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Blog Archives

Gender Female

Was: a victim
City: Delhi
Was wearing school uniform
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)
Incident was: Recurring

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged Less than 20

Experience:
I have always been told that school and college are places where you are secure around teachers and friends. I have also read and understood that love is something which must not be forced upon or tortured to pursue and is a natural feeling between hearts which bloom from the wonderful feeling of friendship. I have various incidents in my life which made me an introvert inside and a tough and rude person on the outside and I will write about them in several posts following the current post.
In this post, I describe the first incident in my life which had made me lose trust on any person I meet and which makes me take a lot of time to make new friends even now.
When my sister was in her early teens and I was around 7-8 years old, we were studying in one of the prestigious schools in Delhi. Every evening, we used to walk around 4 streets from the school to our house. My sister and I were being followed by a tall dark man with a helmet on a motor bike almost every day. Initially for a few days, we didn’t react as if we noticed his act, but it became evident, when he loudly called out my sister’s name (more than once) in public and we had to turn. We were taught by our elders that we must not talk or react to any strangers and we just rushed home quickly from that spot. I wanted to tell thishadow mans to my mother, but my sister who was very scared about this issue asked me not to tell her as she didn’t want to make it a big issue at home. We had to find different ways and shortcuts to get back home and took different routes (just to cross 4 streets). Still he somehow used to find out where we were and used to follow us and pass irritating comments or sing some song with my sister’s name in it. In short, he was flirting.
One fine day, I came to know that, he was actually the cousin of one of my classmate who was also my bench mate in class. I found this guy talking to her (my bench mate) during one of our break sessions and I asked her who he was and how he knew where we lived. She told me that, he was her cousin studying in some XYZ college and he had asked her about my sister and I, where we lived etc., and she had innocently told him. I scolded her on the spot and asked her to tell him to mind his business and not disturb my sister. I had no other option but to tell my mother about it on the same day after school. My mother started accompanying us from the next day.
I started feeling really scared starting from that day when I came to know that he was my friend’s cousin. Hence, I decided that, for the welfare of myself and my sister (whom I am/was super protective about) and for the sake of my parents, who would be shattered if they hear any non-sense news about my sister or me, I must not reveal any personal details (even the place I come from/my phone number) to any friend of mine, unless I come to know that will not be of any problem to me!! Sounds bad. I know. Even if I had to give, it became a habit to warn them not to reveal my details to anyone else. I might have sounded like a paranoid to most of my friends, but I felt that, they won’t understand this pressure till they experienced similar issues.

No Comments

Gender Male

Was: a witness

City: Chennai

Was wearing I don’t remember
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured

Incident was: One time

Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance and aged Less than 20

Experience:
I was in my 10th Standard and was returning from some classes in Ashok Nagar with a few of my classmates. We were three in the cycle in which we were riding. I was in the front, another classmate was riding the bike and a third one was in the back.
A few college girls were passing by and the guy sitting in the back started passing some comments on the girls. I was annoyed by his behaviour and got down from the cycle and started walking my way back when suddenly the other 2 guys turned around the cycle to

the direction in which the girls were going and started riding fast. When they got closer the bastards slapped the back of one of the girls and fled.
It was such a disgusting feeling as I had a sister back home who would have been as uncomfortable with such an incident.
I met those guys again the next day and gave them a lot of gyan on why they should not have done it …blah blah… but it never really sunk into their head…
For some weird reason I never severed relationship with these perverts until the early stages of my career and today looking at what they have done to their co-workers, family or others around I wish I realised that perverts should be made outcast as early as possible and not be allowed to mingle with the society.

