Threat to women safety is a reality￼, in this country of any other. There are psychopaths out there looking for unweary targets. Remember, when you go about your normal day to day life not expecting anything untoward happening, there could be a psychopath who is prepared and waiting to take advantage ￼of your unpreparedness.
In an annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India. Out of these, 24,470 were committed by someone known to the victim (98% of the cases). Five women are raped in Delhi every day.
In 2017/18 there were almost 54 thousand rape offences recorded by the Police in England and Wales.
South Africa has the highest rate of rape in the world of 132.4 incidents per 100,000 people.
1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
Well, no one can or should live in fear all the time. However, it greatly helps if you are prepared never the less.
10 simple tips that could help you in an untoward situation￼
In the face of an attack, most of us freeze. If might can’t subdue the assailant, presence of mind will
1. Between the elevator and staircase always take the elevator; at least there are no dark corners where you could be attacked. If an unfamiliar person follows you into your office or apartment elevator, press all the buttons – no one will dare attack if the doors keep opening constantly. ￼
2. If you think you are being pursued, leave your hair open or tie them tightly till you reach your destination. Avoid ponytails as it will provide the assailant better grip￼￼.
3. Prevention is the best self-defence. Attackers always look for unsuspecting targets. Be aware of your surroundings. When walking down dimly lit areas try not to wear earphones or be engrossed in a phone conversation. You need to be cautious.
4. Keep the keys to your door or car in your hand. You do not want to be searching for it as you approach the door. If someone has been waiting for you it is the best time to catch you off-guard.
5. If an attacker asks for your valuables, do not hand it to him Toss in far away from you and run in the opposite direction.
6. Try and avoid dark parking lots and always look around you and inside your car before you entering it. If you do find someone in your car who holds a weapon at your throat or wants you to drive. Just drive yourself into an accident to draw attention to yourself and throw the assailant off-guard. ￼￼￼￼￼
7. Women are emotional beings and abusers know how to take advantage of that. There have been many cases where the abusers have mimicked some disability to ask for help and later subdued the unsuspecting woman.
8. Do not open the door for anyone any time of the day. In case you are alone at home verify the persons credentials before letting them into your home and always leave your door open.
9. When at a party do not leave your drink unattended. Fix your own drinks don’t accept drinks from anyone, even friends. ￼￼
10. Download an app that allows your loved ones to keep track of you and those that allow you to reach out to family and friends in case of trouble.
And, most important trust your instincts. Always have plans and back up plans in case you find yourself in a sticky situation, because it is better to be safe than sorry. Having a ‘pepper spray‘ in your purse can prove very handy.
The Four Phases to an Assault.
Experts say there are four phases to nearly all sexual attacks on women.
1. Identify the target.
2. Subdue the target.
3. Exhaust the target.
4. Execute the sexual assault.
The aim is to try and never get beyond the second phase. Instead of you might use your head to overpower the assailant.
Four Steps to get you out of a Difficult Situation.
1. Hit where it hurts the most.
Unless you are a trained fighter, overpowering a person who is tall or heavier than you may seem a mammoth task. The key is to act quickly and use all your might to hit where are you can do the most damage: eyes, nose, ears, neck, groin, knees and legs.
Choose your strike depending on how close your attacker is. For example do not get close to him to hit the nose when you can kick his knee. Gouging, poking scratching the attackers eyes with your fingers or knuckles is effective.
If the attackers is close,use the heel of your palm to hit under is nose or better still if you can head butt him. This will force him to let go of his grip on you giving you time to escape.
2. Get loud and push back.
Whether in a crowded or isolated place, as soon as an assailant touches you, shout loudly and push him away￼￼￼.
3. Use Everyday objects.
Mundane things like keys and pens can turn weapons if used the correct way. Hold these objects between your middle finger and ring finger and curl your hand to a tight first when outdoors even dirt can prove effective to stand and an attacker.
4. Leverage your weight.
￼You can topple you assailant no matter how small you are, using simple laws of physics. Here are ways to get out of an attack’s grip.
Some Additional Tips
– If someone has grabbed your wrist or neck , it is futile to try and shake it away. Instead try and grab the individual finger of the assailant and try to bend it away. Even if the assailant is twice your size and strong, he won’t be able to stop you from bending his finger. This will also help you to get out of his grip.
