I remember as a kid my mother used to take me to the market with her and just the mention of the name ‘market’ was enough to get me all excited and pepped-up. One day, as we were scooching through the crowd in the market, I was looking at all the beautiful little dresses that I wished I had and all those pretty dolls with makeup kits when all of a sudden I felt a hand touching my body. I was very young yet I had a feeling that it was wrong. It felt so wrong! The guy went away brushing his hand against my body at a very inappropriate place! I was startled, shocked, and every other thing that describes being frightened to the core. My mother was still walking, oblivious to my situation. I didn’t mention anything to her, I couldn’t! I was embarrassed and frozen to the bone. Somehow I just kept it inside, going forward with her but as if that wasn’t enough, some other guy did the same the very same day! This time I felt numb.

Years later I got familiar with the word that would describe it- sexual harassment. I know what happened to me still scares my very soul and brings a lump in my throat but I also know that many kids and girls and women have gone through worse. Eve teasing, catcalling, harassment, domestic violence, molestation or rape, it does have different names but the impact in the victims is pretty much the same, i.e. traumatizing. They live with a scar on their souls for the rest of their lives. I know how sensitive this issue is but whenever we discuss it, the blame game starts. Females say that all mothers should educate their sons to respect women, males say that girls should stay in their boundaries; girls say that there are no strict laws while government says it’s their short clothes why they get raped. We do all of this while another victim falls prey to such harassment/rape!

(pic)

We live in a society where people tell you “don’t get raped” instead of “don’t rape.” If it were the short clothes and grown up bodies then why are children getting raped? If it’s only the men who harass then why are their complaints against women who do the same? The same men who tell their daughters and sisters not to wear exposing clothes and pretend to care for them lust upon others who do. Aren’t those someone’s children as well? The same teacher who teaches us equality discriminates amongst her own children. In a society where there are huge loopholes, how do we erase this shameful act?

I am not going to just go about quoting questions, I’ll give you all an answer- SPEAK UP! It may sound way too simple for a crime this huge but sometimes the easiest ways are the most effective. Only if I had told my mom that day, maybe she would’ve supported me. Maybe I would’ve become strong and firm regarding such things, I wouldn’t have left it lying down, somewhere deep in me. Maybe I would’ve had the courage to SPEAK UP when a guy made passes at me or some other girl, for that case! These bastards get away so easily only because they know we don’t have the courage to speak, the courage to point. We feel embarrassed! But why the hell do we feel ashamed when it is they who should do so? Because once we gather courage enough to speak and ’embarrass’ them in front of everybody, neither would they have the courage to sexually abuse any girl again, nor would others who’d be witnessing the consequences.