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Safe in the city

delhi Updated: Apr 09, 2012 00:47 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Remember that it’s not always safe in your college campus. An attacker can strike anywhere and at anytime. It’s always important to take precautions. If you’re there in your campus after dark, see to it that buildings, walkways and parking lots are adequately secured, lighted and patrolled, and then only venture out on your own. Avoid walking alone if possible. Walk with an air of confidence and stay alert. Walk in lighted areas. Keep your hands free; don’t carry too much stuff when you are alone. If you are being followed, cross the street, shout out, and run to a crowded place.

Where I feel unsafe
I don’t feel safe while getting out of a crowded movie theatre. Taking advantage of the rush and the utter chaos, some people try to grope you and make you feel uncomfortable.
- Radhika Sharma

I feel unsafe in Gurgaon malls, especially when it’s late in the night. With so many brawls and mishaps happening in these malls, I now think twice before catching a late night movie or eating out at one of the restaurants there.
- Mona Gandhi

My story

I have a cousin who is 4 years elder to me. Whenever he comes to my place, he tries to take undue advantage of me and sexually abuses me every time. I have confronted him a lot of times, but he is not ready to listen to me. I can’t tell my parents because I don’t want any kind of quarrels to happen in the family. This will only worsen matters. I am very scared and try to avoid him every time. Please suggest me how can I get rid of him. This is too stressful and I can’t take this sexual molestation any more.

- Sonakshi (name changed for privacy)

What the expert says
After reading this, I can see that there is a lot that you have gone through. I appreciate your concern for family harmony, but your cousin seems to be taking undue advantage of this very fact. I suggest you to just think about it once. I think you need to ask yourself that ‘Am I letting myself be tortured in order to maintain family ties?’ I recommend that you should talk to your parents about this unacceptable behaviour of your cousin. This way, your family can think of a plan to keep your cousin in control while preserving the connection.

- Pulkit Sharma, Clinical Psychologist, VIMHANS

Thanks for the support
We’re glad you find our safety tips useful
Anjali Sharma: The ‘Safe in the City’ campaign really inspired me to write this poem, which I’m sure, many will relate to.

The Sun Goes Down...
Bus, train, street- Where should a girl retreat?
Busy roads, crowded areas, deserted places, Where should a girl go to avoid chases?
Ones made for her belongings;
And the ones made for herself?
Where should she go to enjoy the breeze? Why, even for a stroll, she can't be carefree? Heard footsteps, Why is that she frets? The thought of getting out at night, Why is it filled with fright? Or even in broad daylight, Why for her self-respect she has to fight? Oh, what a plight! Why always, when the auto-rickshaw’s driver adjusts his mirror, is it a signal for the girl to adjust her attire? Why do conscious reminders have to be put up for guys, to look at her face and then talk? Office, mall, gallery — A place where she can’t expect a stalk? In a function or a party, why does she have to think twice before wearing a skirt or a spaghetti? Why always the compromise? Why does a girl’s heart pound, when the Sun goes down...?

The poet is a student of Somerville School, Vasundhara Enclave