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Gender Female

Was: a victim
City: home/delhi
Was wearing jeans and shirt
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)
Incident was: Recurring

Perpetrator was a Family member or Relative and aged multiple ages, more than one incident

Experience:
i was in 11th class and my exams were approaching so my parents use to

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leave the house so that i can study calmly. they had gone to my massi house ,as i was alone my relative who was old enuf came in and as i respected him hugged him. he kissed me on my lips, i felt bad and disgusted. i got in my room and started studying. the man came in and started touching my upper part slowly . i reacted and got up from there and called my friend ,he came up and said im here to study with her. till date i hate that guy whenever he comes up and thankful to my friend. the other time my tenant ejaculated himself in me. this is bad really bad that guys take us for granted and just for there sheer satisfaction the do this im 20 now but these things still haunt me up so much that i get dreams about this and im afraid that someday my father would do the same to me though he is the one person whom i trust blindly but the trauma has made me like this . i cry myself in sleep sometimes and it feels so bd to think that you were being molested and you’r soul was broken in pieces. its so better to stay alone.

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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.

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Gender Female

Was: a victim
City: Street/Hyderabad
Was wearing long skirt and top
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)
Incident was: One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 20-30

Experience:
Having lived in Hyderabad for as long as I could remember, I’ve always considered the city to be one of the safest places for women. You could hail a cab home as late as 2 AM and still get home safe without a shadow of doubt & fear! But it all changed a few days ago when I found myself in a very uncomfortable situation which thankfully got averted before things got too ugly.

A couple of days ago, I had purchased some new furniture to refurnish my apartment and made plans to meet some friends for dinner after. I got a little delayed with the carpenters assembling the furniture in my house but decided to meet my friends anyway since the restaurant was only 2 kilometers away! Before you speculate on what I was wearing, let me clarify that I was wearing a below-the-knee long dress and a blazer over it so yes, I was decently clothed.

I was standing around the corner from my house, waiting for an auto and I managed to find an empty auto over 10 minutes later. I had just gotten into the auto when a stranger who was walking by stops and makes an unwelcome gesture as if he wanted to kiss me. Women usually get teased on the roads all the time and men jeering at you is nothing new but this seemed different because he seemed to want to pull me out of the auto. I got annoyed and told him to mind his own business and leave me alone. He seemed a bit agitated at this, looked at my dress and tried to pull it at the knee. By then I had lost my temper and landed a huge slap on his face and asked the auto driver to start so I could just get away. Much to my disbelief, the auto driver didn’t react at all. He wouldn’t even turn his head and see what the fuss was all about. Noticing that I was quite helpless, the bastard grabbed my arm tried to pull me out of the auto. I lost my balance a little but still managed to stay in the auto because the street had gotten pretty silent and dark. I quickly reacted and started badgering his head with the iPhone in my hand and hit him pretty hard at least ten times. He shifted his position a bit and I assumed that he was finally pulling away from the fight but he suddenly groped me and tried his might to inflict pain. It all happened so quickly but as soon as he groped me, I realized that I could kick him and so I kicked him really hard in the gut, with all my strength. As soon as he fell back a couple of paces from the blow, I yelled at the auto driver to start and take me to the restaurant as soon as possible. All I wanted was to get away before the bastard could do anything else. The auto driver starts the vehicle, drives about 2 meters and stops again so he could get a glimpse of what this bastard was now doing. Fortunately, the asshole finally lost interest in fighting and walked away saying some horrendous things. Meanwhile, the auto driver takes his time before he starts the vehicle and finally began driving me to the restaurant. I didn’t know if he was amused or just didn’t care. I saw the bastard passing by the lane I live, into a parallel road of a different neighborhood. He seemed like a construction worker, was drunk and seemed to be carrying a parcel home.

On the way, I realized how everything happened so quickly and that the bastard left a few bruises and nail marks in my arm and my chest. Feeling devastated and hurt, I demanded the auto driver to tell why he wouldn’t help and if all he could do was just sit and not react when a girl is screaming out for help. To my horror, he replies saying, ‘I thought you knew the guy. Why else would he grab you?’. Utterly shocked, I yelled at him saying, ‘It’s not my fault some idiot tried to grab me and why else would I scream for your help if I wasn’t in need?’. He drove the rest of the kilometer in utter silence. Though I acted pretty quickly during the incident, I was frightened and called my friends to ask them to meet me downstairs when I got to the restaurant. I was shaking when I met them and couldn’t even drink a glass of water so they dropped me home so I could clean the wounds and get some sleep. It’s been two nights and I still can’t sleep in peace without the event playing in my head every time I close my eyes. I’m lucky I got away with just a few bruises. I hate how those three minutes robbed me of my sense of security for the neighborhood I stay in and the city I love.

