Photo for representation.)
Some members of the LGBTQ community have called it a human rights issue.(Photo for representation.)
Updated on Jun 10, 2019 12:39 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByYesha Kotak, Mumbai

Two days after video of a sculptor, Durga Gawde, speaking about her alleged sexual assault and molestation in Saligao, Goa went viral, the LGBTQ community has extended their support to the gender-fluid artist.

On May 31, angry that Gawde confronted him for speaking on the phone while riding his bike, Brian Franco allegedly verbally abused and molested her. Franco was arrested on June 1, but released on bail four days later.

Some members of the LGBTQ community have called it a human rights issue. “Irrespective of who the person is or from which community he or she belongs to, such an incident shouldn’t take place,” said Harish Iyer, LGBTQ activist.

“It isn’t about my gender identity. These incidents happen with everybody – women, men and trans persons. The problem is that people often associate shame with such incidents. Instead, people [in such situations] should stand up and talk about it,” said Gawde.

As the video went viral, hashtags such as #lockupbrianfranco and #standupforyourself started to trend. “I shared the video of the incident on social media, because rarely does a person who has been molested have proof of the incident. I wanted people to see the incident and for action to be taken,” she said.

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