Sexual Harassment: A Personal Experience

Posted on October 8, 2011 in Society

By Minali Arora:

As we know our Indian Society has always remained and will always be male dominated. The women in India has suffered a lot through stages.Sexual harassment is a menace that has grown to alarming proportions. Not many cities in India are considered safe for women. Though we are one of the fastest growing countries in world but we have yet to ensure the safety of working women and students. Sexual harassment is a huge issue in many metropolitan cities of India. It depicts incidents of public sexual harassment, street harassment or molestation of women by men. Sexual harassment also involves sexually suggestive remarks, groping, making lewd gestures and perverted teasing. These disturbing incidents usually take place in public transport, streets, offices and public places.  School girls, college going students, working women etc regularly go through humiliating comments by the unruly men. Harassment can leave a permanent psychological scar on women. It begins as an attempt to irritate a girl or catch her attention, probably by a whistle or a clap, or by drooling behind tinted windows in a car.

No girl has been spared from some form of sexual harassment. This is the harsh reality in India, essentially so in any of the 4000 odd cities and towns in India. I was also a victim of this when I was 15 years old. I was travelling back from my school where my school bus dropped me at the bus stop. As soon as I got down from the bus while I was walking through the road, suddenly I saw a gang of 3 guys coming behind me. The gave me a sly whistle and then I immediately turned back. As soon as I saw them, they started blaring songs and giving me cheap gestures, passed vulgar comments.
I was scared like hell. Already it was noon time, summer hot ant the road was at its peak silence. I was not able to understand what to do. I immediately started taking long steps so that I could reach my home fast. But I could see that they also kept following me with the same pace.
Suddenly I saw a man on a bike coming from the opposite side on road. I started shouting on road and the man on bike stopped at once. He asked me what happened and then after knowing about it he slapped one of those guys and all the three immediately ran back. I thanked him for rendering his help to me.

I agree that the only way a harasser can be caught is if passers by who witness him indulging in such an act react. One cannot wait for the police to be on the prowl at every street corner all the time awaiting acts of sexual harassment, the sad fact is that not many harassers are brought to book. The police see through the seemingly innocent pleas of a harasser and take stern action against these shameless offenders, but that is only when the matter comes to their notice or harassers are brought to them by public action.

Every person caught sexually harassing anyone should be dealt with in all sternness and there should not be any lenience for first time offenders. The best way to deter stubborn harassers who defy and question authority is to produce them before their family and unmask their true instincts. The sense of shame will ensure that they never resort to such a thing again and further this will serve as a severe warning for others who even think of indulging in it.