Priya's Shakti comic book India
Priya's Shakti tells the story of Priya, a woman who was raped who fights with the Goddess Parvati against sexual violence in India and around the world Youtube screenshot

A new book with a rape survivor as the protagonist has been launched in India to highlight the widespread problem of sexual violence in the country.

Priya's Shakti tells the story of Priya, a woman who was raped, who fights against gender crimes and sexual violence in India and around the world along with the Goddess Parvati.

The idea to create Priya's Shakti rose after the infamous 2012 gang rape in India's capital Delhi, where a 23-year-old girl died after being raped by six men in a private bus.

Indian-American filmmaker Ram Devineni, one of the book's creators, told the BBC: "I was in Delhi at the time when the protests broke out and I was involved in some of them. I was talking to a police officer when he said something that I found very surprising. He said 'no good girl walks alone at night.'

"That's where the idea began. I realised that rape and sexual violence in India was a cultural issue, and that it was backed by patriarchy, misogyny and people's perceptions".

"I spoke to some gang-rape survivors and they said they were discouraged by their families and communities to seek justice, they were also threatened by the rapists and their families. Even the police didn't take them seriously", he said.

News of the Delhi gang rape was met with outrage worldwide, shedding light on the issue in the country where estimates say an incident of sexual violence occurs every 22 minutes.

In 2014, a spate of rapes in Uttar Pradesh – including two which saw the victims being hung from trees after being abused – caused a huge backlash, with dozens of people urging the Indian government to tighten its laws on rape and to persecute perpetrators who, at present, go largely unpunished.

On Monday (8 December) India made headlines worldwide as it decided to ban taxi service company Uber in New Dehli after one of the company's drivers was accused of raping a 26-year-old woman.

"Keeping in view the violation and the horrific crime committed by the driver, the transport department has banned all activities relating to providing any transport service by the with immediate effect," read a statement from the government's transport department.

"The transport department has also blacklisted the company from providing any transport service in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi in future."