Intimate partner violence is a rising concern in India – not only among married couples, but also for teenagers and young people in the age group of 16 to 24. And when it comes to talking about this issue, most people tend to shy away from telling their friends and loved ones about what they are facing. They are afraid, doubtful, confused and don’t have a place to look for answers.
A group of three young people has come forward with a plan to tackle this problem using a unique Snapchat account called LoveDoctordotIn.
It is basically a platform for people to get answers to questions about sex, relationships and abuse from experts. Users receive all answers in a private chat session with a qualified expert.
The idea for such a Snapchat account first came to Rajshekar Patil, an advertising creative based in Bengaluru. And he started it with the help of Avani Parekh and Nida Sheriff. Avani runs an online counselling service called Love Doctor while Nida runs the India chapter of Chayn, a project meant to empower women against violence and abuse.
Rajshekar chose Snapchat because it is the only messaging platform that does not keep record of sent messages, so people can use it freely without the fear of their partner finding out. All one has to do is login to Snapchat and add lovedoctordotin as a friend. Based on the questions, the user will be redirected to the counsellors at lovedoctor.in or to Chayn India, or both if needed.
The Snapchat account has not received any messages yet, but they are releasing useful guides to help people understand the issue better. People have been viewing the massages regularly and the group hopes that they will help spread the word.
“As long as they are viewing the guide, downloading it, bookmarking it to look at it later – We know we’re doing our job. We need students and teens to know that guides like this exist, and if they don’t already, we will build one for them. As long as they don’t feel alone, or like the task of reporting and getting out of it is too big for them handle. In our society, we tell young people not to take these things seriously, but they should,” Nida Sherrif told BuzzFeed.
Watch their campaign video here:
This video was originally published here.