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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Harassment affects confidence

Mugdha Variyar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, December 17, 2012
First Published: 01:15 IST(17/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:17 IST(17/12/2012)

As cases of sexual harassment are on the rise in the city, experts pointed at the behavioural problems behind this.

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"Men who harass women usually have borderline personality disorders," said Dr Nilesh Shah, psychiatrist, Sion hospital. "Such persons get influenced by movies and look for ideas to harass women," he said, adding that it was difficult to engage such individuals in psychiatric treatment to change their behaviour.

Shah said it was necessary to identify behavioural problems among boys at a younger age. Obvious symptoms are lying, fighting, stealing and other such aberrations.

"This is a socio-psychological problem. As men's power is being threatened by independent women, cases of sexual harassment are increasing," said Veena Poonecha, director of the Research Centre for Women's Studies at SNDT University. "This is a clear sign of misogyny." 

Experts feel that most citizens prefer not to intervene when women are being harassed. "The recent assaults on people who have tried to defend women have made people more cautious," said Sameera Khan, who writes on women's safety. "They also don't want to get entangled in legal hassles."

Psychiatrists said that sexual harassment in any form and to any degree can leave a woman mentally-scarred.

"The intensity of abuse is directly proportional to the symptoms. It can lead to anxiety and can affect the girl's confidence if she is subjected to harassment on a regular basis," said Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. "Some girls do confront the perpetrators and take action but often it is of no use."


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