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You Need To Read This Superhero Comic About Fighting Rape Culture

By showing rape victims and acid-attack survivors as heroes, the Indian comic book Priya is bringing necessary attention to gender violence.

More than 34,000 Indian women were raped and more than 200 were attacked with acid last year, according to statistics from India's National Crime Records Bureau, and comic book creators Ram Devinini, Paromita Vohra and Dan Goldman are writing stories that are turning these survivors into heroes.

Priya's Mirror, the sequel to Priya's Shakti — a 2014 comic book that followed a high-profile Delhi gang-rape case at the time — features an Indian girl who was abandoned by her family after being raped. Priya ends up meeting other acid-attack survivors who were forced into isolation and helps them see their true selves and get released from captivity with the help of Hindu goddess Parvati.

Priya Shakti Trailer | Rattapallax

The book, set to be launched on Friday at the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center, follows the women as they open an art center and café, inspired by the real-life establishment in northern India run by acid-attack survivors.

In addition to being based on that real event, the book also shows a friend of Priya's becoming a lawyer to fight for the prohibition of acid sales — a character based off of Natalia Ponce who had Colombian law changed to do just that.

YouTube | Rattapallax

Partially funded by the World Bank's WEvolve Global Initiative, the book will have a capability that will allow readers to scan it and watch videos of acid attack survivors tell their own, painful stories. Creators of the book hope to introduce it into Indian school curriculum in order to bring awareness to the issue of gender violence.

The comic has received plenty of much-deserved global praise for its efforts, including being named a "Gender Equality Champion," by U.N. Women, and being featured in BBC World News, The Guardian, The New York Times, NPR, NBC news, Aljazeera and so much more.

We're giving our own standing ovation to the creators of this comic, too. Thank goodness for people like them who use their platforms and strengths to change the world we live in for the better. This is a comic book, and a cause, we can definitely get behind.

Hannah Marsh

Hannah is a Texas-born, Iowa-raised alumna of Iowa State University. When not writing trending content across several Meredith sites, she enjoys all things fitness-related, binge-watching "Whose Line is it Anyway" episodes and fully embracing her self-diagnosed peanut butter addiction.

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