One of the negative aspects of our society is the moment a women is out, some men think it is their right to trouble her. Whilst we all experience Sexual harassment at one point of time in our lives, though sometimes for the lucky ones it does not last longer but for some the trauma is just too much.

The worst part is in our culture we are taught not to talk about sexual harassment as talking about sex itself is a taboo. What is the best protection against Sexual harassment or unnecessary advances, for married women, wear a mangalsutra/sindoor, the perpetrator will not attack you. Sometimes some women who were my mom’s age and widows at an early age wore a mangalsutra just with an intention of self defense.

I also have a few friends who are single and wear an engagement ring to keep men away.

In many cases we see that some one across the street may just be staring at you that does cause inconvenience but what do we do about it ? Nothing. Why?Because there is no law in the country to stop staring. A co-worker may regularly ask you out for coffee, your sixth sense says his intentions are wrong. When there is a rape case in the country we have huge debates in the media, all the pseudo experts on women’s safety keep blaming the law, the women’s dress, late arrival of police, bad influence of western culture, bad effects of working at late night etc. etc. everything except addressing the main issue.

I do not claim to be an expert in dealing with such cases but have sufficient in dealing with Women’s rights at ground level. These are the following things we can do to stop crime against women at large.

Stop Domestic Violence at Home

Children especially young boys who witness their father’s hitting their mothers at home with the entire family being mute spectators , think women do not need to be respects and then start misbehaving with them outside their homes.

As a society treat girls and boys the same

I am very lucky that at my home my parents never differenciated between me and my brother. Similarly at my in-laws place, me and my husband are treated equally. At both places, we are given same food, same opportunities, same limitations. Giving equal treatment teaches men to respect women.

Educate children at a young age to stand up against wrong

Your body is just yours and nobody has any right on it. If someone’s staring is troubling you question him because it is your body and it is nobody’s business to make you feel uncomfortable without your permission.

Never hit a man, unless necessary

Whilst sometimes we may get stuck in a very tricky situation, i.e. someone may stare at us, someone may touch us inappropriately, sometimes it may happen in public but most of the times, these things happen in a secluded place. In case if you are in a secluded place, try and trick that person to come down to a public place. For eg: you may know the next lane has the closest police station or market or railway station or any place which is likely to be crowded trick him to come there and use the crowd to your advantage. If you confront him or hit him when you are alone, chances are that such people may commit rape. Always remember, all men have a male ego, the moment they know a woman is stronger than them physically they will use this technique to keep them in control. Whereas if a crowd hits him, there are chances he may understand what he is doing is wrong.

Support each other:

When I used to travel late nights in Mumbai Local trains, I did not know that after 8.30 pm (in case there are no ladies in the said comparatment) except for one ladies compartment all others become general compartment. While there used to be ladies in the compartment no body would dare to raise their voice against the men entering the said compartment. It was when a strange man was continously staring at a girl, a Eunach and a fisherwoman went upto him and confronted him and asked him to get down. These are the two people wto whom we generally complaint about, when they enter into ladies compartment. When someone is been troubled in a public place, if a crowd or a mob pounces on them, then such people may stop doing things to trouble you.

The solution to this problem may look simple but changing the mentality of our people will take. I do not know how many years. Let us all be the change rather than expecting others to change for us.

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