My lesson from this is that if any of us find people around us who do not fit our moral values better stay away from them as they hardly change… I may be wrong and some may really change but I’ve not known anyone who has been a pervert in School days but changed later to be a

responsible and moral citizen.FINE ART PRINTS, CHILDREN

No Comments

Gender Male

Was: a victim
City: Chennai
Was wearing I don’t remember
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured
Incident was: Recurring

Perpetrator was a Neighbour and aged Less than 20

Experience:
Today, I’m a changemaker and try to bring about a positive change in the lives of children and young adults through education but I wasn’t always like this.
I was a below average student (medical reasons) and was always told how good people around are in their academic pursuits.
I was about 12 years old when I started facing sexual harassment at the hands of my neighbour who was in his late teens. He was supposed to be like a brother helping me with my academic shortcomings but in the absence of my anybody at our homes he would make be perform oral favours to him that I

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would not well comprehend in the initial days but soon I could sense it was not something that was meant to be. His next advancement was towards my sister who was about 3 years younger to me which I realised could be bad and started spending more time with this man so that his advances towards my sister could be checked. It worked but at the cost of severe mental trauma to me which has not allowed me to engage in any form of sexual encouters even after 18 years. He had to relocate to a different town for his post graduation and the abuse stopped in about a year but I cant imagine what could have happened to me if this man had continued living in my neighbourhood as a extended member of my family.
I put through this inspite of knowing that my parents are brave to confront anything head on if it affects us (I & my sister) as I was not sure how to communicate this awkward situation to my angle gaurdians who could not see through the evil thoughts and actions of their otherwise pious neighbour.child-abuse-1
This is not an isolated incident and over the years I’ve come across many such

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people living in our society who do this to kids irrespective of the gender. Had it not been for the moral education of my parents I would have turned to be one of those culprits myself!!! My study of psychology helps me understand the rationale that suppressed

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emotions become part of your character, especially if it is not addressed in a timely manner.

Unlike the US or many other countries we do not have a knowledge base of how to handle these issues. What HumanFirst should work towards is building a knowledgebase of possible problems and how to tackle them physically, emotionally and legally.

 

* Name changed on request

1 Comment

TearsGender woman

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

Incident was : Recurring

Perpetrator was a Family member or Relative and aged Less than 20

Experience:
Hi all,after seeing all these blogs, I felt i’m not alone.
I have my own experience, actually lots of experiences.

I have two cousins.
Whenever I go to my uncle’s place, the elder one, who was studying in a hostel, will definitely visit as if he has so much of love and affection to me. He doesnt even understand the relation between us, sister and brother.I was sleeping between my cousin and my aunt. I always have a sound sleep. For a while I didnt notice what was happening. but suddenly I came into my senses and noticed that he was rubbing my private parts and was pleasuring himself. I was just 9 yrs old and could not understand whats happening, but definitely know that it was wrong. I got up and went into the rest room to avoid him. But this didn’t stop every time I visited their home.I was so scared to open up about this to my parents. To my bad luck he shifted to our home for his higher studies. And the torture had no limits.He used to peep into the bathrooms when I was bathing. I used to hide.Once I slapped him hard when he was trying to touch my chest and other private parts. But he was least bothered. He just begged me not to tell this to anyone.This harressment continued till i was 20.

This is about the younger one. During my college days I used to get some mails from some unknown guy blackmailing me. I was so much afraid and used to talk to my younger cousin who is so close to me. He said it might be my college guys and suggested me to be friendly with every one so that you will not get into this situation.He acted to be very close to me and used to kiss me acting so affectionately. But I could only understand his intension after a while. Once we all visited tirumala, where I observed someone was peeping into the bathroom from back side and I shouted in fear. My parents asked what happened but I just said some silly answer. After We came back I got a mail blackmailing me saying that he has my nude pics. He actually clicked my pics. By then my marriage was fixed. I said this to my cousin and to my husband.My hubby is such a nice guy. He replied to that email threatening him that its not difficult to catch him. He said he is gonna complain to the police under cyber act case and he can be easily traced.But my cousin was suggesting my husband not to go for a police case and lets wait for the reply and he said he is confident that we will get a reply apolgizing for his acts. we got a reply saying sorry. So I strongly feel that it was my cousin who did all this drama. But I could not say this to anyone.

Now just imagine what I went through in my life. I was living with fear all through life till I got married. I was scared to go to my own bathroom. I always check around even today. I wasnt feeling secure in my own home. But I will never blame my parents. Now our family wont speak to them coz of some issue and i’m the happiest soul on the earth. Now I have a daughter who is just 9 months old and I always tell her “I’ll not let this happen to you”.
Tears are rolling down when i’m composing this.

