We teach her about good touch and bad touch before we teach her the tables. When she steps out of the home for college, we give her a thousand instructions. When she’s headed for an outstation trip, we ensure that she has a smartphone. We warn her to stay safe from groping hands when she’s headed for a party. We insist she dresses appropriately. But despite all these lessons on how to live life safely, things tend to go out of hand. The over-friendly uncle, the seemingly-harmless driver, the family member, her perpetrators are many, and come from varied sources. And then we read the news of kids being raped, teenagers being abducted and atrocities being done in seemingly safe environments. Despite all the precautions and lessons on staying safe, we still worry when our women go out on their own. As a city known for its good-people, we tend to question ourselves, whether things have changed now. So, what can we do to make our daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers feel safe? Visakhapatnam citizens opine on women’s safety in India.
“In spite of the safety that Vizag assures, every girl is always walking on eggshells when we talk about absolute confidence. Personally, I ask for regular updates from my daughter, to her annoyance, with umpteen calls just to know that she is safe. It gets me to wonder why the freedom of basic existence and movement is curbed just because some anti-social elements lurk in our society. Pray and hope that with strong vigilance, and punishment, we are able to overcome this menace and maintain the tranquility of this lovely city.”
“With violence against women regularly featuring in the media everyday, there is a lot of concern for women’s safety in India. Teaching children from a very young age to respect boundaries, and making sex education a part of the curriculum in school, will help them understand how to conduct themselves with the opposite sex as they become adults. Teaching the girl child self defence techniques will also help them to face adverse situations boldly. Women should rally for other women and be supportive of each other. When incidents happen at the workplace or outside, we should stop victimising the victim and support them. There should also be sensitisation for gender among bureaucrats and police officers to help them approach the victims in a supportive manner rather than tell them off when they are approached for help. This would also build confidence among women and a fear among the culprits.”
Dr. Kavita Kamineni
“It’s high time that we stop blaming women for all the mishaps that have been taking place. Isn’t it ridiculous how some people still find fault with women’s dressing style or the time during which they’re out in the public? Cases of violence against women must be taken up on high priority and stricter laws need to be brought into effect all across the nation. Also, it is imperative that children, from all walks of life, are imparted value education right from a very young age.”