Jyotika encouraged women to speak up in her recent Instagram post, after a scene from ‘Ponmagal Vandhal’ inspired a 9-year-old survivor of sexual harassment to reveal the abuser’s identity.

Jyotika in a poster from Ponmagal VandhalFacebook/ Suriya Sivakumar
Flix Child Abuse Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 15:42

Multiple reports have analysed the disturbing nature of copycat crimes and instances where criminals imitated violent murders and suicides that were depicted on screen or by the media. However, examples of films inducing positive changes in real life- though small in number- come as a glimmer of hope and are a welcome departure. Jyotika and the makers of her last film Ponmagal Vandhal, too, were filled with optimism when a scene from the film inspired a 9-year-old survivor of child sexual abuse to confide in her mother and share details about the abuser. The collective sense of hope was also felt by several social media users who were happy to know that the accused in the aforementioned case has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Actor Jyotika penned a reassuring note on Instagram, encouraging women to speak up in cases of abuse. According to a Sun News report, the 9-year-old survivor of sexual harassment revealed the identity of the 48-year-old relative who abused her, after watching a moving scene from director JJ Fredrick’s 2020 film Ponmagal Vandhal, where children are requested not to hide anything from their parents. The report also adds that the accused was sentenced to five years in prison by a POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) court on September 24, along with a fine of five thousand rupees.

Once the 9-year-old survivor revealed the identity of the abuser to her mother, the latter lodged a complaint with the Royapuram All Women’s Police Station. The POCSO case was pending in Madras High Court for the past one year. Sharing a snippet of the news put out by Sun News, Jyotika wrote on her Instagram: “Shatter that silence! Each time a woman stands up for herself, unknowingly she stands up for all women.”

Bankrolled by Suriya under the banner of 2D Entertainment, the plot of Ponmagal Vandhal revolves around a lawyer who reopens an infamous double-murder case in Ooty but as the story moves forward, the film discusses instances of rape and other crimes against women. 

Speaking about the subject of Ponmagal Vandhal in an interview with TNM earlier, Jyotika noted that although the film is not based on one incident, it is inspired from gory crimes that happen around us on a daily basis. “I’ve been reading about child rape and abduction for two years now. Much more gory things happen every single day. So when the script actually came from someone new, a very young person who is very talented, we felt the film had to be made,” she said. 

READ: 'Ponmagal Vandhal' review: Jyotika's thriller has the twists, leaves us wanting more

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