No Girl Is Safe Anywhere, Where Should We Go?

Editor’s note: This story is in response to Youth Ki Awaaz’s topic for this week – #UnsafeInMyCity. It highlights how safety is a concern for all of us, living in different parts of this country. If you have an experience to share, write to us here.

I am a nineteen year old engineer in the making from the “Rape Capital of India”, Delhi. I just want a to share my experience for #YesAllWomen to show that no woman is safe.

My first brush with sexual harassment was when I was just a 10-year-old. Me, my grandfather and my cousin were sleeping in the drawing room when my cousin woke me up at midnight and started talking to me about sex. I didn’t take interest and slept back but after that he put his hand inside my pajamas and touched my private parts. Not only that, he forced me to touch his private parts as well repeatedly and tried to have sexual conversation with me, saying me that he is doing this for sexual awareness. I ran away from there to the washroom, leaving his clutches, as I was really scared. I felt something was wrong. Later on I told my mother about it but she asked me to keep mum as others in family won’t believe me.

The next experience I had was when I was in 11th grade. I was coming home from my tuition wearing a top and jeans when two guys riding a bike passed some lewd comments and ogled at me.

Another encounter with sexual harassment was when I was watching a badminton match. The guy who was standing behind me began to press my breasts, squeezed my hips and pressed my vagina by managing to get his hand inside my jacket. I repeatedly shoved his hand away and finally I had to change my place.

Every time a girl steps out of the house, her parents are scared whether she will reach home safely or not. Every time she boards a bus she is scared of some eyes which scan her private parts and try to get inside it. Every time she is on the street, she is scared. Home, which is considered to be the safest place is not safe now. No girl is safe anywhere, where should we go?

The worst thing is that some men and women try to justify these things by saying girls who step out of house are responsible for inviting attention or girls who wear short dresses are have a “loose character”. Instead of teaching men how to behave, we put restrictions on women.

As I started talking to others about sexual abuse, I got to know that many of my friends went through sexual harassment, rape by family member and abusive relationships. Surely all men don’t sexually abuse but almost every girl and every woman has gone through it.

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