Visakhapatnam is a safe city compared to many but one incident brought the city into the center stage for national ire. Our reader shares her views and experiences of sexual harassment of women here in an Open letter.
“I know of girls who are now women and have fought the battle for safety and survival. I know of places which we have avoided in Visakhapatnam after hours. I know of women who recount their experiences across public places and public transport that are cases of sexual harassment. it took one incident after a slew of many to bring the matter into spotlight.”
“The outrage over the sexual harassment has brought a number of important things to light. The very first is that sexual harassment is real and happens very much here. Visakhapatnam is a relatively safe city and there is no denying it. But even the city is testimony to gruesome incidents. This is the second. The third is that, no time of the day is safe and if one thinks one is not at risk then one is for sure mistaken.”
“A different version of the news has come to light and it becomes difficult for the common man to know truth from reports. Whatever the case may be it is unfortunate but not new. There are many women who come here to work or as students. They have felt more at risk and public transport, be it bus, train, auto rickshaw etc is still fraught with risk. New Delhi has been anointed the crime capital for good reason but an incident there still shocks many. That makes the recent case in Visakhapatnam an even bigger sad point. This is not an isolated case and there have been cases of sexual harassment here before. The gang rape of a woman in Gajuwaka while her children were in the house was reported a while back.”
“Saying all this it becomes important for women to bear their own safety in mind when they step out of their house. It can happen to any one and no place and no city is safe. That is a harsh truth and a real one. I have grown up surviving low key sexual harassment from inappropriate touch on buses to cat calling and eve teasing and witnessed others in Visakhapatnam. There are much worse stories and accounts I could recount. I tell others to beware but Visakhapatnam must beware too and check this virus before it spreads.”
Disclaimer – The contributor is a lady and requested anonymity. The views expressed here are her’s entirely and not Yo!Vizag’s.