– In case you are enveloped in a bear hug or Choke, drop your weight and try to hit his head with your elbows; head butt him or stomp his feet.
– Biting and kicking are also effective ways to get to loosen their grip over you. ￼ ￼
APPS: Must have on your Mobile.
– Help me on Mobile
The application uses two services – I am Here and I need Help. The application allows the user to send location updates and panic alerts through SMS in case of trouble.
(Download for android)￼
This app will send a distress signal through call or message to a specified group or contact. The app can be configured to send an emergency message by shaking the phone. Moreover it will send alerts about the location of the user to the chosen contacts with accurate updates every 300 m (Download for android￼)
This app allows you to search taxi stands near your location and book a cab with it. In case of an emergency you can glance through your self made favourite list so you can book a cab or enquire about services without wasting time.
( Download for android and iPhone￼)
– Scream Alarm
This is a free safety alarm that screams in a woman’s voice upon pressing a button (Download for android￼)
– I AM SAFE
This is a travel friendly app which can be configured to notify your location and send the details consistently to the users partner or loved one automatically
(Download for android)
– Circle of 6
This app lets users add up to 6 people to the circle and assists the users during times of difficulty. Two national numbers can be accessed along with a local emergency contact number (Download for iPhone and android￼￼)
￼￼Safety pin is a free map-based app that maps information about safety in your neighbourhood and adjoining cities
(Download for android and iPhone)
This app not only uses your phone’s GPS, SMS and maps but also your Facebook account to alert a predetermined set of friends or family.
( Download for Windows android and iPhone￼)
– YWCA Safety Alert
In the safety alert page, tap on the alert button or a shake of the phone in case of emergency situations will activate an alarm which gives of a shrill noise to draw attention.
( Download for android￼)
– Women Safe Circle
Woman safe circle is an app that helps women stay connected with preselected contacts. In a single click with this app user can￼ call them during any emergency or simply send an SOS with their exact GPS location
( Download for Windows phone)
With this app parents can always know about their kids whereabouts. It will allow them to send emergency alerts using the alert button to a set of trusted people.
( Download for blackberry￼)
Sexual harassment or eve teasing drill can help us in being prepared for the eventuality which can happen to any woman or young girl.
The sexual harassment bill includes the following :￼
1. Anticipating that harassment can happen anywhere and any place and even in situations that you might consider save- a train journey, on a flight, in an elevator or the mall or in a hotel.
2. Have discussions with your friends and colleagues￼ ￼about what you might do if the situation arises.
3. Always get to know beforehand about who you will be with during a work trip or a holiday. Ensure that you understand the culture of the city or town￼. A small town may not be as safe as a large city. Cities is also differ in their level of safety and areas within the city might be different. This will give you an idea about how careful you should be￼￼.
These are dictum is most women know but sometimes our sense of immunity tends to colour our precautions we take ￼:
1. Have a safety plan- always speed dial numbers on your phone, wear shoes that are conducive to easy escape and carry a pepper spray or even a perfume spray.
2. Be on the alert when there are men around you. If you feel you are being looked up and down or being touched inappropriately take action immediately by moving away or talking to someone who might be around. Do not tolerate the behaviour￼.
3. Carry your device that raises an alarm it might catch the person of guard.
4. In your mind go through a rehearsal and discuss it with friends. Imagine situations where you might be harassed and discuss what will you do. Such an exercise will enable you to handle the problem when it actually happens and also you will get several ideas based on each woman’s unique experience￼.
5. Don’t let emotions overwhelm you try thinking with your brain . Again this can happen if you have gone through such a scenario many times in your mind. Do not be scared to ask for shout for help.
6. Try to travel in groups of 4 to 5 to unfamiliar places.
7. Ensure you have a peephole at home and do not open the door to strangers.
8. Always keep people friends and family informed about your whereabouts.
9. When you are staying in a hotel on work do not open the door to anyone without checking with the reception staff. Choose safe hotels and those which have facilities for women. Try to room in with someone you know, insist that your company does not send you all alone. ￼ ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
There are unfortunately no easy answers of how women should react in adverse situations. Preparedness is the key. It is a natural reaction because you don’t expect it. That’s why it is very important to have it like a drill. Come into public views as much as you can. Let others know you are there. Look for any access of escape and don’t get drawn into a corner. Rape is a violent act, one can never say how the potential rapist might respond to aggression on your part. The only thing that might deter the person is if he is seen or if he fears being caught￼.￼
Dr Prabha Chandra.
