Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Stop Sexual Abuse/Assault

I was going to write a post on that, putting together a list of simple tips I could come up with. Then I read two blog posts that put it way better than I could have.

For parents, starsinmyeyes writes about how you can protect your child from sexual abuse.

And Amanda Hess of the Sexist has advice on how bystanders can help groping victims. I totally agree with the advice of making it visible, making sure the harasser knows there are witnesses and making the victim feel safer.

I think our job as bystanders, as parents, as decent people, is to help create an environment that potential or actual victims feel safe in. Where they can scream for help and expect help, where they can speak out against their harassers or about their abuse and be listened to with empathy and respect.


Sorcerer said...

I think such things happen when we become the literal meaning for "bystanders".
people are more concerned about their saftey in the new frozen democratic system.
I hope people become more proactive to challenge such cases

Anonymous said...

I find drawing attention to oneself helps. I once saw a group of men harassing a woman in a train and I spoke very loudly (instinctively) and woke up the entire train and the men were sent away to another compartment.

starry eyed said...

Thanks for linking me, Unmana...the bystander aspect is a real issue in India...even when I protest harrassment (forget about groping), I get no support, just amusement from men, indifference (maybe out of fear) from women and fury from the 'men-in-charge' was particularly bad during that whole Ram Sene thing, all these creeps got a lot bolder, and the old strategies to calling attention to the harrasser lost some of their effect.

One bunch of shop people actually started shouting at me for daring to address disgusting leering and wolf-whistling by the guy who was showing me stuff. "Just let it go, madam, what's the harm". It makes me shudder even now to recall it.

Unmana said...

Sorcerer: Indeed. The problem is that we - and generations before us - have been shoving such things under the carpet for far too long.

indianhomemaker: Yes, I should hope that does, mostly. On the other hand, see starry eyed's comment below.

starry eyed: We need to start shaming the harasser instead of the victim. It's a vicious circle: the victim doesn't speak up or gets hushed if she(he) does; the harasser gets bolder and finds new victims. We have to break the circle.