Women are often blamed for the atrocities men do to them, but a group of outraged women in India are refusing to take the blame this time around.
After a leader in one of India's political parties blamed a woman for allegedly being stalked because she was out late at night, a bunch of women took to social media after 12 a.m. to show that they aren't princesses who have to go home when the clock strikes midnight.
According to the Hindustan Times, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s son was accused of stalking the daughter of a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. Vikas Barala and another man are accused of following Varnika Kundu, a local DJ, while she was driving early Saturday morning.
Kundu alleges that the two men were drunk and at one point blocked her path with their SUV, and the man in the passenger seat started walking towards her car.
An authority says the incident is Kundu's fault for allegedly being stalked because she was driving 'so late at night.'
However, Ramveer Bhatti, the vice president of the Haryana BJP, says the incident is Kundu's fault for allegedly being stalked because she was driving "so late at night."
"The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night" he said, according to ABP Live. "Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves."
Using the hashtag #AintNoCinderella, women in India posted photos of themselves after midnight, emphasizing the point that women shouldn't be blamed for men attacking them just for staying out late.
— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) August 7, 2017
Their message is clear: women should be able to do as they wish, no matter the time of day, without being attacked for it — and then blamed for provoking others' behaviour. Saying they would have avoided being stalked had they not been out at that hour is victim blaming, when the blame should clearly be on the man doing the stalking.
According to the Hindustan Times, Delhi has one of the highest rates of stalking cases in the country, with an average of a dozen women complaining to police every 24 hours about stalkers.
Their message is clear: women should be able to do as they wish, no matter what time of the day it is, and not be attacked for it.
In 2014, there were 4,700 complaints of stalking, and according to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 22,000 other complaints relating to sexual harassment at work, on the street, on public transportation, and elsewhere.
It wasn't until 2013 when Parliament recognized stalking as a crime, 17 years after a high profile case involving a young Delhi University student who was murdered by the son of a police officer. He was later found to be stalking her before he killed her.
Also on HuffPost: