New Delhi: “Those boys in my school tried to pull my skirt down. When I rebuked them, they scoffed at me and nonchalantly walked out of the classroom,” recalled a woman as she described her experience on sexual harassment, during a recently conducted survey by a Delhi-based NGO.
The survey, conducted by Ma Style Care, reveals disturbing number of women who face sexual harassment everyday. Out of the 2,500 respondents, including students, homemakers and working professionals, 99 per cent said they had faced sexual harassment in metro trains, markets, educational institutes, workplaces, on social media websites and during morning walks.
According to the survey, 70 per cent of the women who faced harassment did not take any action, fearing grim consequences. “The replies of the women were shocking. Most of them, it seems, live under the fear of the society, carefully avoiding risking their’reputation’.They would rather keep quiet and share the incident with their friends than approach the police,” said the NGO’s founder Latika Wadhwa.
One major problem faced by the women, the survey results said, is public apathy. In most of the cases recorded, the women got either insufficient or absolutely no help from the passerby, said a member of the NGO.
50 per cent of the women admitted that they had witnessed such an incident happening to some other woman and did not come forward to help. “This is, indeed, the most disturbing and horrifying fact. We choose to stand as passerby, watch the crime take place in front of our eyes and do nothing about it,” said Latika.
As the NGO members asked the women about possible solutions to the problems, most of them demanded better policing and stricter law enforcement. Awareness of laws is even more important, I believe, said Latika. The NGO will organise a Chalk Walk event, calling for an end to violence against women at 30 locations in the capital on Sunday, July 27.
(The article first appeared on News 18)