Female harassment has become a common part of our day to day lives. We are either at the receiving end of it or witnessing it happen to other women around us everywhere, be it our workplaces, in public transport, streets, and markets or any other part of the city. Incidents, whereby women are being inflicted by lecherous glances, lustful gestures, pejorative language and illegitimate actions by a range of law offenders like eve-teasers, molesters, abusers or even rapists.
Women these days are quick to recognize danger at every step with their sixth sense and should be equipped with necessary steps to be taken when the need arises with an extra inch of consciousness at places where such incidents are likely to happen.
We bring you some fast tips to tackle harassment and protect yourselves and those around you from any danger.
- Send a solid signal: First step would be to let the harasser know that they are crossing the line and it is safe to step back for them ASAP. Use your eyes to stare him and send shivers down his or if you are in a formal environment, a polite face to face interaction, letter or email would suffice. Be straightforward and do not apologize for calling out the behavior. Attack the behavior, not the person.
- Chalk out clear boundaries: Stick to your stand and cut all connections with the harasser. If this is not possible then report the matter to your family, colleagues and seniors about this. Maintaining a safe distance from the harasser is in your best interest.
- Stop answering such calls/messages: Stop communicating with the harasser from your end and convey via your actions that it is high time to step back.
- Take help from Police: The local police helpline no. and safety app can come handy at this point. Supposedly, if the harasser is chasing you and is not stopping his dismantling behavior, dial the extension number and inform the police right away.
- Don’t be afraid of taking help: Stand amidst the crowd in public places and let the people around you know that someone is causing you discomfort.
- Keep your friends and family in the loop: You must immediately let your close family members and friends know about the situations you have been handling. Keep seeking advice your near and dear ones to avoid any awkward situation.
- Calm down the socialite in you: All the Facebook and Twitter check-in freaks, kindly take a break from publicizing your habits in front of absolute strangers. Keep your activities under the covers and avoid apps which make your location public.
- Fake confidence: Getting panicky and nervous encourages the harasser to take advantage of your situation. Walk around in unknown places or late at night like you own the place and are not afraid of anything, while on the other hand use all your senses fully and stay alerted. Put police helpline, family and friends’ numbers on speed dial so you can quickly dial them up.
- Use smartphones the smart way: Take a picture of the number plate of the public transport vehicle you are travelling in and send it to you family, friends, and colleagues and then make a call to one of these people, or you may even fake a call, telling the person on the other end of the phone about the vehicle you are travelling in, your current location, the time you will take to reach the place you are going to. Make sure that the driver of the vehicle or any suspicious person around gets to hear you. This will dampen their spirits of teasing or attacking you, knowing that someone got your back, girl!
- Self-defence to your aid: Learning a few basic self-defense techniques like gripping the wrists of your opponents, giving a powerful blow on the nose and cracking his nuts with your knee are easy and efficient ways of fighting back. Also, a can of pepper spray is a non-lethal and effective way of temporarily blinding the opponent. Make sure to cover your face while using those.
Follow your instincts, observe the environment and behavior, maintain composure and be quick to seek help from anyone around you. In the case of any mishap, females are very easily put to blame by the society, but nobody comes forward to take responsibility. Always remember that your safety is your own primary responsibility and you can take care of yourself better than anyone else. We wish Indian women great success and prosperity ahead!