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Gender Female

Was: a victim
City: In a sleeper bus from Mumbai to Goa
Was wearing jeans and shirt
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)
Incident was: One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

Experience:
I clearly remember that evening. I was really excited as I was going to Goa in December 2011 to attend the Sunburn Festival. All my friends were joining me from Bangalore and I had booked myself a lower berth on a reputed sleeper bus to reach Goa comfortably overnight.

I called my mother from the bus to tell her I am safe as the seats opposite mine were booked by a family of four and there were many youngsters in the bus who were going for the festival too. The lower berth behind mine also belonged to the family sitting in front of me.

I kept my bag near my face and slept off that night. In the middle of the night I felt that something was falling on my face. I adjusted the straps of my bag and slept again. It happened again. I then felt something itching on my face. Like something touched my face. I thought it was an insect and slept again. It happened a couple of times again.  I knew something was wrong. I was up and watching. I saw a hand creep in from the seat behind me to feel me up. I freaked out and did not sleep the whole night. I kept the lights on too.

I knew the guy who was doing this act was the father of two children – from the family sitting in front of me. I wanted to yell then but I thought I would create a scene and his wife would be disturbed. I kept quiet. But I was really really angry.

I had fortunately made friends with a couple at the tea stall last night when I was standing alone. In the morning when they asked me if I slept well I told them about the entire incident. The guy (the friend) was really angry and called the man who did that act in a corner to confront him. He started apologizing straight away and begged to us not to tell his family because his children were with him.

The girl who also became my friend insisted that I tell his wife about this as such men should be punished. We went up to the man’s wife and told her about how he was trying to touch me last night from the berth behind mine. To our surprise, the lady started defending the husband! Later when I got really angry and I said I would complain to the police she said she was sorry on his behalf and that her husband had a medical problem.

I then shifted my seat and sat with the couple for the rest of the journey.

I met both kinds of people on the same bus that day. Ones who don’t care about humanity and the one who go out of their way to help you and ensure girls feel safe in any environment in our country.

I thank God for meeting those people for I myself would have never gone up to that lady / yelled at that guy because I was scared I would scar a family.

But today when I look back, I know I did the right thing because I BROKE MY SILENCE! ­čÖé

 

6 Comments

Gender Male

Was: a victim
City: Train
Was wearing shorts and shirt
Reaction: Moved away silently
Incident was: One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

Experience:
Just a brief about myself first…as a kid..I have always been shy type..I have been totally unaware of things or topics related to sex till quite a long time..and anything related to sex (scenes in english movies..or even rape scenes in hindi movies..which at that time were quite prominent)were considered quite inappropriate and made my parents change the channel ASAP!

Anyways…about the incident..Its been a long time…I was most probably going to Delhi with my dad (he had some medical check up)…and I must be around 10 or 11 years old..It was day time and I was sleeping on lower berth. There was this another uncle who most probably boarded the train from same station (as he has been sitting with us for a long time and had seat in same compartment), he also lied down on the seat as there was plenty of space there. Before that he had asked my dad to go and rest on top berth as he was not well that time. After some time I felt a hand on my thighs and slowly he was groping me. I was not aware of whats going on…as mentioned…I had no idea of all these things! So I kept my eyes closed as if I was sleeping (dont know why I did that!) and maybe that encouraged him and he tried sliding his hand up in my shorts. Luckily, the shorts were a bit tight maybe and he could not succeed in what he was trying.

All this time even when I had no idea of whats going on..I was a bit uncomfortable and after some time I acted as if I was waking up and he instantly removed his hand!

This incident was long lost in my memory and I somehow recalled it while reading the posts here. Luckily for me, this incident didnt traumatize me much and I later almosst forgot about it. Maybe the reason it didnt have much impact on me was my ignorance. Had I known that I was being abused at that time…or had I known what abuse is..then maybe this incident would have scarred me for life! I would say ignorance did protect me! But, having said that..somehow I still remember this incident and some parts are still crisp clear in my memory! Maybe, if I was not that ignorant kid, I would have shouted or screamed..or maybe would have just woken up..and that would have avoided this incident!