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I realized that onlookers/ strangers might not even bother to react or care enough to help you out. I bought myself a pepper spray can and placed an order for a stun gun online so I can carry some kind of self defense device. At a time when there is so much public anger on the lack of safety for women, I can’t help but wonder, ‘Do people not care unless something bad happens to them personally? Or are they just being insincere?’. I’m not really close with my parents or relatives so I haven’t even told them. For all I know, they’d blame me for going out in the night. But I know I’ll get over it in time with the help of my friends. I also know that I can’t and won’t let the fear cripple me and that I’m going to do whatever I can to help support campaigns against street harassment. Over & Out.2616510-Autorickshaw_India

7 Comments

Gender Female

Was: a victim
City: Bus, Chennai
Was wearing school uniform
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)
Incident was: One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 20-30

Experience:
It was during my 12th. My school is situated behind a Men’s College and the school’s closure timing and the college’s coincide.
I was waiting for a not-so-crowded bus at the bus stop for quite sometime. Later I had to get into a crowded one. Few of the college guys were passing explicit comments about me for which i decided ignorance is the best thing. Later, one of them tried getting close to me or i would rather frame it as molested me. I screamed at the person and kept yelling until the bus was stopped. The bus conductor tried quietening me down and completely ignored the guy who was supposed to be punished.
I wanted the bus to be taken to a nearby Police Station. But the elderly people in the bus asked me to forget the whole incident and think that none of it ever happened. The bus conductor asked me to get down the bus so that the bus can start moving again.
It feels so wrong that women always are expected to never retaliate to such situationsquiet

2 Comments

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.

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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! 🙂

 

6 Comments

Was: a victim
City: Beauty Parlor / Gurgaon
Was wearing jeans and shirt
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)
Incident was: One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 20-30

Experience:
well, This happened today at around 6 in the evening in a beauty parlor where there were at-least 7 to 8 parlor assistants and at-least a bunch of visitors.

Oh and how did this guy manage to grope me and touch my private parts , well in the name of giving me a hair spa and massage ! Highly tactical ! The first time his hands approached areas which it shouldn’t( parts surrounding my breasts, too close for comfort), I thought he had committed a mistake; it took me only a few more seconds to realize that it was intentional when his hands moved in the exact same way as it had earlier.
I stared back at him , he withdrew.

I waited patiently for an hour more to get my other parlor stuff done by other assistants. I didn’t want to create a scene by shouting at him in front of others. I was afraid that he may chase me back and rip me apart ! This is Gurgaon for god’s sake & I  have heard enough.

I then went to the owner who happened to be a sweet lady and complained to her stating that this guy might end up spoiling her reputation. She was disgusted & promised to dismiss him , I am planning to visit her again in a few days to check on the steps she had taken.

I am not angered, but the incident made me very sad. I had not had to face anything of this sort in the last 1 decade at-least and have had exactly 3 more incidents related to this in my life so far.

I fail to understand why would any guy want to do this. Not being afraid of anything or the consequences. I am unable to decipher !
It still remains a mystery to me , I knew from his guilty eyes that he knew what he was doing was wrong , close to committing a sin, but he still continued. It was definitely not lack of awareness, it was something else, of which I have no clue.

* – Name changed on requestimages

 

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Gender man

Was: a witness
City: Society/Gurgaon
Was wearing Long Skirt and top
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)

Perpetrator was a Neighbour and aged 20-30

Incident was : One time

Experience:
This happened to a close friend of mine, in 2010 when she was around 21 years old. I am going to narrate this in first person, as she had told to me. I think it will have a better effect.

