Authored By Adisha WS:
“ It couldn’t ever happen to me, … could it ? “ This is a thought that haunts most women during their life time. Abuse, rape, harassment, attacks, abductions – these fear every girl, every loved one faces.
Yet most girls today has some story of being assaulted in some way. Be it eve teasing, inappropriate touching or more. And no matter how big or small the offense, it leaves the victim feeling helpless, disgusted and wondering about the depths to which humans’ can go, if allowed to go unchecked.
The irony is that many a times when these cases are reported to those who can do something about it, the victims are accused of deserving it, of somehow having instigated the attack. That is just sad. No matter what the magnitude of the violation, it is never called for.
Is there nothing that we can do? Of course we can. I believe we each can make a difference and defend ourselves by being educated and aware of the choices we have.
Every person, male or female can help by talking to each other, someone close, the youngsters in their circle, by being aware of their surroundings and those who come within their circle for rape is not only when a stranger grabs hold of an unsuspecting victim. Rape is when the voice of the victim is ignored in any way. More often than not, assaults are done by those around you.
Acquaintance or Date Rape :
These types of rape are done surprisingly by people you know maybe trust even. The assailant takes advantage of their position or the trust bestowed upon them. These can include anyone from relatives to friends to neighbors to husbands to boyfriends to people you deal with on a daily basis. These situations are where you or people around you have more power and ironically most of these go unreported for fear of life or the relations spoilt or loss of reputation.
Statutory Rape :
Sex with a minor, even if by consent it an offense. Age in different countries vary.
Martial Rape :
Rapes by boyfriend / husband are considered crimes in many countries. These can be reported for no man has the right to take advantage of a woman against her wishes.
Gang Rape :
Where more than one assailants attack a victim.
Drug facilitated Rape :
There are drugs like Rohyphnol called date rape drugs can be added to water or soft drinks. These tender the victim unconscious leading to memory loss or even death after.
Stranger Rape :
This is the kind where women are attacked randomly, maybe even taken away to a secluded location before being attacked. A weapon may or may not be used.
Though there is never a 100% guarantee of safety, there are ways in which each of us can change our lifestyle incorporating safety measures into our lives. Below are a few precautions that we can take for ourselves and those around us, each and every day.
* Always be alert, looking around constantly. Go with your gut instincts if you sense danger.
* Carry your keys or pen in your hand. They can be used as a weapon if need be.
* Attackers usually look for pony tails since they are easy to grab.
* Keep your volume low on your Ipod/Music Player to allow you to keep an ear out for unusual sounds.
* Wear only one earphone.
* Plan outings with a buddy, especially if in a park or going out in late evenings.
* Avoid distracting activities like searching your purse or talking on cell phone while walking.
* If possible, carry an umbrella in your hand.
* Pepper spray is a useful deterrent.
* Never leave your drink unattended.
* Go out during hours when there are a lot of people. Avoid secluded areas.
* If someone gives you attention that makes you uneasy or touches you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, tell them to back off or discuss their behavior with someone responsible.
* When with friends, be aware of the people around you, as well as the actions of your friends.
* Do not get drunk with someone you do not know very well.
* Avoid going to secluded spots or dates with people you have just met. Try having the first few dates in groups or in crowded places.
* Make eye contact with someone if you feel you are being followed. Converse with them in a confident way about something generic making it clear that you could easily identify them later.
* If harassed in a crowded bus or train, speak up, use a pin or umbrella or purse to defend yourself against the offender.
* Stay away from strangers in lifts, cars , shops etc. Call for help from a crowded area when you need it.
During Attack –
* If the attack is subtle, like touching inappropriately, walk away immediately or retaliate verbally and tell someone you trust.
* Scream out. Shout for help.
* Put up a fight, kicking out and scratching.
* Use your teeth to bite.
* If wearing hard soled shoes, these too can be used as a weapon.
* Aim for the groin with the elbow.
* Use sand or mud from the earth to throw into the attacker’s eyes.
* Take a self defense class or learn a few self defense moves from the men in your life that may help you in these situations.
Most attackers do not carry weapons as rape with a weapon carries a bigger jail sentence. So with the right response you can get out a situation safe and sound.
It is never your fault. No matter what the type of assailment, remember the reason never has anything to do with you. Remember that and tell the authorities or someone you trust about it. Ignoring complaining about an assault gives the assailant a chance to hurt someone else, maybe with worse consequences.
Most women have suffered some or other form of sexual offense against themselves. Many a times all a person does is freeze up. Talk to your friends and youngsters about it and discuss the different ways for them to react in similar situations.
The possibility of rape or attack or harassment of any sort is a horrific thought to even imagine. Yet, every single day there are women being victimized. So rather than thinking that it could never happen to you, be prepared for any situation and know your plan of action should any such situation arises.