 

*Name changed on request

2 Comments

Gender woman

Was: a victim
City: BITS Pilani college campus
Was wearing Jeans and Shirt
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged Less than 20

Experience:
It was a cool and pleasant evening. My friend and I were walking from a university building to a restaurant on campus to meet friends. We were passing the sports center engrossed in conversation when we were suddenly accosted by a group of young men. They were not students. They appeared to come from the small town outside the college campus. They cornered in on us, cussing, asking for the time and shoving.There was playfulness and enjoyment in their eyes. I was quite terrified by the unexpected contact and my initial reaction was to pull back. My friend was bolder. She yelled and we made our way through them. We started looking around for security guards we might alert. My initial reaction kept ringing back in my mind – terror. Just a few minutes ago, I had frozen, unable to take in the situation quickly enough to logically think and act. I thanked my friend and wondered what I would have done if alone.

We found a few hostel security guards and alerted them. We gave them descriptions of the men, the color of the clothes they wore and that one of the men was wearing a red cap. We then headed to the restaurant. In 20-30min, one of the security guards came looking for us.  They had caught some men and wanted us to identify. When we went to one of the institute buildings where all the men were held, we saw that we were not the only girls harassed. Another girl, who was on a bike, had been confronted from the front and behind; she somehow pulled the courage to ride through them. This was not a single man, rather a bunch of tall men who I doubt we could ever physically overpower. Once we identified them, the security guards beat them black and blue and some of the men started bleeding. At that time one of the men yelled out “sorry didi – maaf kar deejiye”(Hindi, translates to: sorry, older sister – please forgive us). That’s when I looked at the record of their identities and realized that these were high school kids from a nearby village who came in when the college campus gates had opened in anticipation of guests from outside. What were these high school boys thinking and experiencing? Why was this so much fun? We were however happy at the genuine concern that the security guards had for our safety and their quick management of the situation.

Quite disturbed and concerned about the general campus safety for girls, I made an appointment to complain to the relevant Dean the next day. Appreciating the quick response the previous night, I appealed that we need some sort of mechanism to increase the safety on campus for girls. He said there was n’t much to be done since they have security guards on most locations. He recommended that we learn martial arts. I was a bit offended by the suggestion. So now, I had to prepare myself for this emergency – that it was taken for granted that as a girl I must be warrior-trained for harassment on my college campus. I remember calling my parents and narrating with great exasperation the insensitivity to the issue – some sort of helplessness which seemed avoidable. Since my initial reaction to such a situation seemed to be fear and terror, I don’t know how any physical training could have overcome my emotional numbness in that moment…..

Looking back, it would have been worthwhile for a group of us including our male classmates to have gone into high schools around campus to speak to students on gender issues, about safety and sexual harassment. We could have helped hold workshops and group activities, involving both girls and boys on making our societies safer. But we were also kids then…away from home, not many years beyond high school and coming to terms with our own fears and insecurities. Maybe something for us to think of now as alumni.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2 Comments

Was: a victim
City: New Delhi, India
Was wearing Jeans and Shirt
Reaction: Moved away silently

Incident was : Recurring

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged Less than 20

Experience:
So I remember this was perhaps the last week of my six-month long internship in Delhi, a part of our curriculum in college. I and a friend of mine whose name I choose not to reveal, were walking about some random street, not too far from where we were living then and, believe it or not, this is not some deserted area I am talking about. This is a street full of eateries and you have people bustling around all the time. Anyway, there I was with my friend and suddenly it struck my friend that there was this black Santro with two boys in it, and yes, though they looked like college kids they could scare the shit out of you (we all know what some of these innocent juveniles are capable of), that had been following us wherever we were going that day. We waived off the thought and went back home. The next day again the car was there. We let it go yet again. This kept happening for a week. I remember on our last day in Delhi our stalkers had followed us into the residential campus of NPL, Don’t ask me what the security guards were doing because I have no freaking idea, and they followed us till the last but one lane. This was when my friend and I just started walking about randomly because we did not want them to find out where exactly we live. They left after a while. Probably they came there the next day as well. We wouldn’t know because thankfully we were done with our internship and we left that godforsaken city. To this day I shudder to think what could have happened had we stayed there for a little longer. And often I make a joke out of it because that is what I do about almost everything that I feel helpless about.

