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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

‘We are here’: Kolkata Police tell women after #MeToo goes viral

Kolkata Police calls out women to report freely about sexual harassment or assault and urged residents of the West Bengal capital.

kolkata Updated: Oct 18, 2017 15:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
(Mohd-Zakir/ HT file photo)

Kolkata Police have responded to the viral MeToo hashtag calling out women to talk about sexual harassment or assault and urged residents of the West Bengal capital to not to be “afraid and to report to the police every time” they face any threat.

The police department has shared a post on Facebook, saying they were “perturbed” by the number of women who shared their stories of sexual abuse and reiterated “our pledge and commitment by saying that we hear every single one of you”.

“We are here to take your complaints every time you want to report a case of sexual harassment. So walk into our police stations whenever you want to report sexual harassment, and our officers are there to hear your experiences with patience and kindness and take your complaints,” the department said in the Facebook post.

“We urge you to be strong, we want you to be very, very angry about the leering, jeering, threats, verbal and physical abuses, we are asking you to be not afraid and to report to the police every time.”

Millions of women shared their stories of sexual abuse after Hollywood actor Alyssa Milano made a simple request on Twitter on Sunday asking them to reply to her using the hashtag MeToo to talk about the “magnitude of the problem”. And in no time, her simple tweet turned into a global campaign.

It wasn’t only women but men also came forward to share their stories and acknowledge that sexual harassment is a serious issue among all genders.

“We also feel it important to talk to boys about the need to stop sexual harassment, and for this, we have recently launched a project, Dear Boys, in schools. We have visited ten schools of Kolkata, and the second part of Dear Boys will start mid-November,” the force also said in the post shared by over 1230 people.

Facebook users appreciated the initiative but some pointed out that the police should not look into sexual harassment cases as a problem faced by only one gender.

“sir/madam from kp, I request you to kindly hear me out. we girls are very much harrased and abused in all aspects of our life, which is very unfortunate. but still, we are fortunate enough that the society acknowledges this problem. but there are lakhs of male people who are also abused everyday. there is no law to protect them, even the society does not acknowledge this problem. I request you to kindly look after this aspect too,[sic] “ Bratati Datta commented on the post.

Dutta’s comment, one of the 209, was supported by many as they asked Kolkata Police to include boys and men as well while addressing the issue of sexual harassment.

Here are some of the reactions:

First Published: Oct 18, 2017 14:59 IST