In our society, sex education to their children is something ┬áwhich makes lot of parents feel awkward…but even if some parents do have “the talk” it is when the kid is grown up (and mostly knows a lot thanks to friends, etc.). I feel if the foundation of this topic is laid at a very early age and open communication is maintained..maybe a lot of such incidents could be avoided!Metro-North_train_1567_enters_Stamford

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Gender Female

Was: a victim
City: Pondicherry
Was wearing chudithar/salwar kameez with dupatta
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured
Incident was: One time
IMG_8854
Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

Experience:
This is an unforgettable incident because it happened on my birthday. I was on my way back from Chennai to Pondicherry that Sunday evening. It was around 9:30 PM. Really glad that i had bumped into my roommate on the way back from bus stop to the hostel, i was walking along with her discussing how my day had been. On the way towards the hostel, in the middle of a residential colony, a guy in a cycle came in my direction, groped me and whizzed past before either my roommate or i realised what just happened. Never had i felt so powerless, never so humiliated. I was wearing a traditional chudidhar with dupatta pinned on both sides. I was walking in a safe residential colony. I was not alone. This was not supposed to happen under such circumstances. And yet, there i was, watching the bastard cycle away into the dark, not knowing how to get back at him.

That was the day i truly realised that no matter how modestly i dressed, there are always men who would continue to stare below my neckline, who would continue to grope me in public. All the stigma attached to “modern clothes” was just rubbish.

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Gender Female

Was : a victim

City : Chennai

Was wearing : school uniform

Reaction : Moved away silently

Incident was : multiple times

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

I am sharing few incidents that hurt me the most during my child hood.

I was in 4th or 5th standard then. My father was a business man & my mom was supporting him in his business. Everyday they would leave early in the morning and sometimes returned home as late as 10  or 11 PM. During weekends, they take me with them to their office. Sometimes I refuse to go with them as it was extremely boring to sit at the office, doing nothing and preferred to stay at home.
One evening, I was watching TV lying on an easy chair. It was almost 8 PM and my parents had not┬áreturned. My┬áneighborhood┬áuncle, aged 35 ÔÇô 40 years, came inside asking me if he could watch the┬áTV with me as the TV in his house wasn’t working. I got up in respect, offering him the easy chair.┬áHe asked me sit on it and sat down on the floor beside me. After ten minutes, he suddenly took off┬ámy frock and started fingering. I was taken aback and did not know how to react. I became numb. I┬áwas blaming myself for not wearing underwear. He would stop every 5 to 10 minutes to see if anyone┬áis coming and continue. I did not know how to stop him; I was praying that no one should see this┬áas I was afraid that people might call me a bad girl. After about two hours, my parents came home.
Hearing their footsteps, he quickly covered me with my frock. My parents were surprised to see him and thanked him for looking after me when I was alone.

Once again when I was alone, he tried to use the situation. I got irritated and called him a dog. Then I shut the door in front of him and did not open it until my parents returned. He got frightened and went back. I then realized how I should react to him to send him away. But still he would disturb me whenever I were alone and try to use the situation. But I escaped from him by shouting back and
locking myself inside our house.

One noon I was returning home from school. As I opened the main gate of our house, a fat man, who came in a bicycle, stopped at our house and came to me asking for an address. Like a child, I told him where it was. He slowly asked me which standard I studied and if there were any health inspection in our school. It somehow coincided that there was indeed a health inspection that day. I told him yes and that the health checks are due to me the next day. He said he is a member of the campaign and started pressing the sides of my breast. He asked me if it hurt, I said no, thinking he is really checking my health. Then he asked me to turn back, raised my uniform and removed my underwear. He then put his palm between my buttocks and fingered my vagina from behind. He asked me if it pained. This
time I said yes, to stop him from doing it, realizing his real intention. Then he asked me to turn front to see my front part. I said no I would not. He kept talking with me for few minutes to see if I would accept. I said a strong no and then he went away in his cycle. I was feeling shameless for not realizing his intention in the first instance. I was blaming myself for being so innocent.

I had gone for a wedding with my parents when I was around 12 years of age. A guy, aged 20 approximately, was constantly watching me wherever I went. I found it uneasy but thought it is normal for guys to see girls in weddings. I wanted to go to the washroom and called my mom to accompany me. But she told me where it was and asked me to go on my own. When I was sitting in the closet, someone pushed the door hard to open it (the door was made of just an ordinary metal sheet). Even before I could get up, the door was opened and the guy who was watching me throughout the wedding was standing out. He watched me for almost 2 minutes and quickly went away hearing someone coming. I felt ashamed and ran to my parents. On my way, I saw him sitting with his gang of friends and having a nice gala time. I was bursting inside and hurriedly asked my parents to leave. My mom scolded me for asking them to leave so early. I was unable to tell my mom what happened and was silently blaming her inside my mind for not accompanying me to the washroom.

