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'I've been sexually harassed in public'

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Last updated on: February 26, 2008 14:49 IST

Last week, we asked Get Ahead readers to discuss whether they have ever been sexually harassed or witnessed such an incident in public.

We were flooded with responses from both sexes -- here are some of the more interesting messages.

I think every one faces it in her day to day life.
Once while travelling in a public bus, it was very crowded & a rowdy tried to touch & press my breasts in the bus but i gave him a tight slap across his face & he quickly got out of the bus to avoid further thrashing.

-- MM

Yes, i and my daughter was a victim of sexual harrassment in the train while travelling. i took the culprit and handed over him to the police and later checked up whether action has been taken.

in public places like train, buses when such incidents happen we ourselves can tackle in the initial level by showing resentment and the very look of the women will stop him doing dirty activites.

-- Jonniya Murali

Once I boarded a City bus at Chennai. At a bus stop, a large group of students (may be around 30 to 40) of a nearby college boarded the bus and started singing and dancing in the bus. In the next bus stop, they are about to get down. Suddenly, all the students starting molesting a woman of about 35 years age, before they got down. All the other co-passengers were shocked and were not able to react in time. They suggested to the conductor to report to the next police station. The sobbing harassed woman, just said to leave the matter at that and not to rake up the same. This happened in the heart of the city.

-- Global Analyst

Lots of times women wear provocative clothing and then complain that they're being ogled at. When asked to dress in a more sober manner, they talk about their right to dress the way they wish. Women who have their t*** hanging or their a** showing are going to be groped, the way Indian society is. You can afford to dress skimpily only if you belong to the upper strata of society where you'tr travelling in luxury cars and going to expensive hotels and places where skimpy dresses are a way of life. If you travel by the Virar fast every day, don't wear mini-skirts and expect not to attract unwanted attention. If you sit in coffee shops all day smoking hookahs and petting with your boyfriend you're sending you a certain message. Behave yourself in public, carry yourself with dignity and grace and a lot of troubles can be averted
Be realistic. I'm not blaming girls for getting assaulted. All I'm saying is - don't invite trouble. This is not a men versus women thing because if a woman is hurt, her father, husband, brother, son are also affected. So don't make it a war of the sexes. It's a war between the scum of society versus the decent people.

-- Anushka

If caught for the first time, the culprit should be humiliated in public and let off with a very strong warning.
If the culprit is caught again, then he should be given an permanent anti-erection chemical injection, so that he can never feel sexual desire and "get it up" again for the rest of his life.

-- Ayan Roy

Did read the comments of some of my friends blaming public harrashment of the ladies on their atire and attitude. I am sure some of you do have a sister and if not you definitely have a mother, do please ask her has it ever stoped a harrashment in public even if her clothes have been appropriate. You may be surprised at her answer. The harrashment comes from the your attitude that the lady because of her sex is to be blamed for everything. And Men as a superior ( hic ) being is not to be blamed.
While these vile coments might keep coming from gentle men ( pardon the pun ) I have a few suggestions to make:
Harrashment can come only if you let it be one. If you donot let it be called harrashment then it cannot be one.
Donot let your sex come in between you and your life. You can only be liberated only if you are in chains. donot be in Chains and see what comes of you.
My wife and I were in Sadar Bazzar ( gentle men please call it wrong since we went to "sadar bazzar" ) and she was bottom pinched by a passer by, she chansed the guy and when she caught up with him wanted to bottom pinch the guy in full view of the busy sadar bazzar. You shoudl have been there to see the scene and the " gentleman " passer by pleading with her not to do it and forgive him. Even the beat police man was amused and surprisingly came to HIS rescue. It is still a discussion even after 12 years after it happened and we still laugh at it.
Go ahead and enjoy your life ladies.

-- Anonymous

Yes. I have faced such harassment, not very severe, but enough to make me respond violently. I was travelling in Magadh Express, AC 3 Tier coach. When i was entering the coach, because of rush i was in queue near wash basin to go inside the coach. Suddenly i felt a bad touch on my bottom...I couldnt even think for a second...turned back and hit that person on his face...and started asking him what did he do to now i knew he was not a passenger but Indian railway employee...Attendent. This however didnt change my reaction and i was abusing him...I saw no body helped me there and other people were saying---Leave it, dont fight and all those crap as if its a petty matter..but for me it was a big issue as it never happened to me earlier in my life.And you what, they say girls/women ask for...I was wearing a Salwar Kammez with full Dupatta, i was with my papa.He had just moved inside the coach and was not aware of what was happening outside the coach near toilet. Then i controlled myself and moved down..Then whenever that aatendant appeared i showed him to everyone saying--- hit this bastard for that bloody act. I saw not much reaction from people.Guys were not at all concerned and i felt so bad.Anyway today when i remember that incident, i feel if you let other people play with your self respect/dignity, they will keep on doing that...Women/girls should respond to it...Not hide it because of shame or whatever..Its our fundamental right to react to such threats

-- Reena Prasad

Once, I was at Dadar station in Mumbai. There was a minor scuffle between two men. A lady was watching it. Apparently, the lady's husband was fighting with one stranger, who outraged her modesty.

The husband was looking scuffle. The wife stepped in and slapped the other person. The whole platform was silent for a minute. I salute the lady. We need such bold ladies.

-- Dhanamjaya S

Secretary to boss: All the other women in the office are suing you for sexual harassment. Since you haven't sexually harassed me, I'm suing for discrimination.

-- Moderator

I faced it many a times especially while travelling in buses. But we cant avoid it. One day i was sitting to the edge of the seat. Generally men even if they have place also i donno why they linger near ladies seats. I was really shocked at the scene.. i am 19 yrs old. and tht man's age is around 45 or more. He was leaning me.. as if he is taking the support of the rob on the seat. i adjusted myself moving away. He started moving more closer. he started rubbing his manhood to my shoulder. I really felt very much irritated and just shouted at him. He got down the bus immediately.
not only this I faced many such situations.

And i have seen many girls/women suffering from this harassment. But one thing girls, please be bold. Dont hurt ur feelings. No one has the right to hurt ur feelings. Take a step and face them boldly, as long as we adjust to the surroundings, they will be back of us.
while walking on the roads also i find many guys poking their fingers, pinching pressing their fingers to women.
And dear guys, please dont do such things. You have some relations right!! mother, sister, wife, daugther.. just imagine if some other person doing the same thing with your family members. thats horrible right!! so please make this society a healthy place. Let females live , roam, enjoy their freedom along with u guys. And try to support such females when u come across such incident. Teach a good lesson to males who harass women.

-- Anonymous

Have you or your lady friends ever been sexually harassed in a public place? How did you/ they deal with the situation?

Do you think the law is hard enough on men who indulge in eve-teasing and inappropriate behaviour with women?

Post your comments on the message board below!