Trigger warning: Sexual Assault
He took me out, touched my hands, dropped me home in his car, and then grabbed my face and kissed me.
He is strong, he is a man, and I am petrified of him. She gets sexually harassed and abused but how does she prove that the incident really happened? Where can she get the proof from? He can easily deny it and run away because she has no evidence to show what exactly happened to her. It’s in her mind all the time.
Does she have to live with this all her life? Does she need to learn that things like this happen every day and the best way is to ignore and move forward? Or do you want her to put a body camera on herself whenever she goes out so that she can collect evidence just in case something happens to her?
A lot of women are sexually abused, assaulted, and harassed every day and every minute. The numbers you have in the reports are the ones registered. Multiple other cases are unregistered and unnoticed. You know why most of the women keep quiet and do not report cases? Well, I will tell you today because I am one of them and this is my story.
March 21st, 2021, I was in Shoot x Academy Noida sector 40, practising pistol shooting. I enjoyed taking shooting as a sport and it helped me focus on my goals, control, and manage my anger. It was a Monday evening and I was just about to wrap up everything when the owner of the academy signalled me to check my Whatsapp.
4-5 months earlier, I called the owner to ask for the admission details but I joined the academy in February because I made sudden travel plans with my friends then. He always used to call me and text me asking about my whereabouts and when I will join the academy. It was all normal for me. I finally joined the academy in February when I was home after a long work-from-home vacation.
Everything was going well and we sometimes used to talk casually because I thought he is a nice man. Being an extrovert and social person, I get easily mixed up with all ages. I love meeting people, knowing and sharing experiences, and learning from them life skills. All my life as a student I used to organize cultural events and meet new people. I also got a chance to work in France by the French government as a cultural ambassador from India in 2017. In 2020, I was selected as a member of a jury from India for the Freedom Prize 2020 which was held in France and organized by the International Institute of Human Rights and the Normandie Region of France.
When I checked my Whatsapp, he had texted me, “Aaj party karne chale? (going to a party today?)” Very politely, I replied that I cannot as I have an office meeting. I had already booked my cab and it was on its way. He asked me to meet me upstairs where the exit gate was. Continuously forcing me to go out with him, saying that we will have dinner and it’s just a matter of an hour he made me cancel my cab. I sat in his car and had a very casual thought that okay let’s go if he is insisting this much.
So the man stopped the car a few blocks away from his home and went to his home maybe to change his clothes or whatever. He came back after 15 minutes and we went to the nearest place. We had a few drinks and food and then we left. I was about to book my own cab when he insisted on dropping me home because it was already around 10:00 pm. Everything went well, he dropped me home, and we both hugged each other while sitting in the car to say goodbye.
That was the moment when he suddenly grabbed my face and forcefully kissed me on the cheeks and then on my lips without my consent. This happened so suddenly that I did not even have the time to think about what just happened. The only thing which was running through my mind was to get out of the car immediately and enter my building to ensure my own safety. I was totally shocked and taken aback by this incident. I went home and gave myself an hour to think and process everything.
Then after I text him asking why he kissed me and what gave him the liberty to do that. To which his exact words were “maine kab kari, chalo so jao kal baat karta hu yaar abhi ninny aa rahe hai mujhe bhi (When did I do it? Go to sleep, we will talk tomorrow, I am sleepy)”. I then noticed that he deleted all his messages from his side where he asked me to go out and then again I asked him why did he delete the message and he replied “pata nahi tumne kiye honge kya bol rahi ho tc (you must have deleted them)”. This conversation happened on WhatsApp and I thought of calling him the next day to confront one on one.
My phone does not have the recording feature so I called him from my mother’s number because I wanted the conversation to be recorded for any further references but he refused to talk to me and ask me to call from my own personal number. We did not have a phone conversation that day. But later after 3 days, I called him back to confront him and he completely refused. He refused to admit that he kissed me (obviously why would he accept such a thing).
I told him that now he has given me no choice but to register a complaint against him and inform his wife. Yes, the man is married. Instead, he accused me of blackmailing him and after the argument asked me to take back my academy fees and not to create a matter out of this. I told him that if he thinks he has not done anything then let me file a complaint and we will see who comes out clean. Also, when I asked him about the deleted messages, he told me that it’s very normal for him and he deletes messages all the time.
This statement contradicted his previous statement where he said that I might have deleted the messages. The conversation ended after a huge argument and I had everything recorded from a different phone. What I saw next was that I was immediately removed by him from the academy’s Whatsapp group.
Since the incident took place, I am not keeping mentally well and can’t focus on anything else. I can easily go to the academy and tell everyone that this person did this to me but I have no proof apart from his deleted Whatsapp messages and phone conversation where he denied everything.
Now, why do I fear to tell this to my family and lodge an FIR?
My mother is a single parent, usually unwell and this news will certainly make her more concerned and weak. I cannot file an FIR because it’s a long process and I cannot go to the police station every day while hiding it from my family. I have a job to do and taking legal action on this will certainly make me lose my job and I will be left with no earning. Moreover, who will be responsible for my safety? I will always have a constant fear that the person might hurt me in any possible way. And these thoughts are very normal after what we see in the news these days.
I want to take some action against him because I am sure this is not the first time he has sexually assaulted someone. People do not get the courage to do this all of a sudden. Only after they see that the world is quiet, they take their next step. But letting these people go off so easily is also a threat to the coming generation. I really want this person to know his limits and I want to be the last person he ever touches without consent.
On my part, I have already filed a complaint to the NCW (National Commission for Women) and am hoping for some help from their side. To all the females, I want you to know that you can do more than you think and you can do that all alone. I am Fscared as hell to do this all on my own but if I don’t do this I will regret it my whole life. I cannot let people like this walk away without any shame and fear. This is a world for women too as much as it is for men. Know your strengths and overcome your fear.
Speak up now because we are the Youth and this is our Voice.