We live in a world where women’s safety is always at stake. Criminal acts of sexual violence taking place in dingy alleys or locked cars on the go are now everyday news. Forget about the deserted nooks and corners of the city, you’d think a woman would feel safer at least while using public transport or being in a crowded place, comforted by the fact that she’s in the company of several people who would stand by her if something went wrong.
But is that what really happens? Will these witnesses come to her defense or will they just be reduced to an 'audience' in yet another instance of abuse? More importantly, what about the abuser? Why is he not scared of the consequences of his lecherous thoughts and actions? Why is the system failing so terribly in planting a seed of fear in his mind before he violates another person's dignity?
Recently, something similar happened to a young woman from Delhi. She took to Facebook to share her haunting experience.
Here's what she wrote:
Traveling alone in the train and sitting while the uncle sitting next to you is staring at you. Staring. The people sitting around you notice. They ignore. You believe that he'll stop but he doesn't. For 30 minutes you ignore him. He keeps staring. You look back, with as much anger as you can and ask him what's wrong. He ignores. Looks elsewhere. Sits and smiles.
Five minutes later his hands accidentally brush against your breasts while trying to charge his phone where he watches Katrina Kaif gyrating to "Sheela ki jawani" and smiles. You ask him to sit away. He ignores. You climb to the upper berth and see that the uncle somehow found you on Instagram and is now following you and liking your posts. He still looks up and smiles. Stares. You shout at him from the upper berth and ask him what's wrong. He says he isn't doing anything wrong. The people around you still ignore the "drama". You feel terribly unsafe and angry at the same time. You decide to sleep. After a while uncle comes and taps on your shoulder and shows you your tinder profile and smiles.
You ask him to stay away and let you sleep and tell him you'll complain if he bothers you again. He is sure that nothing can happen to him since your tinder profile has the word "sex" and hence you're definitely asking for it all. The TT comes to check the tickets and you tell him that the man is making you uncomfortable. No other co-passengers feel the need to say something while you argue with the TT that you need another seat or change the man's seat. The uncle still sits and smiles. TT leaves by saying there is "nothing he can do about it". You're tired and just want to let it be. So you let it be.
No, you try to sleep because you can't sleep as there's a constant fear in your mind.
There's only one woman in the entire coach, two seats away, she's old and with her husband.
You don't sleep.
Uncle smiles, and sleeps.
I'm sorry, did some asshole who's "entitled to have an opinion" announce that "women need to stop cribbing about safety"?
On that moving train, she was helpless. No one came forward to offer her protection or take subsequent action against the man in question. She had no idea of the extent of his madness or what could possibly aggravate him. Which is why she had to take the trauma in her stride so she could make it out without further harm.
Our society is caught in a vicious circle, one where crime seems to be nowhere closer to an end. This is why women are skeptical about stepping out past a certain hour or traveling alone. This is why they think twice before making choices.
How is any of this fair?
You can read the original post here.