Simple Ways to Combat Street Harassment and Help the Women in Need!
No matter what your age is or which country you are from, it is impossible that you have not heard of street harassment. As bad as it sounds, street harassment is a reality and has a traumatic impact on young women. Often, the womxn, themselves, are blamed for such instances of violence against women in repressive societies, but no matter what they say, it happens for two main reasons:
1. Because of the privileged position our society has put the attacker in where they can get away with almost anything, i.e., poor enforcement of law.
2. Because the passers-by/onlookers let it happen.
Not doing anything while the people around you are being offended, automatically gives the harasser a ‘permission’ to go forward with their abuse. Do you know that together, we can combat street harassment and help the women in need? A small intervention from you has immense potential in such cases, and if you choose to act, you can save someone from ending up in an ugly situation.
While there needs to be a discussion on the rampant street harassment cases, we all know that it will take time for the situation to change. So, till then, here are a few tips to help you out (while keeping you safe) if you happen to see someone in trouble:
1. Speak to the target:
Speaking to the target can do wonders in such cases. Fake a friendship, ask for time or directions, or just walk up to them with something random; your physical presence will probably scare away the harasser and will keep the womxn in question, safe.
2. Create a barrier:
If you see someone in trouble and are not sure of talking to them and how they would take it, you can physically come between the attacker and the target. This way, the person being harassed can escape to safety.
3. Use your phone:
You can act like you are using your phone to click pictures or make a video of the scene (if you are brave enough, you can actually make a video!). This will scare away the harasser as they will know that someone has proof of their ill-doings.
4. Make your presence known:
Just a random cough or a horn or a loud humming sound or a fake phone call from you can make the victim feel that they are not alone. There is a very good chance of the attacker backing out once they know that they are being watched.
5. Seek help:
If there are people around you and you are not sure how to tackle the situation, you can talk to a few people and confront the attacker. A group of people ready to raise their voices for someone’s rights to move around freely is as powerful as a superhero coming to the rescue.
6. Call a helpline:
If you do not want to get involved in any manner, you can contact the helpline in your region meant for this purpose. These people, generally, reach the target fast enough to save the situation.
7. If you know the harasser, call them out:
If you have found yourself in a situation where someone you know is the harasser, call them out. Let them know that you disapprove of their behavior and if you can manage, then host an intervention with other people from the group to take them out of this habit (or whatever messed-up mentality they have).
It is important that the target is not isolated in such instances. Groping, following, whistling, passing inappropriate comments, staring, etc., all come under street harassment, and are criminal acts in many countries. It is time we fight such people who affect the free movement of individuals.
Together we can, together we will!
By the way, learning self-defense will always come in handy. It is not just a skill, but a necessity for everyone. Here is a self-defense guide for you. Be ready to defeat these disturbing elements of the society!
Image credits — Google
Originally published at https://www.fuzia.com.