Suzette Jordan (1974 – 13 March 2015) was a prominent women's-rights activist and anti-rape campaigner from Kolkata, India. She herself was a survivor of a gang rape in Park Street, Kolkata. Referred to in the media only as the Park Street Rape victim, she publicly revealed her identity as a survivor of gang rape in 2013 to protest the spate of ongoing rapes and murders of women, and to encourage other survivors to speak out.

When Jordan revealed her identity as a survivor of rape, she said, "Why should I hide my identity when it was not even my fault? Why should I be ashamed of something that I did not give rise to? I was subjected to brutality, I was subjected to torture, and I was subjected to rape, and I am fighting and I will fight." At the time of her death, three of the five men accused of raping Jordan inside a moving car had been arrested and were on trial, although they denied the charges. The remaining two, including the main suspect, had not been arrested.

By then, Suzette had been gangraped, violated, mocked and slandered. She had also been denied a number of jobs. Suzette was angry, bitter even, but not even close to giving up. “I don’t care if they question my morality. I know I haven’t done anything wrong. Just because I am a mother of two, don’t I have the right to have any fun?” she had asked. It was this simple wish that took Suzette to a nightclub at a five-star hotel in Park Street in February 2012. She was supposed to meet a friend in their local Anglo-Indian club. “He is one of my closest friends. He is generally never late, but that night he was. So I left the place and went to Park Street. It turned out to be the worst mistake of my life,” she said. In the popular nightclub, she was offered a lift by one of the accused. But when she got in the car, she realised there were others in the car too. She was gangraped at gunpoint by the accused and his friends in the moving vehicle, and then thrown out.

She was humiliated many a times in the police station while registering an FIR against the culprits. She was addressed to have a bad character as she was separated and was a single parent. Even her daughters faced a crucial time of being bully at school and in streets. She kept fighting for justice till her last breath.

Jordan became a women's rights activist and briefly worked as a counsellor for a helpline for victims of sexual and domestic violence.She spoke up against the humiliation and discrimination against victims, for instance when she was denied entry into a Kolkata restaurant. She made use of the media, appearing in a talk show, as well as through Facebook to highlight societal issues.

"The only person I dreamed to be like is my MOTHER " says Suzette Jordan's Daughter.

She had two daughters, and died at the age of 40, of meningoencephalitis. On 10 December 2015, A court in Kolkata held all three accused guilty in the Park Street rape case.

The prime accused are still absconded.

This post was submitted in response to Growing Up Girls.

2Encouragement

Thank you for sharing such an empowering yet saddening story of Suzette Jordan, an incredibly strong women's rights activist. I especially love the part where you added her quotes: "Why should I hide my identity when it was not even my fault? Why should I be ashamed of something that I did not give rise to? I was subjected to brutality, I was subjected to torture, and I was subjected to rape, and I am fighting and I will fight." 

This is such an inspiring mentality that many women and girls, and victims of sexual assault should adopt. No victims should ever feel ashamed because assault is never their fault. Jordan's outspokenness will live on the memory of many forever.