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A rustling of skirts,
A rustling of skirts,
A squeeze much intended,
A derogatory word,
An unwanted touch.
She feels nauseated,
And tries to forget,
Hoping that it would never happen again,
And yet it does.
Does that story sound familiar to you? Someone groping you from behind or nudging you provocatively? Someone clasping your breasts and making bile rise in your throat? And the bad memories just keep piling up. That, sadly, is the story of every girl growing up today.
Delhi is termed as the rape capital of India and not a day goes by when the pages of the newspaper are not bespattered with incidences of horrendous sexual abuse. From the Nirbhaya tragedy to the infamous Kolkata nun rape to countless assaults on six-month-olds to sixty-year-olds, the extent, means and ways in which such execrable crimes are committed make one question the humanity quotient of such human beings.
And that is why it becomes all the more important for us to assume a stance of-as Mad Eye Moody famously put it- ‘constant vigilance’. You must have seen that amply-bearded man screeching ‘Sansani’ on ABP News, right? If not, please go and hear him once. If someone touches you on any part of your body which makes you feel uncomfortable- even slightly so- that kind of voice should start shrieking in your head. A large red bulb should start blinking and tocsins should start ringing in your mind’s room. Because then it is occasion to be alarmed. It is time to not cloak the matter but to react. This is precisely why we need to report the wrongs.
You should report the matter
- Simply because you are uncomfortable. Do not think too much or try to ascertain whether your reaction is justified and not too harsh. If you feel abused, let people know. Trust your instincts. Raise your voice.
- Because the perpetrator needs to know that he/she will be exposed. Whether it is a stranger in a bus or some uncle in the house, he/she must be brought to book. Do not worry about offending anyone. Do not think about anything except that you were assaulted and you must let the assaulter know that he/she will not go scot-free.
- Reporting the crime will not demean you or sully your name in any manner. You will only be seen as the brave one who had the courage to come up and fight. There is no shame in bringing crime to light.
It will help your physical, mental and emotional health and you will realize that people are there to support you. Each case that’s reported increases the chances of prosecution and brings it one step closer to resolution. You will be able to break the evil chain and lead a better life. It will help you rebuild your self-esteem and bring you closure and peace of mind. To carry an ugly memory, something which has scarred you for life through no fault of your own, is not what you deserve. You, fellow human, have all the rights to report a crime and ensure that the guilty gets punished.
Knowledge is power. Know your rights.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize winning global movement of 7 million people committed to defending people’s rights.
‘Know Your Rights’ is an initiative by Amnesty International India to inform people of laws, procedures and individual rights so that we are confident to act.