*Heera – Gender Female Was: a victim City: School van/Mumbai

 
 

Gender Female

Was: a victim
City: School van/Mumbai
Was wearing school uniform
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured
Incident was: One time

Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance and aged 20-30

Experience:
There were two incidents that happened at different times in the school van, by two different perpetrators. I was about 15 years old when this happened.

The first one was a school kid, a boy who was a year younger than me and studying in the lower class. He would sit next to me in the school van, and tried to stroke me on the back and sides and behaved as if nothing happened whenever I gave him a glare. He continued doing this for a couple of days, until I cried out angrily in front of everyone to stop it. He behaved as if he had no clue what I was talking about, but fortunately didn’t touch me again.

The other incident involved the man (we called him uncle) who drove the van. On the way back home, there was a time when all the other girls had already been dropped off, and I was the only girl remaining in the van with other school boys. I don’t remember how it all started,  but the van uncle was making lewd remarks about a girl’s private parts and all the school boys were enjoying it and laughing over it. Knowing that I was the only girl around, I could understand that it was aimed at harassing me, but I didn’t know how to react as even my school “friends” were joining in the abuse by laughing at it. Although, this was a case of only verbal abuse, it left a much deeper scar on my psyche than the former one or any other incidents of abuse because I couldn’t retaliate or talk to anyone about it at that age. Moreover, it was done by someone my family trusted my transportation to.
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It is very important for girls and women to retaliate and talk freely about such incidents, and to produce an environment where they feel free to do so. It is also necessary to educate school kids, both girls and boys, on how to react to such situations, when they themselves or a friend is being threatened.

*-Name changed on request

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