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Blog Archives

Gender Female

Was: a victim
City: Bus/Chennai
Was wearing chudithar/salwar kameez with dupatta
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)
Incident was: One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 20-30

Experience:
It was a Sunday afternoon, I was in my third year of engineering. I was returning to my hostel in Kodambakkam from Kilpauk in 17-D bus. The bus was very crowded. I was standing as there were no empty seats. I am a sturdy girl of height 5 feet 6 inches.(You will know why I am mentioning this at the end of the post). A lean and short guy hit me once, I thought it was because the bus was very much crowded and of the bad road. I moved away from him standing facing the windows. The bus became little crowded as it crossed the Valluvar kottam stop. When the bus was nearing the Meenakshi college stop, he fell over me from the back with force , that I was about hit the windows.Think as how hard he would have pushed me that a girl of my height would have fallen. I started shouting at him all abusive words I know. I even said that I would give an Eve-Teasing complaint. Nobody around me said anything not even the conductor.The lady who was observing us was the only one to say that I moved away from him and still he was after me. He got down as soon as he hit me and I still remember as what he said. He said it was me who was falling on me. I still cant forget that day. I cant forget how angry I was,very much more on the public which just stood watching.

Incident 2:
I am no stranger to bus travels in the night. As usual, I was travelling back to my hometown in a private bus from Chennai at 10:00 pm bus. An old man of respectable age came and told me that I was occupying his seat and that my seat was the one before his seat. I got up and changed the seat. It was in the middle of night after all the lights were shut off. I saw his fingers coming from back. I pulled up my seat. Then again he tried to touch below my neck. This time, I got up and occupied the front seat where his hands wont reach me. I was fuming over. The bus was not crowded. I kept vigilant the entire journey. When I was about to get down in my stop, I pulled over my laptop which was above his head and dropped it on his head. He cried in pain. I took the bag and went ahead with out looking back

I wish I had more courage those days. I tried my best to erase these things from my memory but they haunt me whenever I travel alone. As now I always carry a small blade with me.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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

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: On the road/Bangalore
Was wearing Chudithar/Salwar Kameez with dupatta
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 40-50486156_302985893141024_777130491_n

Experience:
Hello everyone..

First of all I wish to say that this really is a good initiative and I’m very happy to be a part of it. Before I started writing this, apparently I had to choose how and in what sort of way was I victimized, and the worst part was I did not know which of the options to choose from. This is because almost all of the options are applicable to me. I had to immediately brush away the thoughts that followed this hesitation and here I’m ready to share one such incident.

I was just going out somewhere with a friend, walking on the sidewalk of a very crowded road. My friend was walking in front of me and a special mention on the wardrobe, we were both wearing salwar kameez with duppatta, in other words neatly dressed just the way few people want a girl to be dressed. And also we were not talking or laughing or attracting any sort of attention. We just quietly walked on the side of the road, keeping as much distance as possible from the incoming predators with their piercing and exasperating stare. Suddenly there was too many men in front of us and one of those morons(some elderly one, worst part) conveniently placed his hands to his sides and as he passed us, brushed it on our legs, first on my friend followed by me.

At this point, I cannot even begin to describe the amount of hatred and anger that filled in my heart. I just turned and gave him a dirty look and moved away. He put on a face as if nothing happened which was much more irritating. This is a very convenient strategy used by so many assholes. My friend and I just went on as fast as we could from that place. We both could not control our anger and just started ditching him with the worst words we know. This was obviously a temporary relief and it did not make me feel any better. There were so many thoughts running in my mind, I felt so sad that I did not just slap him across his ugly, stupid face. Since that moment, I have been very careful when I walk on the roads, keeping a very safe distance from anyone I suspect and have also been building up courage in me to look into such(I seriously can’t think of a bad word now) stupid creatures’

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eye and just slap them.. slap them so hard that my hand hurts. But at least I will be happy.

In the middle of such thoughts, I happen to come across a totally different point of view. When I sat down and thought about why these idiots do what they do, the answer I got was because they do not respect or value themselves. The only way they can feel better(or that is what they think) is to hurt or molest others and feel superior. Especially in the case of men, the only way they have power over women is the physical form. This applies more to free thinking and independent women to whom insecure men subject such behaviour. Women often are pushed to believe that it was their fault that they are put through such non sense(I used to believe it too), but the truth is that it is not and it never is. One should be very careful to curb this thought because they tend to eat you up.

