The latest NCRB report quotes that the number of sexual harassment cases in India has decreased by 9.9% from the last year numbers [source]. One can take proud of the fallen numbers considering the conviction rate touched nearly 50% or he can be ashamed of 11009 cases in a year.
No prizes in guessing that awareness is the single most reason for the fallen numbers. It is obvious that the more people will know about the consequences, lesser will be the crime. For example, knowing a simple fact that sexual harassment is punishable offence under IPC section 509 can create pertinent enduring alertness in public. Find here a free infographic that you can post at various places to increase awareness.
A necessity to increase awareness is to understand it from inside out. Untill we understand what consists sexual harassment, it is very difficult to differentiate various uncomforting behaviour.
– is intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature.
– is the inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange of sexual favors.
– is behaviour that is not only welcome, but in most cases repeated.
– the goal is not sexual pleasure but gaining power over another.
– means bothering someone in a sexual way.
– is defined from the victims point of view, not the harasser’s
Always remember to do the followings when confronted with such behaviour:
– Tell the harasser to stop
– Complain to supervisors
– Document your claims
– Be consistent, direct and confident
And never ever so these:
– Argue with harasser
– Assume any responsibility of situation
– Get aggressive
– do not ignore any hint of favouritism or bias in exchange for sexual conduct
Spread the word. Let people know because awareness is our only weapon against this heinous crime.