Ever since I started venturing out in public without parental supervision, whether it was school trips, the metro ride back home or a movie with friends, I left home with advice on keeping safe from my parents. ‘Don’t talk to strangers’, ‘don’t accept food from unknown people’, ‘wear fully covering clothes’, ‘keep your phone with you all the time’, ‘call us when you reach’.
Then in December 2012, the precaution became outright fear for my parents, which in turn became more restrictions on my life. Tighter curfews, knowing where I was, with whom I was, how I would be getting back, tracking my Uber rides became a routine. Six years since that horrific incident, and even today, my father doesn’t change into home clothes on days when I’m out late.
For women across the country, self-preservation has become ingrained into our daily routines. We often don’t even realise that certain things we do are just to prevent gender-based violence. We asked women about these everyday steps they take, and their responses only go on to prove that irrespective of changed laws and hollow promises, women continue to live in constant fear:
What are things you do, consciously or sub-consciously to keep yourself safe from gender-based violence while stepping out of home? Share in the comments below.