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Akshara, a Mumbai-based NGO recently conducted a survey on sexual abuse across 44 city colleges in Mumbai. According to the report, 61 per cent of the 533 female students interviewed have been sexually harassed in college.
Based on this survey, we asked our readers whether they have witnessed an instance of sexual abuse in their college environment. We invited Get Ahead readers to share their stories, opinions and advice in this regard, and here's what they had to say:
A sample survey, just as the name suggests, does not serve beyond the minimal information. Connotations of sexual abuse get changed constantly with changes in social patterns. In 60s or 70s of the last century -- to say, Black-and-White to Eastman Colour age -- wherever possible, girls were not allowed to study in co-ed schools and colleges, even at the risk of discontinuance of studies.
A mere glance then, if perceived wrongly, was considered to be a sexual abuse and the nearby society would have been shaken. Let us jump to the present time -- the IT age. Collateral consent is sought for sex both by men and women. The urban mindset does not feel any taboo against much of present sexual behaviour. Even prevailing laws are found irrelevant. Any discussion on the subject, therefore, should encompass change of time, change in value system and change in lifestyle or else, the whole effort will yield a superficial result.
-- Rabi Kanungo
We are a sexually starved nation. The presence of a woman around us triggers all sorts of wishful thinking.We are yet to mature when it comes to respecting the individuality of a women.We take it for granted that it is a Man's world.
-- Shahanshah Mirza
This has become very common. Earlier we used to read that co students have tried to harass the girls. But of late there has been several reports about abuse of girl students by their lecturers. What a shame in a country like India where Guru and Shishya relationship has come this level. I feel that if any girl feels that attempt is being made to attack her modesty she report the matter immediately to her parents and through them to the authorities so that the problem is nipped in the bud.
-- Auudhya Prasad
I think survey should be done after knowing girl's review about sexual abuse. Because generally it is found that girls tend to motivate boys for sex abusement and they are rather more interested to get sexually abused.
-- SSI Branch
In my college each and every girl frequently interacts with boys without any hesitation, it shows that they are absolutely comfortable with the boys & there is no sexual abuse. I must say that there are around 100 girls & 140 boys & really I haven't witnessed any absurd activities, maybe boys of my college are gentlemen. But has this survey questioned the dress sense of girls? Sometimes it does happen that girls with decent dressing get abused, but not every single time, every coin has its two sides, then why to look from only one side?
-- Anjul Swaraj
The word is to be redefined in latest way of life in India. Attraction with the opposite sex is a natutral instinct, co-education is common even from school age, flirting is also common amonst girls and boys. In majority of the cases, if girls feel insecure, she takes the easy course of charging the opposite for sexual abuse.
-- Arungopal Agarwal
Sexual harassment is very much present in almost all college campuses. Most of the times, girls don't complain because of further harassment. College administrations mostly dominated by 'males' prefer to overlook such incidents, if reported.
At times they blame the 'dresses and outwardly behaviour of girl students' for such incidents.
-- Sanjay Kumar
Indian society is orthodox and does not allow a free atmosphere for young boys and girls and every thing is looked under suspicion. The films, TV programmes are also reponsible for such harrasment. As we see molestation, sexual abuse etc in these series. All the Hindi films should get A-rating considering the exposed body of actresses in them. The young girls try to imitate the same, without knowing the consequences.
-- Mayuresh Vaze
I wonder how a girl's outfit has got anything to do at all! Aren't kids as young as 2-3 years getting molested these days? A girl baby is born naked doesn't mean that you can take all your liberty to harrass her and in turn blame her for being naked in public. This is all nonsense guys. Young & old ladies, totally covered and wearing burkhas are also not spared.
-- Ravindra Kuna
In today's Indian society especially in a city like Mumbai, such a harrasment is not always one-sided. When girls do not like it, then only they lodge a complaint. Why so? This encourages the bad boys. Like bad boys there are bad girls also. Why do we forget this fact?
I know many lady bosses who harass their male subordinates. What action can be taken against them and who believes this?
-- Advocate Vinay
Out of the 61% sexually harassed girls in college, I am sure approximately 70% would have invited harassment by being extraordinarily bold either in their dressing or friendship etc. There are very few decent girls that get harassed.
-- Prakash Thacker
The reality is that career has become more important than everything else, such as marriage & family, balanced diet, mental peace, etc. This is true for both boys & girls. Due to lack of proper guidance by parents [who are too busy earning money] girls also throw modesty to the winds.
