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Never I had thought that this would happen to me or never I was told that this happens to almost everybody.
Neither I knew how to react nor I was told by anyone as how to react.
Little me was left to draw conclusions on my own and create boundaries by myself.
But I wanted to BREAK MY SILENCE!
It was a time for family vacation. Bags packed, camera check, and we were all set for Srinagar.

But what our water bottle got emptied at the station. My mom asked me to go and fill that up from the water cooler.
While I was filling it up, a guy who must around 16-18 years in age was also there and the very next moment he made an extremely disgusting gesture which I can’t forget till date.

He gave a flying kiss and some lip movement which left me in shock, disgust and anger. I did not know how should I respond but all I felt was very bad and shameful. I now think that I should have slapped him then.

It was not just once. My personal space was violated twice and thrice. Once I was coming back from my tuition at around 6:30pm and a guy of around 20 years came on activa and passed a lewd comment.
Once I was waiting at a bus stop and when I boarded the bus a guy from behind touched me in a very bad manner.

I don’t understand that am I supposed to be chill about it that anyone can come and touch me the way they want or say anything?
Answer is an obvious NO. But why don’t we talk about it or why we are not taught as how to respond to these situations.

I feel light when I share this and I wish it inspires thousands of me who don’t know what to do and who don’t know whom to speak to.

 

*Name has been changed on request.

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Too innocent to understand the double standards of the society but each day while growing up, I encounter situations which drifts me apart from my image of an ideal world which the so-called society tends to frame in front of us.

Not one time but it happened 2-3 times when my belief in an ideal world where I was safe got shattered.
A friend of mine of opposite gender with whom I used to share my thoughts, play games with and laugh together. I used to feel safe when I was with him. A good friend he was in whom I could confide.

One fine day, I did not know what happened he came so close to me and tried to touch me. I was old enough to differentiate between a good and bad touch and sadly bad touch it was. I was shocked to see him behaving like that. For a moment I got blank. Then I pushed him away and ran.

Now when I think back, the memories are still fresh. Hundreds of questions comes to my mind to which I am still looking for answers. Why it happened? What went wrong in our beautiful friendship? What else could I have done then? What if I would not have pushed him back? Is friendship like this? Can I trust anyone?

It was not a good feeling at all. I still don’t know answers to many questions but I firmly believe speaking about such experiences where one felt harassed makes one feel light. A burden that one carries gets lifted. I broke my silence, it’s your turn now!

 

*Name has been changed on request.

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A 9th standard student shares her story of gender based violence.

One day I was coming back from my tuition and the group of boys were sitting in the park that I usually cross while coming back. The boys sitting there abused me and also insulted me to which I was shocked and horrified.

Confused me ran very fast from there to home and told my father about the same. I was amazed by his answer that, “you should have slapped them instead and taught them a lesson so that they do not dare to do the same again to any girl.”

His words reassured confidence in me and I am firm enough now to not let anyone pass by just like that who tries to harass me.

But that incident still scares me if I think of it and it is daily reality for most of the girls and I wish each one of us becomes bold to face these situations with confidence.

 

*Name changed on request.

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