Quratulain Rehbar was on a public bus in northern India earlier this month when a friend alerted her that her picture had appeared on an app, where she was being advertised as for sale.
At first she was numb, she said, but gradually the hurt set in.
“It took me at least two to three hours to process,” she told NBC News in a phone call Jan. 5.
Rehbar, a 27-year-old journalist, is one of about 100 lawyers, activists and other prominent Muslim women in India whose photos appeared on the app, called Bulli Bai, without their consent. The app, whose name is a derogatory Hindi phrase for Muslim women, encouraged users to bid on the women in a fake auction.