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With the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport trending, more and more people are opening up about sexual harassment in the US. We need more conversation in India as well!
I remember Aamir Khan saying in the Satyameva Jayate episode on child sexual abuse that in India every second child would have undergone sexual abuse at some stage in their life. But what victims are made to learn from these horrific experiences are definitely not how to fight against them but how well to hide them. This is exactly where the crux of the problem is. In spite of knowing about it, people are taught to be afraid about ‘what others might think’, just consider it as a ‘bad dream’ and try moving on in life.
Recently many in the United States of America (USA) protested against the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court as a woman accused him of sexual assault. In response to this, President Donald Trump asked why she hadn’t reported it earlier. Her twitter response to the same, along with the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport is being followed by millions. Many women are coming forward with their own stories and reasons for not reporting the crimes done to them.
The hashtag ‘#WhyIDidntReport’ is currently the top trend on twitter in the US. It’s not sparing anyone, including the president of the US himself. People have taken a very bold step by beginning to openly talk about the sexual harassment they have undergone rather than running away from those horrifying memories.
The number of people tweeting about the incidents are enormous. What is even more worse is the multiple times that most of them have undergone harassment, across ages, whether they were 4, 7, 13, 17 or much older.
Looking at the people tweeting, one thing is clear – there is absolutely no discrimination when it comes to sexual harassment. From celebrities and popular personalities to ordinary people – rich, poor, fat, beautiful, old, young, white, black – nothing matters. Nor does gender alone play a role here. There are so many men talking about their terrible experiences as well.
But every time it happened with all of them, they were made to sweep it under the carpet, hide it so deep within that none would ever get to know about it. It was their own dads, brothers, teachers, uncles, boyfriends and other known men. Half of them were so young, they didn’t even know what was happening with them. They were told by family and other people to keep quiet and not talk about it to anyone and it would all be fine after a while. Like seriously?
In some of these cases people have even tried approaching the police, law and order. But the governing system was least interested in listening to their cries. You see, its not a war, nor a terrorist attack, neither is the nation under any form of threat, then why should the authorities bother? This is the real scenario that prevails in most countries.
Until now we were talking about the cases from one of the most developed countries in the world – The United States of America. It clearly appears that there is no difference between them and our country. The situations are absolutely the same. Even we are well aware of the many rapes, assaults, and harassment that take place in India. But how many of them really get reported? Hardly a few.
In India the legal procedures, investigation process and people’s attitude are so survivor unfriendly that they find it better to suffer alone in silence than undergoing additional trauma. The recent rape case with the Kerala nun is a perfect example for this. Her struggles to file a complaint, fight against the authorities and all the insensitive comments and taunts from people in power are a battle on a league of its own.
Women refuse to shut up anymore, and we hope our talk will be followed by some action against harassment as well. It’s high-time #WhyIDidntReport start in India too. If it took so long for America to finally stand up against sexual harassment – knowing the society that we live in, where parents don’t even utter the word ‘sex’ in front of their children, its going to be extremely difficult. But for the benefit of every woman (and child), the conversation has to begin. The sooner the better!
Image Source – Pixabay
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Apart from being the Associate Editor at Women's Web, where I get to read,
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