The ultimate fact is that, in this universe, we are all one, men, women, Hindu,, Muslim, Indian, American etc., there is the same spirit inside of all of us. These are just physical forms that we are presented in and it was our arrangement(or some male chauvinistic one) that differentiated men from women. From therein, there has been this kind of an odd treatment towards us women, in India especially, it is the worst. When we think from this point of view, when a guy dashes against you or tries to grope just to show his dominance or for perversion, it seems to be merely pathetic to me. As women, you and I do not need this kind of a barbaric satisfaction to feel better. Our powerful inner strength, the spiritual strength gets us through any situation. As I have always believed, I will always remain the same invaluable person while on the other hand the low life that is trying such acts will remain so all his life.(By this I mean only those men who have crossed my path and who are without any doubt perverts of the first order) Trying to apparently damage a women’s dignity by doing such unethical things will not put us nor our spirit down. Next time you go through or witness any such incident, just look them in the eye fearlessly, slap them and walk away with your held high. That is exactly what I’m raring to do.

1 Comment

Gender woman

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

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 20-30

 

Experience:
When I go home to Kerala on vacation, my entire appearance and style of dressing undergoes a complete

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overhaul. This is not at the instance of anyone in my family or otherwise, but merely a precautionary measure I’ve adopted myself, to avoid the stares, whistles and the leering smiles. Most men in the Malayalee hinterland, it would appear, are not used to women dressing comfortably and so, for their benefit, I discard my preferred form of clothing-a pair of jeans, a tee, a skirt or a dress for the more conservative, “approved” salwar kameez with the dupatta draped most properly around my modesty.
In this particular instance, a few years ago, I had been sent by mother to pick up milk from the neighborhood provision store. It was around 6 in the evening, and a short walk to the shop and back. On my way towards the shop, I noticed a man relieving himself on the road by the gate of an abandoned plot. This was a commonly used road, and right opposite the plot stands a convent school. I caught his eye, entirely by mistake, and he smiled at me. I avoided his gaze, of course, and walked away shaking my head at the complete lack of civic sense among people. On my way back, he was still there. This time, however, he was relieving himself by other means. He had his penis out, and he was tugging at it while was staring at me, his tongue lolling out like a hungry animal. I don’t know if he meant for me

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to see him, but I did, although I pretended not to have. It must have taken me a few seconds to pass by him, and minutes later I was safely ensconced in my home, but for years afterwards, every single time that I have walked on that road, I have remembered that pathetic man and wondered how he felt that it was perfectly within his right to jerk himself off on a public road while watching me. I am braver today, of course, and I can only hope he didn’t stoop low enough to try this on the children who go to school in the convent and often hang around near the plot.me

2 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 woman

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

Incident was : multiple times

Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance and aged 20-30

Experience:
The one thought that always comes to my logical mind, when I hear of sexual abuse is this… Why should we, as victims, be ashamed, ever. It has been long since we have ignored the monsters, who have mistook our tolerance to be our weakness. Our silence has been taken for submission.

Today, I would like to share a few lessons I learnt, through my story. I had a taste of fear, embarrassment and an assault to my dignity too, not once, not twice, but several times. It is appalling that all of us have similar stories to tell. Our men can keep us safe and we can, together, keep our daughters safe, only when all of us know what we go through each day. As I walked through incidents of

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my life, even as a little girl, I let go all the fancy myths of a the world being beautiful and built a safe sheath of facts around me, which is sad , but a practical guide for survival. I would like to share it with all girls and parents too.

My first brush with the ugly side of life was when I was 9. My parents bought me a bicycle and asked one of my young relatives to tutor both my sister and me. He was a young boy of 16 and my distant brother. As little sisters of his, we trusted him more than anything and he proved us wrong. We were taught fewer lessons of cycling, and bigger lessons of life. After a couple of days, I complained to my sister that the guy has been touching me in ways he should not. She agreed that everything wasn’t right with her too. We took it to our parents, who were equally shocked, and being teachers at heart, went to the boy’s parents to impart some moral science lessons to him. However the boy’s parents strongly dismissed our complaints and threw my parents out of their house. Today as a grown up man, the boy faces charges of dowry assault and sexual harassment . How I wish they took time to hear us, then.

