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Blog Archives

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 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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whosays-picGender woman

Was: a victim
City: House/College/Office
Was wearing Long Skirt and top
Reaction: Moved away silently

Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance and aged 20-30

Incident was : multiple times

Experience:
I had 4-5 experiences which had made me feel uncomfortable.

First incident was when I was attending math tuitions in my 9th grade. The math teacher(who was atleast 65) was touching my neck and slowly trying to move his hands downward. I pushed away his hands. My mom happened to see this when she had come to pick me up. But I continued the math tuitions which I shouldn’t have. He did not repeat it after that, though. I still feel I should have slapped him tight.

Second incident: I was alone at home and the contractor who constructed our home came to see something. I was standing and reading something.He came and groped my back. I quickly ran away and called my parents. I stayed downstairs and outside the hose till he left. My grandmother came from my cousin’s house and questioned him. I believe he was embarassed.

Third incident: It was in my office. One of my friends came and talked to me when I was in the early morning shift. No one else were in the cubicles nearby. While talking he came and kept his hand on my thighs and tried to push it up. I moved away from that spot. Somehow I did not tell him then and there. I pinged him the official messenger and told him I am not comfortable with whatever he was doing. He made some excuse and said he was trying to teach me something and bla bla bla. Today I feel I should have complained to the hr. The same guy used to ping me in messenger and talk to me about bra and stuff. I called him a pervert and blocked him in messenger.

Fourth incident: I was climbing the college stairs and one of my classmates came and groped my hips. There was no one else near by. I moved away and messaged him that I am not comfortable with gents touching me in any way. He apologized by texting.

Fifth incident:There was some email wars going on and one of the guys called me something bad. I told him that it is his girlfriend. He got pissed off and wrote 20 emails with lot of abusive stuff like I will do anything for money, sleep with your brother and a lot other things which I can’t even write here. I asked him to fuck off. I should have forwarded it to the college dean. Alas! it is too late.

I did not react or escalate these sexual/verbal abuses in all these cases above. Today I regret and believe that I should have reacted in a much better way.

1 Comment

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 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

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Gender woman

Was: a victim
City: Pune
Was wearing school uniform
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured

Incident was : Recurring

Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance and aged 20-30

Experience:
this was years back when i was 5 or 6 years old and was repeatedly fingered by my drawing teacher..he lay me down once and stripped me and himself naked..
i did not respond… i didnt know what was happening..just knew i didnt like it..stopped drawing for the longest time without making any connections between him and this reaction..was repulsed by

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touch and only realized it was something i had shut out when i spoke about it when i turned 20..when i did though, taking a friend’s suggestion found this teacher again and yelled my lungs out at him..his reaction was “hota hai kabhi kabhi”..but i needed to do this to move on and i did..
feel like its important for kids to know about bad touch and good touch..7527_163892670922_4897532_n

6 Comments

12Gender woman

Was: a victim
City: house/amritsar
Was wearing Short skirt and top
Reaction: Moved away silently

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance and aged 20-30

Experience:
i was ard 13 maybe. We had this guy working at my dad’s shop,i used to call him “bhaiya”. One day i was watching tv,and he came in to give something.While passing on the parcel,he touched me under my thigs….and for some seconds i missed my breath. It was a bad touch,i could not beleive he just did that. The incidence in itself doesnt sound big,but let me tell you,i am 24 now,and i still remeber the feeling i had whn he touched me,it grosses me out,scared for for a long while. He and other jerks out there,who passed cheap comments,made me beleive that thats how every guy is,they are all bad,until i met the right ones.

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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

Gender woman

Was: a victim
City: Chennai
Perpetrator was a Friend or acquaintance

Perpetrator Age: More than 50

Incident was : One time

Reaction : Helpless/ Passively endured

Was wearing capri and shirt

 

Experience:
I was in my 8th grade when I was sent to my neighbor’s house to share some goodies that my mom had prepared. My neighbors were an elderly couple (~60 and 55 yrs) and my parents never had hesitation in letting me visiting their house for they were the friendliest neighbor we’d ever had. It was an evening when my neighbor was playing his piano and I stepped into their house in my capri and shirt, which had a pocket in it. The wife was busy preparing their dinner when I went into the living room.  I had the least idea of what I was going to encounter when the 60 year old ‘respected gentleman’ when he signaled me to leave it on a bar stool  near his music instrument. As I took a couple of steps I was shocked to see his reach out to my shirt pocket effortlessly with a vicious smile questioning “what I was hiding in there”. Mind you, this man had a beautiful wife, had a son, gorgeous daughter-in-law and a 2 year old grand-daughter. As disgusting as it sounds today, I felt helpless then. I believed I was the reason this happened to me and felt very uncomfortable communicating this to anyone despite sharing a very close rapport with my parents and sister. Thinking back I realize I should have spoken up. This is just one of the many incidents I encountered when my sexuality was abused by the near and dear ones. I only wish I had the this medium and courage to speak up when I was 13 when this first happened, for that would have saved me many more abuses that I faced through my teenage.

Charanya_Pic1

3 Comments