 

 

No Comments

Gender woman

Was: a victim
City: House/Chennai
Was wearing salwar kameez chudithar without dupatta
Reaction: Moved away silently

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Family member or Relative and aged Less than 20

Experience:
I have been staring at this screen for 10 minutes now a liitle choked up. Just thinking about this incident brings back the memory I would like to erase but it feels as though it happened just yesterday. The worst part- a very close relative did this to me and I can’t cut that person out of my life even if I tried.

I was a very happy 12 yr old since my older male cousins were in town. This meant me and my brother had a valid excuse to bunk school for a day or two, play computer games/cricket and sleep late. I dint think my cousins were any different from my own brother. We would all sleep in the same room whenever they visited. That fateful night I was in the middle of the bed, with my cousins on either side of me. My back faced the eldest cousin since I sleep on my sides, my eyes were shut and I was about to fall asleep when I felt a hand get into the back of my nighti(night dress) and slide all the way to my butt. I felt so scared and quickly moved in the dark. Cousin got up and went into the bathroom and wasnt out for a long time. I got out of the room and slept with my parents that night.

All I could think of was what happened that night but I dint dare open up to anybody. My cousin behaved as though everything was fine the rest of his vacation and left. His dad apologised on his behalf 4 years later and told me that he had confessed to him immediately after the incident. An adult’s open and honest communication about the incident somehow erased all the guilt and gave me the courage to confront him. Once I spoke to him and he told me how sorry he was, I could bring myself to talk about it.

The whole incident is still very traumatising to me and it completely changed the equation I shared with my cousin. Also coming from a very sexually repressed society nobody teaches you how to handle your sexual energy (my cousin) and also how to react/respond in the event of an abuse. My parents are the best in the world according to me, still I couldnt talk to them about it – 1. I was ashamed of myself 2. I somehow thought my parents would blame/hate me for it or wouldnt take me seriously 3. I dint want my family to fight with each other 4. I dint want my cousins to hate me and stop visiting.

I have forgiven him for what he did but it can never be forgotten and will remain a painful yet a very distinct memory from my childhood.

DSCF4252

2 Comments

Gender woman

Was: a witness
City: Hyderabad
Was wearing Chudithar/Salwar Kameez with dupatta
Reaction: Moved away silently

Incident was : Recurring

Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance and aged Less than 20

Experience:
This is not just a passing moment but a tortuous one year ordeal of a young girl about 13-14 years.

The beautiful girl that I am talking about was in her 11th standard when she was stalked by a male senior student from her college (He was infact just one among the lot she had to face every day at college). Inspite of the girl’s indifference towards him, he persistently talked to her and eventually expressed his interest in her. Not withstanding rejection he then threatened to harm her else to harm himself.

Through all this the girl could do nothing but be scared and pray that she does not have to face any awkward situation. This said the girl could not even express her anguish to her parents as they reprimanded her when they sensed the attention their beautiful daughter received ( no mistake of hers).

fortunately, the girl did not get to see a bad day, however the lone battle was very difficult for her especially at such a young age. Today as i read through ibreakmysilence.org i see many similar stories. And I believe that this is a result of society’s attitude (including

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parents) towards a victim in sexual harassment cases. Most people even today see the victim rather than the perpetrator as the cause of the mishap (as we hear people blame it on woman’s clothes else her socializing nature etc.,.). From all this I just want to say that if we let go of this attitude, no woman would be ashamed or hesitant to share her stories and would garner strength to fight back and avoid domestic violence at the least!

jeans-banned-at-indian-school-over-eve-teasing-1355159778-4431

No Comments

Gender woman

Was: a victim
City: House/Haryana
Was wearing school uniform
Reaction: Moved away silently