Lack of prompt punishment to Sadak Romeos makes them bolder to harras girls. Girls also need to introspect & think how boys would would be reacting to their appearance & behaviour. In short, we are surely taking the worst of American culture.
Lastly those political parties who claim to be concerned with 'Hindu culture' are doing nothing to stop harrasment of girls, instead they are merely attacking Valentines Day celebrations & then forgetting about 'Hindu culture' for the rest of the year.
-- Nandakumar Konkar
In my cousin brother's college a girl had challenged her friends that she would make her boyfriend dance with her. While dancing his dress was striped by the girls and was finally nude. Naughty girls pictured the dance and forwarded it to everybody. All the girls really enjoyed the dance but the guy got humiliated and almost hung himself but was saved at the last minute by his friends.
This made the boys want to teach the girls a lesson. Forcefully one day they made her to strip nude before all students in college and made her to apologise for the incident. This was also picturised by boys. The gal says it was not her, but her friends who stripped him.
What do call this? ADAM tease, right!
-- Santhosh Santhosh
This is about my school and not college. Our school was supposed to be the oldest one and once had been of importance. But when I was learning there it could not even live on the vanished grandeur. The atmosphere was such that we could hardly find solace in its glorious past. The indiscriminate admission to students proved detrimental to some. One harmless creature in our class was once forced to strip. The rowdiness of some (or rather many) defied even the strictest teachers. In an annual medical check-up a couple of such students (in standardd 8) were even detected HIV positive. Some teachers themselves took charm in joining the unruly backbenchers in their innuendos towards other female staff and some students too. I felt very much relieved when I passed out my SSC.
-- Bipin Musale
I am surprised why no one is talking about the victim's rights. There are some reports posted here which are covertly supporting the harrassment by shifting the blame on to the victim's dress code. If an educated lot like you people do this what can be expected from less sophisticated folks? No wonder, any girl (even one in burqa) fears reporting the incidents to any one because ultimately she is considered responsible for others' misbehaviour. You can not assume others' intentions by the dresses they wear. One must learn to respect other's rights and a NO means a NO and not a Yes.
-- Kauser Shaik
If a girl goes to the headmaster or to the police who is going to believe her? She will be harnessed further and made a laughing stock. Privacy is not a factor in India, the whole story will spread like fire throughout the city. The girl will be further humiliated, so the girls stay quite. What these boys need is a sandal on the cheek making a big hole in it so that when they look in the mirror they will remember the incident all their life.
-- Sheetal Kaur
Friends, I never wear a mini skirt, nor I do reveal a lot but then also I have also been a victim of some kind of sexual harassment. The best thing to cope with it is to slap the guy in front of people. Don't be shy that you are victimised. Let him be ashamed of his behaviour. If you keep quite then it will continue.
-- Chanty Satapathy
Harassment issues are common in Colleges / Office Space as well as in general public. Nothing new about it. Question now is the changing intensity. Some of you have blamed the way women dress / behave. That's no reason for any one to behave that way. The problem is of punishment -- whether in office or college, the authorities should take very tough action. When SC has already said that Ragging is an offence, why are college authorities not stopping it? The need for discipline is most important. As far as women are concerned, they should bring these instances to notice of authorities and make sure they do not suffer silently.
-- Balaji Narayan
Sexual abuses at college is becoming more nowadays. Being a brother I never had indulged in such activities (other sighting chicks!) but this behaviour depends a lot on girls. The way the behave, dress or talk! I agree that men/boys are responsible for such acts but the spark is always set off by a girl. I've seen that in colleges girls often flaunt with fellow students or Lecturers sometimes even lower staffs for personal favors. But sometimes it lands them at wrong side. Many times it is perceived as if the girl is interested! Both Boys n Gals need to be taught n accessed for their behaviors n responses! This might control this erratic behavior!
-- Sunil S
Let me ask a question to all the males. If you walk around in your bare minimum do girls / women ogle at you or pass comments?
If you think you have the right to walk the earth wearing whatever you choose to, then why do you expect the females not to exercise the same right? Giving the hogwash that a girl's dress is open invitation from her to guys to abuse her is infact trying to satisfy your own lust and this has nothing to do with the clothes a girl dons.
Go and read male and female pschycology, harmone difference then talk .This the way god has made male with high sex drive.
-- Abhishek Sinha
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