It Cannot Happen To Me!!

I am standing here looking at myself in the mirror…and I don’t like what I see, what I feel, what I sense…but I don’t want to hate myself the way I do….

At the onset of this piece, let us clarify that we are not propagating male-bashing; we are demeaning abuse of any form that both the genders face. Due to constraint of space, we are currently confining ourselves to issues of abuse concerning women!

Abuse can take various forms- Physical, emotional/ psychological, financial, sexual. They may either be verbal or non-verbal. Ambient abuse is a form of abuse that percolates into your lives and even you as a victim do not realise it; Eg. To be told what you should wear, constantly undermining your capabilities. However, this is a simple categorisation; the unimaginable forms they can take are actually very petrifying.

The recent rape case in our safe abode shocked some of us, left some of us numb and the rest unaffected. What is appalling is that some women folk even cared to laugh about it. We like to believe that ‘It cannot happen to me’. Unfortunately, the truth is far from that, we are all potential victims. Citing instances and quoting statistics is not our purpose, we want you to wake up to this reality. Understand that it is your right to say ‘NO’. The best person who can help you is yourself. Remember that you need to speak up; talk to friends, family or even organisations that can help you; stand up to the perpetrator, retain any proof (documents, sms and mails) that threaten your personal space. Learn self defence. Do not blame yourself !

We often forget that there is support available. IISc has a Women’s Committee to address your issues. Garima Gupta is our representative (9845710657). You can call 1091(Toll free number) - Vanitha Sahaya Vani, the Women’s Helpline at the Police Commissioners Office.
The other helplines you can approach, which also handle personal and family counselling are-
SAHAI helpline- 25497777
Viveka- 55330387
Helping Hand- 23535687
Parivarthan- 25298686/25273462

I am looking at myself brimming with confidence, living life for all it is worth, being me, speaking my mind and taking care of MYSELF!!

{ This piece was written by Vasanta and me for the August issue of Voices, the IISc Newsletter.}

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