Incident was : Recurring

Perpetrator was a Neighbour and aged Less than 20

Experience:
I think I was 5-6 years old. Yes, so I was just a kid. We would generally go to this house next door to play with the family. I think he must be hardly 15 years of age and I considered him just as my elder brother. He would call me in the afternoons, would undress me, and lick me. I remember this happening twice. I, myself dint know what was it since I was grown up enough to understand everything. At that time, I don’t even know how I escaped out of it. Now it just seems to be a nightmare that something like this happened. I don’t remember anything from my childhood but, this incident. What was my fault? I was innocent and ignorant. I din’t know what was happening to me.

Now, he is married, has a son. What does he envision for his son? To be just another cheapster like him?!

*- Name changed on request

ChinaDoll

No Comments

Gender man

Was: a victim
City: House/Mumbai
Was wearing shorts and shirt
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance and aged Less than 20

Experience:
The incident occurred when I was in my 10th grade. I lived in a big community belonging to the company in which my dad worked. A great friends circle and common schools, playgrounds and festivals provided an ideal environment for a close knit community. A neighbor of mine, 4 years elder to me, who I had befriended recently called out from her balcony asking if she could come over to my place, to which I agreed. My parents weren’t at home, which didn’t seem to surprise her, she didn’t express the slightest hesitation and neither did I find any reason to hesitate.
She came over, and we were watching TV when things got a little uncomfortable when she turned around and mentioned how weird my shorts looked with her left hand resting on my thigh. I slid away saying that I have always been weird, in the obnoxious way I usually do. A few minutes later her hand rested on my right shoulder and she asked if I liked her, by which time I had edged to my end of the sofa and was feeling extremely uneasy. I replied saying “ofcourse, aap achhi ho, didi (hindi for elder sister)” and stood up, feeling very scared and alone and not quite sure how to react, and muttered that it was getting late to play shuttle. She too stood up, and asked if I could get

her a glass of water. I went to kitchen to get a glass of water, and got a shock of a lifetime when I turned around, as I saw the girl standing across the corridor, topless with a smile. I started sweating, stunned, scared; and she moved towards me and raised her hand to touch my cheek, and then I slapped her. It might have been seconds, or minutes, but the next thing I remember was the door bell ringing. She said “open it”, and slipped into the restroom. My parents were at the door, and I mumbled something about being in the other room and not hearing the bell when they questioned me, mixing it up with telling them that she had come over. She came out, coolly saying “hi aunty, I was just leaving” and left but not before whispering that she had left a gift for me.
The moment she stepped out, I rushed to restroom, only to find that the horror continued, and she has left her undergarment there. I remember myself sitting there on the commode, scared to come out, scared to touch it, afraid of my parents, afraid of god, feeling guilty. I had called her didi, a sister, and to me that was sanctified, it had always meant a sense of comfort and protection and this shattered everything. My family was ultra-orthodox and at that moment I felt that my dad would kill me. Trembling I stuffed it in my pocket, fumbled out of the house, ran six stories down and threw it in a dustbin there. Came home, changed my shorts. I spoke to no one, which on hindsight I probably should have. This incident shut me down; I became scared to go down to play, uncomfortable around girls I met anew, starting staying in school or at my friends place more often and panicked every time I saw her. I hid behind bushes when she walked down the same path as me. I was scared of her, afraid of what she may do, of the revenge she may seek, of another move that she would make. My panic ebbed when I left the community, finally leaving behind the city I loved for my higher studies, my discomfort with girls vanished after I met some amazing friends, but I have never been able to completely shake it off, probably because I chose not to confront it, chose not to acknowledge my fear and weakness, chose to bundle it up. She has contacted me four times since, over phone and electronic media, and has accused me to rejecting her love, and every time I have panicked, for all I can remember is the fear of that day and the weeks that followed.
And till today am not completely sure that I have come to terms with it, and I am glad to have a chance to put it out. To break one’s silence is a daunting task.
personal

2 Comments
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