THE MENACE OF EVE-TEASING
The making of obscene remarks by men to women in public places is said to be known as eve-teasing. Eve-teasers can be seen in buses, schools, colleges, pubs, theatres, parks, restaurants, etc. The predators stalk and then physically and mentally harras women. This obviously results in big crimes or suicidal cases.
Can you believe that every woman in the world, especially in India experiences some or the other kind of harassment and molestation at some point in time? Yeah, you heard it right. Not only women, but even small children are also not been spared from this menace.
Even after years of protesting and fighting for women’s safety, eve-teasing is a menace that can be heard every day in the news. Many laws and regulations have been made until now. Still, the scenario didn’t change. Or is it the case that, not every woman is aware of these laws? Or even after knowing the laws, none of them dares to protest due to embarrassment or fear?
“Once, I was coming back from school, and there was this guy who was eve-teasing me and my friend. I had a Milton water bottle that I flung it at his face. My dad told me if you are in a crowded place and a guy eve-teases, you should make noise. I did exactly that and got people on the road to beat up the guy.” – Anushka Sharma
“Eve-teasing will be fair for all flirty flocks if your sister can bear all your dirty jokes.” – Ecriture Noire
STATISTICS – What Numbers have to Say?
- According to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), a total of 338,000 incidents of crimes against women were recorded in 2016 against the total of 329,000 crimes against women in 2015.
- In the year 2016, a total of 38,947 cases of rape registered in the country under the POSCO Act as well as section 376.
- Data revealed 5,192 cases of molestation and 1,444 cases of eve-teasing till December 15, 2015, compared to 4,182 molestations and 1,282 eve-teasing cases in the corresponding period the previous year.
- A high percentage of women (70% approx.) resist harassment and deal with it in different ways.
Description – Let’s take a Deep Dive
What is the reason behind the eve-teasing? Many people are of the opinion that the size of the dress of a girl provokes men to take such hilarious action. Then why the women wearing the burka also have to face such situations? Clearly, the mindset of men and society needs to be changed regarding this.
First of all, every girl must know these laws to fight back:
- The police have the power to arrest the accused without a warrant and start an investigation with or without the permission of the court. So, the police can’t deny registering an FIR in any situation.
- Section 294: this section gives protection to girl and women from men who annoy her by committing an act of obscenity in public. The maximum punishment is given for 3 months.
- Section 354: this section deals with the offense of molestation. This section can be applied when the acts of accused go beyond the stage of annoying or insulting and there is a clear threat of physical harm to the victim. The term for imprisonment is for 1-5 years.
- Section 509: it states that whoever intending to insult the modesty of a woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture or intrudes upon the privacy of woman shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 1 year, or with fine, or with both.
- The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act: this law deals with the protection of children from sexual assault, harassment, and pornography.
How to prevent Eve-teasing?
- From childhood itself, segregation is made between boys and girls. Gender equality knowledge must be given to everyone from the beginning so that in future a sense of superiority does not develop in anyone.
- Girls should be trained to be self-reliant. In case of any harassment, they should be able to speak up and fight back so that the eve teasers do not dare to abuse any girl or woman in future.
- We are living in the 21st So, girls must know how to properly use technologies.
- Know all the laws and rules related to women safety and avoid ignorance.
- Girls should always carry knives or sprays with them for protection.
- The attitude of society must be changed. Only girls are blamed in case of any abuse. The mentality of people needs to be changed.
- The punishment given to the offender should not be minor so that any other offender has a sense of fear before committing such activities.
Pros of eve-teasing
Obviously, eve-teasing is a menace. But, as it is said, the more you get hurt, the stronger you become by yourself. Girls nowadays are realizing their rights and learning to fight back to a great extent.
Cons of eve-teasing
- It affects women’s life horribly.
- Many women commit suicide.
- Many women go abnormal due to immense disturbance of mind followed by depression.
- The family of the victim finally decide to give marriage. Hence, ultimately resulting in early marriage and pregnancy-related death.
- Women are advised to stay at home to avoid such incidents.
- It becomes dangerous for women after protesting as the accused may harm them and their family in the future.
Eve-teasing is increasing at an alarming rate with every passing year. We can see men harassing women on a regular basis. But how many of us dare to speak against this? It is high time now that girls open up their voices and use the laws provided to them. These activities are happening in our society for too long. It will continue unless women themselves become smart, bold, independent and alert.
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Author – Riya Chandra