Sense and Sensibility

Read the newspaper lately? Here’s something to think about, a woman was found by the side of the road raped and thrown out of a moving vehicle by three men. Rewind…. The lady had been talking to a man on the phone for a few months and decided to meet him. The mystery man and his two friends picked her up in a car and well…

Millions of people join me in expressing our empathy for the girl. But what is the appropriate amount of time to wait before I can talk about it without sounding ‘insensitive’ or ‘rude’ or ‘inhumane’ or worst of all a ‘male chauvinistic woman’?

This has become a recurring incident with women going home with men who promise them jobs; eloping to a city where they can hardly find their way and putting themselves at risk. Now don’t get the idea that I blame the women for violence that happens to them. I’m not a politician or religious leader to make such statements.  No one deserves to be raped, strangles, lacerated, sodomized .. you get the drift. What I’m talking about the cheapest and most effective form of defense a woman can have – Sense.

Once an organized criminal gets a favorable situation, the victim has less chance of escaping. The reactive law and order system will do nothing to comfort us post the incident. Therefore, we should act with some common sense before we put ourselves in dangerous situations. At least we will know that we did our best to protect ourselves.

  • If you are meeting a stranger (this includes your ‘FB Friend’ and ‘Blog Buddies’), Cautionmake sure it is in a public place. Ask a friend / family member to pick you up at a certain time.
  • Make your own transport arrangement. Never go to place you cannot get to / come back from on your own.
  • Confide in friends (if you don’t have a friend, well that’s just sad, but find someone to talk to) and take them along. There is safety in numbers.
  • Order your own drinks and do not leave them unattended (Socializing 101)
  • Wear comfortable shoes / clothes. Constant worry about clothes or shoes can make you miss visual clues
  • If you have decided to get intimate with someone who has promised to marry you, remember he may not marry you after all. What you are about to have is a CONSENSUAL intimate relationship. Don’t be an idiot and file rape charges after four years.
  • If you are victimized, report it as soon as possible. If you are being blackmailed, report it all the same.
  • If your children are not old enough to drive, vote or drink, they are certainly not old enough to be completely unsupervised. Find a way to draw boundaries without suffocating them.
  • If a guy or a girl or a deal sounds too good to be true, he/she/it probably is.

You have the right to wear what you want, socialize  travel, work, get opportunities, love, choose your life partner, leave your spouse, have children or decide not to have children, walk, laugh… you and I, we have the right to live life as much as the next guy.

We do not initiate or invite violence against us. That’s just an irresponsible way of looking at things. Anyone who says that a woman ‘invites’, ‘enjoys’ or ‘gives in’ to rape, domestic violence or abuse needs to be institutionalized as they are the markers of an opportunistic offender. This means that people who make such statements will rape if they have the opportunity.  Oh and I forgot to mention that less than 2%  rape cases are registered if the victim is a man or child (boy children). Yes, men are victims of rape too and it goes unreported for concerns we all know well about.

What I have outlined here are some things we can do to try and avoid getting into vulnerable situations. As the general public, it is our collective responsibility to protect the people. The police are outnumbered. They are the bottom feeders in a spider web of power play, red tape and corruption. Sincere law enforcement officers are stationed in low crime areas as the corruption tree needs the roots to absorb water to grow.

The entire content of my rambling post can be summarized in two very powerful words of Professor Alastor Moody

CONSTANT VIGILANCE

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8 comments

    1. Hi Sugandha, nice of you to drop a comment. Both men and women are vulnerable in different ways, but I too cannot understand why people will put themselves in potentially dangerous situations. We are quick to criticize criminals, we should criticize people for not using common sense also. It is like driving without wearing your seat belt. Just because there are road rules into your vehicle does not mean that there is no possibility of an accident. We ought to do what we can from our side I guess. And when it comes to relationships… Sigh!

  1. Indeed a worthwhile post. Very well written and sets into deep thinking and reflections reading your analysis. And I liked the structure of the post which cannot be better than how you ended it.

    Do write more and more. & Many thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

    Cheers,
    Firas

  2. Dear Archana,

    Well expressed. Many a times, we fail to see things in a different perspective. With all respect and grief to the victims from the Heart, I do want to say this: in this world of opportunities, we need to be a little more smarter to be safe, be it in life, office, street or relationships.

    1. Well said Shibu. We talk about empowerment and rights, we should also look at it from the perspective of people who don’t give a damn. Many thanks for stopping by,,,

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