Myth 1: Your little girl is too young to be sexually abused.

Myth 2: Your little girl is in the safe hands of a relative and you can leave her un-monitored.

Myth 3: Your boy comes from a great family background and hence cannot perpetrate sexual crime. [ Please identify early and nip it off, at the bud ]

I was probably 12, not even mature enough to understand the adults world. I was only taught that the world is a beautiful place and to greet everybody with a smile. I was at a supermarket, with my parents around, and my cousin brother holding my hand. A man passes by, probably a middle aged uncle and I give him a pleasant smile. He returns a wicked smile and pinches my chest. I step aside in embarrassment. I was in safe hands, I was fully covered and damn, I was not even an adult yet – none of it matters. That day I believe the innocent smile turned into a skeptical one and continues to.

Myth 4: Sexual harassment does not happen when parents are around.

I was 13 when I was travelling by bus and a man kept rubbing his penis against my shoulders standing next to me. This time I was brave enough to tell my uncle accompanying me. He only replied, “let us get down in the next stop”. The only logical thought I had was, “Why should I get down?”. That day I began to question.

Myth 5: Your little girl complains so often. Don’t take much notice since she is a kid.

Myth 6: Your girl is safe if she is taking the public transport [ Not at all. Please talk to her each day ]

I was 14 and was traveling by bus to my village. The man behind me groped me, while the uncle sitting next to me was all over me. I got up and complained to the conductor, who meekly gave me another seat. That very day I saw that not everybody stands up against shit, and probably I should do it myself.

Myth 7: People around you will always stand up, in your support. [ Don’t expect support. Just be confident to fight it out]

I was 15, and was at a cousin’s marriage. My cousin’s neighbor, who was atleast of my grand dad’s age groped me and pulled me towards him, all in the name of love and care. I quickly resisted and jumped back.

Fact: Age, family, caste – Nothing matters – such acts can happen with anyone and anywhere

I was 16 when I was being followed by a fellow student, who was stalking me wherever I went. My mother asked me to be cautious, but probably did not take it very seriously, considering he was a class mate. One fine day he stopped my friend to inquire about me, she took the incident to her dad and to my dismay, her dad complained to my parents about me and not the boy. My dad looked at me, smiled, placed his hands on my shoulders and said “I trust you my little girl. I will sort this out for you”. I am so indebted to my dad for those words of support

Myth 8: Your girl is safe with her classmates.

I am 29 today. Not a year has passed without one such incident happening . But I am proud I have learnt to handle it better.

The other day strangers asked me for directions and as I led them their way, they began to pass lewd comments. I shouted back and called the traffic police.

I was walking to the station to catch a train back home and a drunk teenager follows, asking me to accompany him home. I yelled so loudly that an entire coach stepped out in support.

My widowed maid told me that there was a family fight and her brother in law told her ” I will get both your girls raped” without any remorse . I went to her house and threatened him that I will get him arrested the next time he makes such remarks.

I realize, nothing around me has changed, but I have. I learnt my lessons the hard way. I am definitely stronger than what I was when it all started – bold, capable and outspoken. I encourage every girl to protect herself and not become easy targets.

WHAT HELPS: Be confident, be loud, discuss with your parents, friends, and relatives, and always, shout for help. “I’m not sure if it was a deliberate act” is a common thought that comes to our mind, under such circumstances and the prime reason for young girls to endure such nonsense. Brush it aside and shout for help. It is our innocence, our unpreparedness, our timidity, and the habit of giving the perpetrators the benefit of doubt, that leads to such brazen acts of abuse and assault.

We have no choice, but to only grow stronger from here. Let us build a safe haven for each other. Little acts of caution, little fingers of support and a LOUD CLEAR SHOUT OUT can go a long way. I only request all men to be more sensitive towards what a lady is put through each day and to stand by them. One single voice of support from our own men comes a long way.

Despite all this, it is amazing how we women still continue to lead an extremely sane life, strive to keep our families secure, perform fantastically well at work and continue to explore life with enthusiasm. It requires not a heart of steel , but a ‘heart of a lady’ to do that..ibms_pic

6 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.

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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!

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