We’ve Had Enough Of Eve-teasing. Have You

We don’t need ground-breaking statistics to say that our society has plunged to an all new low when it concerns rapes, molestations, or even eve-teasing for that matter. Rape cases have increased by an average of six cases per day in New Delhi, while eve-teasing and molestation cases tally at over 6,000 cases put together. If this isn’t shocking, we wonder what is.

“What is eve-teasing?” ask people. Does it include “harmless” comments, stalking, staring, etc. or is it only the “serious stuff”? A victim of eve-teasing says “it’s not just about being harassed or stalked, but about not realising one’s boundaries especially in public places. It’s a form of sexual bullying for the world to see”, she says.

So how do we tackle this menace that’s plaguing our sense of security and peace? “If a guy touches you inappropriately, hit him back and run”, says Bollywood megastar Akshay Kumar. Recently, singer Atif Aslam stopped his concert midway to help a girl who was being teased. Taapsee Pannu stopped and stared back at a bunch of guys on bikes who passed comments on her in public. Here’s what some victims, concerned citizens, and authorities had to say about tackling eve-teasing.

Make a mental note of the places you’ll be visiting. This allows you to plan your visit/travel to the concerned place as well as take appropriate precautions to be a step ahead. “Visiting a crowded, local market needs a different mental recce than if you were to visit a mall”, say concerned citizens.

Keep communication lines open. Should you have to travel to different parts of the city and/or country, ensure you keep your phone battery charged, and that you inform your confidante(s) of your plans. “That’s the least one can do in today’s unsafe cities”, says an eye-witness.

If you’ve been targeted, assess the situation and act accordingly. Sometimes an untoward incident happens in a crowded place, which makes it okay to cry out for help, or even, if safe, hit the perpetrator back. However, you would have to act differently if you were in a secluded place – make a dash towards a crowded place and then report the incident.

Know your numbers. Always ask for help using the police, women’s and children’s helpline that are provided to each of us. Most victims choose to remain silent due to fear, which makes it harder for us as authorities to tackle this issue.

Asking for help is not a bad thing. Whether it’s asking for help from a group of strangers or an older person, an authority figure or even local shopkeepers, it’s okay to ask for help and bring the culprit to task.

Use defences. Don’t hesitate to use that pepper spray or that martial art move when targeted.

Be confident and realistically unafraid. “After all, being confident, realistically unafraid, and practical are what can make every single difference to us and the people around us”, says another girl who’s faced the challenge of eve-teasing.



The Indian Express

Huffington Post

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