Recently, I was going through an article that mentioned sexual violence is not just limited to physical harm, but it also includes - stalking, harassment, voyeurism etc, and my mind immediately flew back to the time when I was just a teenager. The amendments to the law were apparently made in the year 2013, and I couldn’t help but wish it was done much earlier.

As a school-going teenager, I faced lots of harassments like stalking and eve-teasing incidents, which used to scare the hell out of me. They were mostly done by the neighbourhood boys, who had made my movement in the locality nearly impossible. Passing obscene and lewd comments, following me around etc, were a daily occurrence. I didn’t know much about the law or how to stop these unwanted attention. Of course, I told my parents; but, even they didn’t know if such complaints would be handled by the police if made; besides, those hooligans were mostly teenagers too ( just 2-3 years older than me ). As such, my entire high-school days I had to bear it all; no matter how uncomfortable it made me or how disgusted I felt. Sure, they did not do me any physical harm, but I feel, such people only grow up to be criminals and their crimes grow bigger, if not stopped early on.

With the changes in the law, I breathed a sigh of relief; because, now, even such acts are considered punishable offence. So, anyone who faces similar situations ( as those mentioned ) can report and hope for justice. And let me say it here, it doesn’t happen only when we are young. Such incidents happen to older women too, and its a widespread problem.

We i.e all the women-folk need to know our rights. We need to know that there is help out there; we only have to report it. Education is the key to that awareness. It is mandatory for police - in any station, and not necessarily the nearest, to file an FIR as soon as a complaint is made. The police in question, infact, may be punished if he refuses to take the complaint.

It is important to report such violence because ~

1 – More we report, more aware people become of the problems that glaringly exist, and it doesn’t remained hush-hushed or shoved under the carpet forever.

2 – More people become aware, lesser are the chances of the crime existing. Yes, its true! Awareness can infact lead to its overall reduction.

3 – When you #KnowYourRights, you are more confident in taking precautions for yourselves, as well as others around you.

Theme: 3 reasons why you think it is important to encourage reporting sexual violence.
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