I am now the mother of a 2 years old baby girl. I do not trust any of my┬áneighbors┬áand ensure that┬áshe is not left alone with anyone. I will educate her on good touch & bad touch and teach her how to┬áreact if anyone ever tries to misbehave with her. I will tell her that it is not her fault and not to feel guilty┬áif anyone ever behaves that way. Most importantly, I will ask her to share every incident with me. I┬áthink this is every parentÔÇÖs responsibility.

easychair

1 Comment

Swamimalai_Murugan_TempleGender woman

Was: a victim
City: Temple/Swamimalai
Was wearing Chudithar/Salwar Kameez with dupatta
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

Incident was : One time

Experience:
I have been oscillating between wanting to share my experience here and choosing to bury it. And then I just decided to go ahead because of the the circumstances in which the incident happened. Our family makes a trip to Swamimalai (near Kumbakonam) every year for Abhishekam and prayers. Though I am not exactly religious, I liked the trips because I got to meet my cousins and could laze around as the trips almost always happened during summer breaks. The temple tends to be crowded on certain days that are considered auspicious. On such auspicious days, weddings also happen in the temple premises so the place gets pretty crowded. It was on one such a day that the incident happened. I was about 14 or 15 I think. We were standing outside the main Sannidhi, waiting for the Arathi. I was wearing a Salwar Kameez with Duppata. In the crowd, someone grabbed my breasts from behind and I felt like I had been electrocuted. I quickly turned around, trembling, but whoever it was had made a quick escape into the jostling crowd. I don’t know the age of the perpetrator but I felt helpless and was too ashamed to share this with anyone. I won’t say that the incident has scarred me or that it has stopped me from going to temples. But even when I think of it now, it feels so wrong.. so very wrong that in your moment of silence, in such a scared and sanctified space, this should happen.

No Comments

Gender woman

Was: a victim
City: Trivandrum
Was wearing Chudithar/Salwar Kameez with dupatta
Reaction: Moved away silently

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

Experience:
As I read through all the experiences that these women and men share, I feel really proud. I am so proud of all the women who are starting to realize that sexual harassment in any degree is not something that they need to keep up with and I am proud of all the men who are starting to understand the seriousness of this situation and coming forward in support of their friends, sisters and mothers.

As for me, coming from a conservative society that shuns any subject that is even by far related to sex or sexuality, I had to face a couple of hard times myself to build that courage to fight this social evil.

One particular incident that pains me, happened when I was 18 years old. Being an NRI, I wasn’t very well versed with the eve teasing episodes that women go through all the time while using public transport. I used to be surprised at the surge of young eager males battling their way to any woman standing or sitting in the bus for a quick nudge, poke or touch. Or at the least, they had to pass some sort of comment on the girls who at this point were as passive as stones. Rude is not really the word for this but I didn’t realize what I was in for, until that particular day.

I was travelling in a bus to my friend’s house. There was no seats available, so standing was the only option and after a while the crowd happened to be so much that that you could hardly move your finger. And then I felt a guy’s hand groping my waist. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t see who was doing it and when I managed to grab his hand, he quickly retreated and I saw a man get off in a hurry and then look at me from outside. I still get enraged when I think of his face. He got his way. He violated me and I didn’t get to bring him to justice. And the saddest part is when I narrate this incident to my guy friend he accuses me for being the victim. His logic is if that guy had to choose me from all the other women in that bus, it just means that I was dressed inappropriately or that I was inviting him to commit his crime.

I have often come across this mentality in India. People tend to point fingers at women instead of the culprit for such incidents. The first question is what were you wearing? Were you revealing your figure? Was the dupatta coming off? Were you dressed provocatively? And I wonder, really? Is that what it is really about? So the culprit chooses their victims on the basis of their costumes? I have only one thing to say, if covering everything you have is a solution to sexual harassment then Afghanistan should be the most safest place for women. Or women wearing burkhas should always be safe. But is that the situation?

We should stop being shamed for being sexually harassed. That is the first thing we should do. Only then can the crime be brought to justice. Each time you blame the victim, you are invalidating the disgusting act inflicted on the female, and thus putting in danger generations of women. Thankfully my parents are sensible, sensitive and broad minded people who encourage me to react in such situations.

Two years later I was walking the Chennai roads with my family and I saw a guy following me. He finally appears in front of me and he decides to bump into me by ‘accident’. I shouted out, ‘You mad?’ and he fled for his life murmuring something. I looked at him fleeing away and I saw all the men who tried to violate me through those piercing stares, taunting songs and comments, stalking, crazy phone calls and unwelcome touch – And I felt good about taking that first step.