To take a break from stress, I had gone with two long-time close male friends whom I and my family trusted, to a regular pub. After some drinks I had become unexpectedly drowsy. We were about to leave, and were approached by a guy whom I just knew from my neighbourhood. He’d asked me out once but nothing had come off it and we weren’t friends or anything. This man claimed to be my friend from my society and offered to drop me home. I was too drowsy at the time to confirm or deny, and my friends, with a few drinks in themselves, thought it to be convenient and so loaded me into his car and let me go.
I was in a totally dazed state at the time and had only fleeting glimpses of where I was and what was going on. We entered my society, and he led me up the building. But after we entered the apartment it turned out it wasn’t my home; it was his. I was totally confused at the time and was asking where my home was. He didn’t even bother asking me or explaining his intentions to me. He lay me down, undressed me and himself, and only when he was just about to enter me, God knows what force took over me but I reacted and pushed him off with my legs violently. This convulsion finally forced me back to some degree of consciousness, and struck some fear in him. I figured out what was going on, screamed at him, pulled my stuff back together and ran out of there and got back home.

At home I broke down completely and after a long time was able to relay the events to my mother. But I just didn’t have the heart to tell anything to my father. After recovering a bit by the next day, I confronted the man who tried to rape me, and he pretended total innocence, claiming that I was in by consent, and asked me to forget the whole thing and move on!

When I told my friends (who were supposed to look after me) about the events, they first defended themselves without even bothering to understand what I’d just been through! I don’t even remember what I had said to them in my drowsiness, but according to them it was enough to completely trust a stranger with me! They shifted the blame to me, saying I should have told them properly. How the hell could I have, in the state I was in?? I had gone WITH them specifically so they could step in and PROTECT me in case I can’t protect myself. Oh, and the best defense all three of these men had for themselves: “It’s not my fault, I was drunk, not completely in my senses.”

It was a very long time, several weeks of crying and questioning before my friend was able to move on to some degree of normalcy. She didn’t have the ability to approach the police and risk all that exposure (especially a place like Gurgaon!). So that bastard got away and who knows, he might have repeated it again with other women also by now. Heck, she couldn’t even tell her dad or siblings. Her own childhood friends had abandoned her and then shrugged off all responsibility. Anything could have happened to her that night. It was sheer luck that it happened in her own housing colony that she was able to run back to her home on foot. Many others in her place have not been so lucky. For a long time after this she would keep asking me if there was something wrong with her, if really somehow she was to blame for what happened, and if not then why does the world act like it?

I was very disturbed on hearing this. I had just moved to another city and could do nothing except be a listener and consoler. We could not bring any attention to the matter – her father was NOT to know. The attacker is at best, another regular young male just like me. When with my buddies we regularly fantasized and joked about one-night stands, “if only I could get some chick drunk enough so I can bang her”. The same thoughts must have run through that guy and without caring about her consent, he jumped at the opportunity. But upon seeing this from my friend’s perspective, and listening and feeling how it feels to be on the receiving end, I was just shaken completely and left questioning my manhood, my ego, everything that made me proud of myself as a man. What if I or one of

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my friends ends up doing something like this?

I think the best way to prevent something like this from happening with others, is to share the story and shame other men for the attitude we have towards women. I’m doing this for her and for everyone who has or will be through such an experience, and for everyone who’s ever thought of doing something like this to a woman. I know I have. Thank you for creating a space for this.

*-Name changed on requestimages

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.

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Gender man

Bystander intervention
City: Restaurant/Bangalore
Was wearing Jeans and Shirt
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 20-30

Experience:
I was out with a group of friends and one of my female friends, Lakshmi received a phone call. She looked very disturbed and asked one of my male friends to say hello to whoever was on the line.  My male friend was pretty non-chalant and Lakshmi looked disappointed with his equivocal response. After he hung up, I inquired the details. Apparently, Lakshmi was being stalked by a stranger for the last two weeks. He used to call her at all odd hours. Threats, playing music on the phone etc. didn’t help. He even knew all her whereabouts. I got terribly angry to hear this from her and to my luck, he called again. This time, I lifted the call. However he cut the call on hearing my sound. Then I called him back. This time he spoke to me. I then shouted at him. He at first tried to joke with me and when I told him I will call the police,  he was shocked.  He exclaimed ‘you will call police!’, and then he told me it was wrong number and cut the call.  I knew he was clearly afraid when I spoke about police.   I was boiling with rage and advised Lakshmi to take it very seriously. At that time, this male friend of mine and a couple of others made comments about me being “paranoid” and “lecturing too much.” I remember everyone in the restaurant looking at me strangely. But later I was happy to know that the guy never called Lakshmi again.

So yes, strong reactions are needed even to curb small things. A woman shouldn’t be violated in any way.378885_10150564869241240_3653392_n

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