A policeman once told me that at 2 am in night some girls came out of discotheque, drunk and were being targeted by some unscrupulous men. Their timely intervention rescued the girls. When they tried to put some sense into their minds against venturing so late at night, the girls launched a verbal assault against police. Quite a fuss was created about their rights and duty of police towards protecting citizens.
Let’s face it ladies – police cannot be everywhere to protect us. Society’s psyche towards women is not going to change overnight. Prime duty of protecting us lies with us only. You can quieten a poor cop with all your revolutionary rants, but rapist may be in no mood to listen! Why put ourselves in unnecessary risk in the name of fun and freedom and then expect others to protect us! Here are a few tips to avoid getting into such situation and what to do if you find yourself in such a situation, many of them I came across on net. Though I know, little can be done against a planned and gang assault, but still our alertness and presence of mind can go a long way in averting the situation.
· First and the foremost, avoid venturing out late night. If it has to be, make sure you are in a trusted group. Most of the cases of molestation and rape are committed by known-people. Be alert.
· Avoid drinks, if you have to come back alone. If possible, avoid drinks completely in an unknown environment, among strange people.
· Women are endowed with ‘sixth sense’. Listen to it!
· This may raise eyebrows but till men around learn to respect women and treat them as human beings; avoid wearing clothes that invite attention especially late night.
· Lock your car doors the moment you sit inside. Check the back seat of car while getting in.
· Avoid giving lift at late night.
· Avoid going to desolate car parking, garage or public restrooms alone.
· Never enter or exit a vehicle talking over mobile, with ear plugs on or searching something in purse. It diverts mind and makes you vulnerable.
· If you are expecting somebody stranger at your place like a plumber or a repairman call them at time when there are more than one person in the house.
· According to a study, most women think they can fight off situation but do not give it a due thought. Kicking a man in his genitals may not be practical at times because men are instinctively protective about their private parts. Anyway women tend to be generally shorter in height and physically less strong than men. So fighting off may not be possible. Keep that in mind.
· Having pepper spray or a knife in the purse is a good idea. But women have not been able to use it always. The first thing a rapist generally does is snatching the purse and mobiles (as happened in Delhi case).
· In many cases women have successfully talked themselves out of the situation. For that a woman must have confidence in herself and in her ability to defend. Some women have turned a rapist off by saying they were menstruating, pregnant, or had a venereal disease. I found myself in such situation twice.
o First time, it was two strangers. I and my younger sister were heading home after visiting a friend, on foot. The road was deserted. Upon confrontation, I very confidently announced that I was a Karate champion and they can lay their finger on us on cost of fractured bones.
o Second time, it was a colleague, who, I knew fortunately, had suffered skull injuries a couple of years back then and was still undergoing treatment. I threatened to crash the chair on his head. (I was working on Sunday to complete a project hence the office was deserted).
o On the both occasions, men backed off and I was able to wriggle out of the situation. Though I suffered panic attacks (strangely!) after the situation got over.
· Women generally are not comfortable with the idea of physical self defense. Blame their upbringing, but they are always instructed not to fight and never to get involved in a physical assault. If a woman chooses to defend herself by force, she must be certain that she can hurt a man badly enough to stop him. Merely inflicting pain is not sufficient. It will only trigger the anger in assaulter and make him more violent. Delhi case is one such example. The nose, eyes, and throat are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to pain, whereas striking a man on the arm or head is virtually useless. Underarm pinch can also be very painful. It may also open the flank for a kick in the middle of groin area.
· Enrolling in self defense classes is a better idea.
· If a woman is able put up a fight for few minutes, assaulter will withdraw as it will become a time consuming affair, which he cannot afford.
· Keep yourself active. You need legs to match your zeal to run.
· Shout at the top of your voice, reign in your mind and look for point of defense or exit. Panicking will not help.
I pray, no woman faces such a situation in life. But it is our duty towards ourselves to protect us and be alert as far as we can.
What parents can do:
· Raise you girls as a strong person. Girls can afford to be anything but delicate in these times.
· Enroll your kids in self defense classes
· Let your daughter be heard and given equal treatment.
· Teach your children to feel positive about them. A positive self image will go a long way in helping a person defend herself against a sexual assault.
· Give your children freedom, but know where to draw the line. Apply it to boys and girls equally.
· Teach your children to be alert against strangers and relations alike. Tell them not to entertain anybody when they are alone at home.
Till the sense of gender equality and justice dawns on human kind, be alert, be safe!
I took help from: http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1981/3/81.03.06.x.html#d
Picture Taken from:womensdish.com