I blame the women. Not for wearing the clothes that they want to. But for not standing up for themselves. For not standing up for their sisters. For hushing their sisters and daughters when they cry for justice. If you don’t stand for yourself, who will???

There has been silence for long enough. Thank you for breaking it.

3 Comments

Gender man

Was: a witnessabt_raghu
City: Mumbai train
Was wearing Chudithar/Salwar Kameez with dupatta
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

Experience:
I was in a train with a female friend of mine. In the moving train she suddenly started crying and I asked her what happened. She said the guy behind her groped her. I was wild and at the next station pulled the guy out and gave him a thrashing. He was sounding so aplologetic. I was gonna then let it go. Suddenly three of his mates came by and asked what happened. There was a transformation on his face which was remarkable. He stands up to me and said, “I will do it again and lets see what you do about it”. Till this time NO ONE on a busy Mumbai platform intervened. When my friend screamed and some people started moving towards them the hooligans ran away. I wonder how out of 1000+ people not even 10 muster courage

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to stop something like this.

Didnt even bother going to the police since would have got no response from them either. Just walked away. However if this incident or something like this happens in my presence I promise I will intervene and do something even then.

4 Comments

Gender woman

Was: a witness
City: Train/Kerala

Was wearing Short skirt and top

Reaction: Reacted (yelling,complaining,slapping, fighting back)

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

Experience:379553_2271329197209_311887713_n

Every lady will have a tale of sexual harassment she faced or witnessed when they look into their past. I too have many a stories to share. The most bizarre fact is that you are foretold that it is going to happen with you one day or the other. I was told by my mother and aunts that I am going to face it in different forms; once I start traveling alone; when I am alone at home; when a family member hugs in such a way that I feel uncomfortable etc. When I joined college the first advice from my aunt was to carry a ÔÇśsafety pinÔÇÖ at the end of my Dupatta. And I did it till a point I realized itÔÇÖs not safety pins that protected me from those maniacs, but my courage and my luck.

I’m sharing an incident to which I happened to be a witness. I was pursuing my masters in Delhi and was traveling from Kerala. Three days in a train with strangers, and I made sure

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that I got an upper berth. I was the lone woman in that coupe, and there was a man, consuming alcohol, and that made me a bit uncomfortable. He was so drunk that he tore the window curtains while getting up from his seat. I thought about shifting to the next coupe where I found three women, one of whom around my age. But I stayed back comforting myself.

I wasn’t comfortable sleeping in that space those two nights. I woke up on the second night hearing some noise in the coach. After a while, i figured out that a man tried to grope the girl in the next coupe where I thought of shifting. I had seen him talking very friendly to the family during the day. Hardly anyone ever expected him to act that way. She screamed and he was caught. Some men took took him outside the coach and had a conversation. I donÔÇÖt know what went on there, but I saw him leaving the coach with his luggage. No one filed any complaint.

I looked for the drunkard in my coupe; he was sleeping without ever knowing what was going around. I felt sad for the victim and at the same time the selfish in me comforted that it didnÔÇÖt happen to me. I felt relieved that i did not shift to that coupe.

1 Comment

Gender woman

Was: a witness
City: Auto/Delhi
Was wearing Jeans and Shirt
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

Experience:
Saw a bunch of guys, grabbing a female and forcing her in an auto.
She yelled for attention.
After some 5 min, the auto was gone !1922590-Delhi-auto-rickshaw-0

4 Comments

Gender woman

Was: a victim
City: IFFCO chowk Traffic Signal at 3 in the afternoon, Gurgaon
Was wearing Jeans and Kurta

Incident was : One time
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured

 

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

Experience:
I was on a cycle rickshaw and we stopped when the traffic signal turned red on IFFCO chowk. This is a signal that is very busy, with close to 200 cars stopping at any point of time, that day was no different. 2 men on a bike came and stopped right beside my rickshaw and started singing cheap songs and passing lewd comments coupled with whistling. It was a 3 in the afternoon, I was fully dressed and was minding my own business.

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The best I could do was ignore and wait for the light to turn green. There were 100’s of cars surrounding us, but none of them raised any concern, of course, why would they? They are comfortable inside their cars. Though nothing happened, I was traumatised by such a thing happening in broad daylight, amidst hundreds of other people.download

3 Comments
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