Thursday, 20 December 2012

Be on Guard!




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

22 comments:

  1. You are right, we are first to help ourselves and reading what's happening these days, you can't but trust yourself. What you said about sixth sense is true. We are equipped with it and we should be more alert.

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    1. Exactly! Thanks for reading and endorsing my view!

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  2. I quite agree with you. Saru has said it too. It is better to be in some state of readiness than to be taken unawares like India in 1962. I liken the situation to that unfought war because it is a war and the situation may not improve for many more decades to come. Think, we are in Afghanistan, or Gaza Strip or Syria or whatever. What else explains the current state of affairs?

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    1. I couldn't agree more! Seeing the situation around we are in a war like situation. Better be prepared than caught unaware.

      Thanks for showing sensitivity towards this issue!

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  3. Nyc post nd i I think every girl know how to protect self..!!

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  4. Very informative. I wish this blog message must percolate down to all women.

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  5. Precaution is always better than cure.. I remember writing this on a blog ages ago and the ladies over there gave me tons of thumbs down and lectures .. saying why shud a lady have to do this, and all that , So I kept shut.

    BUT the points you have made are so right and i still say precaution is better than cure always .. and this is not jsut for ladies it goes for everyone tooo..

    The war is , the fight is right at our own doorstep and we are all involved in it for sure ..

    Bikram's

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    1. For sure, prevention is better than cure. No way, we are advocating here that women should remain behind shut doors or they don't have rights to lead a free life. What we are doing here is marking them for shouldering their responsibilities. If you drive a car, you should not how to change the tyre. Left stranded on the road with a flat tyre, waiting for somebody else to come to change it is not done. Please enjoy your freedom but every right comes on the cost of responsibilities. I just pleading them to be alert for their own sake.

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    2. true ,wish everyone had brains like you .. but alas this is india it does not work that way

      someone somewhere will always find a problem with whatever you say ..

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  6. very informative post.. if women keep their wits with them while in a tricky situation and avoid panic to set in, there is no reason to believe that they cannot help themselves.. they are the first line of defence that they have and it should be strong physically and more importantly mentally..

    very nice post meenakshi

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  7. Thanks Deepak, It very important to gather your wits in such situations. May be in case like bus rape in Delhi, one cannot do much. But there are many other situations that can be warded off with an alert mind. Physical agility also does count.

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  8. you're right...precautions are really necessary to be taken by us before we expect that anyone should come up to help us...but unfortunately this case couldn't help much but the advices are worth...thanks for sharing... :)

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    1. You are right in cases like what happened in Delhi, girl could do nothing. But there are many other situations that can be averted.

      Thanks for reading!

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  9. A very vigilant & agreeable post. I totally agree through each & every point raised by you here. Self-defense classes it a must these days, confidence over oneself is also a step towards gaining power. I specially like your presence of mind when you were confronted in that situation. It's better not to take chances & going out at night is an awful act women can do in current scenario. Really appreciate your thought process, keep sharing sch viable posts with us. Take care !!

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    1. Thank you so much Tanya, I was expecting brickbats from my many female friends that I am putting the entire onus on them, which is not the case!

      Thanks for understanding my point of view.

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  10. To some points I agree. But many women are out there in the night because of their jobs. Their shifts end at 10 , 11 or sometimes at 1 in the night. They may depend on public transport.

    I agree to self defense and parents ensuing that feeling not only in girls but also in their boys that everyone needs to be treated with respect.

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  11. rightly said we need to take responsibilty for our protection first.Parents and society have a big role to play.

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  12. agree a 100 percent with you ---- prevention is always better than cure

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    1. Thanks for reading and validating my view!

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