Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



In this chapter, I explore two media texts, Imtiaz Ali's Highway and Alankrita Shrivastava's Netflix original series Bombay Begums (2021). I contend that recent filmmakers have begun to arguably reframe the narratives of rape victim-survivors and disrupting the cultural of silence described above. They offer progressive and multi-faceted representations of these experiences, such that there is an opportunity for a dialogue within both private and public spheres. What I mean when I say that they are ‘progressive representations’ is that the rape victim-survivors are not merely reduced to helpless women in distress, nor painted as vengeful, aggressive characters. Instead, their characterisation shows that they have agency and autonomy, but at the same time struggle with the repercussions of speaking out against their perpetrators in a society that does not support them wholly.


Chapter in Gender Violence, the Law, and Society.

ISBN: 9781801171304; eISBN: 9781801171274

This work is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this work (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.