sexual violence

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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Coffee, Paper and a whole lot of repressed thoughts…

Don’t take anything for granted!

I belong to the generation that was raised on that principle. Perhaps the last generation to be raised such. But, perusing the newspaper seriously for the past few weeks, realisation dawned that I take several things for granted. Here is a list…

I take for granted that in India:

  1. People have the right to marry out of their caste
  2. People have the right to consume alcoholic beverages or socialise without inviting a sexual assault
  3. People will be given first aid in case of an accident
  4. The police are actually there to protect my rights and dignity
  5. I have the right to a fair trial and the governance will deal with me in the same manner as the rich
  6. Our taxes benefit us or the general public in some way
  7. The choice of clothes I wear, accidentally meeting a person’s eye, smiling, wearing a shade of lipstick or saying “NO” to advances will not be misconstrued as an invitation for rape and torture
  8. Crimes where children are victims will be handled with utmost diligence, sensitivity and the strictest punishment given
  9. The entertainment and sportsmanship we witness and learn is not an orchestrated drama
  10. My merits would primarily help me secure jobs, placements or subsidies

You must think I’m crazy

P.S: People who have been encouraging and sometimes downright pestering me to write (my husband J, mom, Guppy and Sathish) – Thank you and I’m making Vanilla Walnut cake this weekend if you want to drop by 🙂