Mummy is that okay ?
More than 50% of Indian children face sexual abuse at some point in their life, says the national crime record bureau. Of this only 3% is reported. Equip your child with information about abuse and encourage them to share their thoughts and fears with you. Here are some pointers your child should know.
Your body is your own
Let your child know that their body belongs to them and no one can touch it without their permission. They should be made aware that they have a right to refuse a kiss or touch even from people they know. Children should be taught to say ‘no’ to inappropriate physical contact and tell an adult about it￼￼.
The underwear rule
￼If you can teach children about their hands and feet, we should be able to teach them proper names of their private parts, so they will be able to tell adults in case they are inappropriately touched. The underwear rule is a simple way to recognise abuse. The body part covered by the underwear is not to be touched by anyone children do not always recognise in appropriate touching tell them it is not okay if someone looks at or touch is their private part or asks them to look or touch someone else’s private parts. Let them know that no one is allowed to take their photos or videos without clothes on. ￼￼
Good secret, bad secret
Secrecy is most often used by sexual abuses to silence their victims, that is why it is important to teach the difference between good and bad secrets. Your child should know that a secret that makes them sad or scared is not a good one and should be shared with parents or trusted adult.
￼It is not your fault
If you are upset, the child knows. Be patient and attentive to the Childs conversations. Try not to be anxious in case you suspect abuse because children feel guilty easily and may withhold information. Preventing sexual violence is the adults responsibility. Never put the burden on the Child’s shoulders.
Let your child know who is part of the safety network. Parents, grandparents, teachers etc. They should be encouraged to share any concern they have with people in the network. Unfortunately in most child abuse cases the perpetrator is someone known to the child and it becomes difficult to for them to understand why this person would hurt them. Make sure the environment at home encourages the children to talk about gifts and favours received also teach them basic rules never accept gifts from strangers and never get into any vehicle with an unknown person￼￼.
What to do if you suspect abuse?
Don’t be angry with your children. Do not make your child feel as if she has done something wrong. You should ask what happened, when and with who, but do not ask why.
Tell them you are here to care take care of it. Reassure your child that you will do something about it. Contact professional like a counsellor and Doctor and also inform the police.
It is never too early to teach children about abuse. If you find it difficult to discuss the topic, please remember that it is probably more difficult for you as an adult than it is for a child.
Call for help
181– National helpline number for women.
0808200 0247 – National Domestic Violence Helpline.
011-23237166/ 23236988 – National Commission for Women
011-26171446– The National Alliance for Women. An organisation working for women’s welfare.
011-26899 998 – Centre for social research and Institute for the women and girls in India
011-22527 259 / 22450 100 – Pratidhi, an NGO that provides medical assistance, education and counselling to crime victims.
18001801000 – Helpline number for Rescue Foundation. An NGO working for rescue and rehabilitation and repatriation of victims of human trafficking from different parts of India Nepal and Bangladesh.
103– Police helpline for women children and senior citizen in distress.
7738133133 / 7738144144 – A 24-hour helpline for women launched by Maharashtra government.
1298 – This number will connect women in distress to relevant NGOs.
1800 227550 – Initiative by BEST bus services in Mumbai to prevent sexual harassment in buses.
1096– Delhi police’s special women’s helpline.
23379181 / 23370597 – Delhi commission for women helpline.
2323 7166 / 4918– National commission for women helpline.
1091– Sahaya vahini, 24-hour helpline set up for women by Karnataka government.
25251929 – Ashraya Women’s Centre, Indranagar, short stay shelter for women who have been physically and mentally abused or abandoned.
9448046252 / 9448444254– Organisation called – Campaign and struggle against acid attacks on women.
1091– City police official women’s helpline. (only for BSNL or landline)
2535 3999 – Railway helpline. ￼￼￼￼