This time last year, Jyoti Singh – known as Nirbhaya, or ‘fearless one’ - did something entirely unremarkable that lots of us do every day: she got on a bus.
What happened next was to become world news, as she was violently raped and assaulted in an attack so gruesome that the details don’t bear repeating. Days later, she died of her injuries.
Yet the really terrifying thing is that this, too, was largely unremarkable. The specific details of Jyoti’s attack may have been exceptional, but a woman being sexually violated and murdered simply for being a woman is not.
Rape: an everyday lived reality
Instead, rape and other forms of violence against women and girls is an everyday lived reality for millions globally. It is not unusual; it happens everywhere.
One in three women will be affected by some form of violence in her lifetime.
The outrage that Jyoti’s death sparked in her native India - and beyond - was fuelled by the knowledge that she was not the only one, and nor would she be the last.
But she may just have sparked a flame, burning for change.
A year later, we have not forgotten and, with our partners around the world, continue to work to eliminate violence against women and girls. The types of violence that are consistently perpetrated against them – including among many things, female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, sexual assaults and domestic violence - also trap women and girls, their families and whole communities in poverty.
Join us as we remember Nirbhaya
Join us on 16 December at 8.20am, at India Place on the Strand in London, as we remember Nirbhaya and stand in solidarity with survivors and victims of violence against women and girls. Our partners at ActionAid India will be doing the same in Delhi at a parallel event.
By the statue of Nehru outside the Indian Embassy, we will hear from actress Meera Syal, journalist and campaigner Sunny Hundal and Japjit Kaur from the cast of the acclaimed 2013 play Nirbhaya who will sing and read from the play.
Please wear black and, if you would like, bring a white flower to show solidarity with the millions of women worldwide who suffer violence and rape.