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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

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



Was: a victim
City: Street/Bangalore
Was wearing Jeans and Kurta
Reaction: Reacted (yelling, complaining, slapping, fighting back)

Incident was : One time

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 20-30

I used to walk to my work place that was about 20 minutes away from the Paying Guest (PG) Accommodation in CBI Road, RT Nagar,Bangalore. The PG lady was so proud of her “posh locality” that she had to talk about it at least once everyday.

One day, as usual, I was heading back from work at about 7pm. The street was dark (thanks to the notorious power cuts), but I had no qualms. After all, it was a “posh locality” and nothing should go wrong.

Then this motorcyclist came by, hit my chest really hard and sped past.

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I was caught unguarded. I remember screaming profanities at the top of my lungs and almost clutching a tree branch. The blow was so strong and I almost fell down. I was so angry and till date, I regret not noting down the number of his vehicle.

Later I came to know that many of my PG mates were harassed and molested by a motorcyclist on the same road, even during day time. The PG lady said that she would take action (nothing really happened) and blamed us for our dressing sense!!!

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Was: a victim2013-01-28 13.55.11
City: Street near my house/Mumbai
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

In the aftermath of a rape incident, what one often hears, rather unfortunately, is a blame game wherein the victim is held responsible for “instigating” the rape. Questions are raised as to why she was out partying late at night, about why she was wearing “objectionable” clothing, why she was out with a male friend at that time, or sometimes, why she out alone, instead of being accompanied by a father/brother.
Here is my story, in which i came within a hair’s breadth of getting raped, which shows that none of this matters. My only “crime” was being a woman.
The incident occurred one night (around 8 pm – not so late an hour for a woman to be alone, especially in a city like Mumbai!) on my way back from office (I wasn’t partying, nor was I drunk-so those two objections are shot down) and I was wearing a salwar kameez (definitely “traditional, Indian” clothing). And yet, I almost got raped.
I was walking on a footpath adjoining a row of houses, just around the corner from my house, when a man bumped into me groped me. My instinctive reaction to this was to glare at the man angrily. That is all I did – I protested through a facial expression against the use of my body as if it were public property. That however, was enough to make him angry.
He blocked my path, refusing me any opportunity to move ahead and out of his reach. He muttered something about how he was going to “teach me a lesson” for glaring at him. I kept moving backwards, realizing all the time that this was actually taking me further away from home. The street was empty then but since I was in a residential area I figured that screaming may attract someone’s attention. I raised my voice hoping to get noticed by someone and threatened to scream louder, to no avail.  He just kept saying that he would “make me feel sorry”. By this time I had lost all hope and was in tears. I have never known fear like I knew it at that moment.
Some angel must have been watching over me, because at just that moment, a car drove in to one of the houses. The man who was driving it heard my screaming and realized that something was amiss and came towards us, placing himself between me and the other guy.  The good Samaritan asked the other guy what he wanted, and at the same time signaled to me to leave. And I did.
I did not wait to thank him. I just ran-as fast as my feet could carry me. But whoever he is my heartfelt gratitude is with him. He is in my prayers always.
I was lucky. Many others are not. That is what scares me. That is why we need to speak up. And that is why I beg of you that if you see someone in this kind of situation, do not look away. If you hear a woman scream, pay attention.  You will make a difference!

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