Today has been a horrific day for me after reading into the details of the barbaric gang rape in our national capital. There can be no plausible explanations for this loathsome act and all ludicrous justifications that the society has been giving to rapes is not applicable here. The victim was not alone, she was not wearing provocative clothes, she was not out at midnight and she was not in a shady or dark corners of the city. She, a medical student, was returning from a movie at 9:15 pm with a friend (like you and me would on any normal day), when those six monsters wretched her pleasant evening.
Its been long since we have been condemning the immoral and patriarchal society we live in, is the cause of all these rapes, which needs a complete reform in the mentality of our society. But cultivating those moral values and that respect for women might take years or decades, meanwhile, you or me cannot let our friends, sisters, wife or neighbors walk into these fearsome streets of this country.
So what should we do? Lock them/yourself up in rooms and ban the women on streets. Not at all. Let us help equip every women, we know, with some basic self defense techniques.
Before listing down few points for self defense I thought of listing down all the rapes that has occurred in this country and have appeared in the prominent newspaper during this month. This will entice anger among my female friends, which is necessary to keep up the motivation for practicing these steps.
18th Dec: TODAY
17th Dec: A 17-year-old, who set herself on fire after being raped a few days ago in Nashik by a relative, died at a civil hospital with 70 per cent burns, the police said on Sunday.
16th Dec: A 13-year-old girl was gang-raped allegedly by four persons at Kambalapadu, near Podili in Prakasam district in the wee hours of Saturday.
14th Dec: A 13-year-old boy has been arrested for allegedly raping an 11-year-old mentally disabled girl in a village in Sindagi taluk.
13th Dec: In a shocking incident, a man who persuaded his family friends in Malligehalli in Hassan district to send their four-year-old daughter with him to get her treated for an injured leg, has raped and savaged the child.
10th Dec: The Mumbai police on Sunday arrested a 42-year-old man for allegedly raping a 62-year-old woman at her home in the Marol area in a western suburb of Mumbai.
9th Dec: In yet another shocking indicator to the moral degeneration of society, the police have registered a case against a man on the charges of molesting his six-year-old daughter after giving her alcohol.
8th Dec: A young Rwandan national was allegedly gang-raped by four persons at Timarpur in North Delhi on December 3.
7th Dec: In a case where a 17-year-old domestic maid was repeatedly raped leading to her getting pregnant and delivering a baby boy at the office of a placement agency in Shakurpur in North-West Delhi after which the infant was sold by the agency owners to a social worker for Rs.23,000....
6th Dec: A 21-year-old youth was sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment for raping a minor girl in 2010.
6th Dec: A 70-year-old woman was raped by a young relative at Budhakhera village in Haryana.
5th Dec: The police said the four-year-old had been sexually assaulted for many days but it came to light only when she came home crying on Monday.
5th Dec: A partially paralysed man has been sentenced to five years in jail by a Delhi court for attempting to rape an intellectually and physically challenged minor girl.
5th Dec: A rape accused’s bid to escape the law by faking his death and furnishing a false certificate before the court has been foiled with his arrest two years later.
4th Dec: A 15-year-old tribal girl was allegedly gangraped in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh and nine persons, including two minor boys, were arrested in this case, police said on Monday.
3rd Dec: A five-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a temple priest in Mangolpuri here two days ago.According to the police, the victim had gone to a temple close to her house.
3rd Dec: A youth has been sentenced to two years in jail by a Delhi court for kidnapping and molesting his minor cousin after confining her in a room for seven days.
1st Dec: Two young men accused of gang-rape of a married woman from a Scheduled Caste allegedly committed suicide in the early hours of Friday by jumping in front of a moving train on the Rohtak-Delhi railway track near Kanheli village in Haryana, said the police.
Imagine, the above list includes only the list of incidents that appeared in Hindu newspaper (Hindu Link). From this we can make out the magnitude of such cases happening all over the country when most of them are not even registered.
Though I am no self defense expert, I have googled and tried to compile an exhaustive list of what women can do at the minimal to try prevent themselves from such incidents.
- Awareness. The first, and probably most important, component in self-defence is awareness: awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies. Be ready with exit strategy.
- Use your sixth sense. “Sixth sense.” “Gut instinct.” Whatever you call it, your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe–you’re probably right.
- Plan in advance. If you're going out to party on night, make a plan with your friends. Know ahead of time where you're meeting and whether you're all leaving together. Look out for one another and be up front about what you're hoping to get out of the night.
- Set your own boundaries (whatever they may be) and be prepared to defend them. So say you're dressed "racy" or like Pretty Women pre-Rodeo Drive. Whatever! You do you, girl! But say someone sees that as a license to do something you don't like or don't want. Use a strong voice and body language to make your boundaries clear. Know that it's all about attitude, rather than clothing, when it comes to protecting yourself. Give you (and your "unwanted admirer") an out by making an excuse to get out of the situation, such as needing to find your friend or whatever. If he can't take the hint, a clear "no" or "back-off" will likely work.
- Yell. If you are in a crowded place like bus or train being eve teased or touched inappropriately, shout. Don't be shy of what others will think, there will sure be someone out of so many people to help you out.
- Escape. Always your best option. What if the unthinkable happens? You are suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him–be it in a car, or into an alley, or a building. It would seem prudent to obey, but you must never leave the primary crime scene. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away (even if he promises not to hurt you). Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a store or car window–do whatever you can to attract attention. And if the criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them one way while you run the other.
- Use your elbow. Elbow is the strongest part of your body. Keep it in front of your body while walking in crowded places.
- Pepper spray. Pepper spray, like other self-defence aids, can be a useful tool. Red chilli powder can be used as a substitute to this. (currently its not available on flipkart, but hope it is soon)
- Right to fight. Unfortunately, no matter how diligently we practice awareness and avoidance techniques, we may find ourselves in a physical confrontation. Whether or not you have self-defence training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you CAN and SHOULD defend yourself physically. You have both the moral and legal right to do so, even if the attacker is only threatening you and hasn’t struck first. Many women worry that they will anger the attacker and get hurt worse if they defend themselves, but statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Keep a stick in your purse. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second. Remember, though, to use the element of surprise to your advantage–strike quickly, and mean business. You may only get one chance.
- Home invasions. A crime on the rise. The primary way to prevent a home invasion is simply to never, ever open your door unless you either are certain you know who’s on the other side or can verify that they have a legitimate reason for being there (dressing up as a repair person or even police officer is one trick criminals use). [Src: Top ten things every women should know about personal safety]
|Flipkart request to add Pepper Spray|
Edited: Pepper spray available on healthkart.com
I hope there occurs no such situation where you ought to use these pointers and I agree none of these would have worked in helpless situation that the girl faced but little preparation never hurt anyone. Find a friend, practice few moves on him and learn some kicks and punches. I can volunteer if necessary. :)