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Safe in the city

It is difficult to counter an attacker if you are travelling alone and don’t know the directions. So, read on to find out how you can get out of this tricky situation.

delhi Updated: Apr 03, 2012 00:49 IST

Safety tip
Whenever you plan to step out alone, always remember that a recce of the place in advance is very important. If you don’t know the way, then it’s recommended to ask the directions of the place from someone
trustworthy in advance. If driving, then switch on the GPS on your phone and avoid taking short-cuts that are often dimly lit. Take safe and busy routes, even if they are longer. If travelling by public transport, don’t let the driver know that you are not well informed about your destination. Hop on to a radio-taxi or a radio-auto for safety.

Know your rights
Under no circumstances can the identity of a rape victim be revealed. Neither the police, nor the media, can make known the name of the victim in public. Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code makes the disclosure of a victim’s identity a punishable offence. Printing or publishing the name of the rape victim or any matter which may make known the identity of the woman, is punishable by law. This is done to prevent the social victimisation or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence. Even while a judgment is in progress in the high court or a lower court, the name of the victim is not indicated. She is only described as ’victim’ in the judgement.

Where I feel unsafe
I feel most unsafe in crowded places. Men often try and touch you at the wrong places, pretending it’s accidental. -Kusha Shah

I feel most unsafe at parties, clubs or pubs. We often meet unknown men there, who mistake a girl who is partying late in the night as ‘available’. They approach you in a very wrong manner. -Sarabpreet Kaur

My story
A few days ago, I went for a walk in the park at around five in the evening, and it was not dark. As I walked around the park, I saw a guy standing near the corner. As I turned, he started making lewd gestures and touching himself inappropriately in front of me. I felt very sick but I just ignored and continued my walk. During my second round at the park, he continued to do the same, which means he was doing it purposefully. Thankfully, he was not there the third time, but the experience left me with a sick feeling, as if I had been emotionally molested. -Shalini (name changed)

What the expert says
In such instances, the sense of helplessness is so overpowering that it does not allow us to take effective steps. Firstly, tell yourself that you are a strong and brave person, and think of past instances where you had asserted yourself. Secondly, always keep a phrase in your mind which is clear and forceful, and can be used to convey your mind to any potential molester. Thirdly, do report the incident immediately as sexual harassment, at the police control room by dialling 100 or women’s helpline number 1096. After the incident, it is important to get over the feeling of emotional helplessness by facing the pain. Once we face the pain completely, we have an inbuilt mechanism to emerge stronger. So, it is advisable to write a diary in detail or share the experience with someone close who would not judge you.
- Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist, VIMHANS

We’re happy you support us

Manjri Singh Malhotra
I really find the My Story section very helpful. There have been times when I wanted to share my experiences, and wanted an expert to advice me, but got no chance. In other people’s stories, I often find my story hidden. Thank you so much HT City. You have made my life so much easier. Thanks for the great help through this initiative.

Vandana Chadha
All your tips are useful, and after reading the tips I have also started being very careful before I go out of the house, whether it is day time or night. We have to be alert all the time.

Heart Hacker Roshita
This campaign has been very helpful and informative. Thanks HT City, your efforts are worth an applause and a standing ovation. Hats off to you!

Vanya Arora

One of the best initiatives taken by print media in recent times. Well done people. You do us proud.

Angita Madan
The information about top 10 safety tips was really awesome. Please bring it back, we miss it a lot. The My Story section is also very interesting.

Tushti Deora
Very interesting initiative. Hats off to you for this. The tips are really very helpful and well researched.

Sonal Kiran
Well done. Good work done.