Nine years ago, today, on the 16th of December, 2012, an innocent girl, travelling in a means of public transport with one of her friends, was brutally raped and left to suffer and face death on the streets of India’s capital, Delhi. This incident left everyone in shock and despair, angry at the malicious activity that has been prevalent in the society’s culture for a long time without any change in its current situation. It has worsened with years and doesn’t blink any change in its demeanour.
Rape culture has been a threatening incident that occurs with men and women even while passing the streets late at night. This culture has made people nervous while travelling late, be free and not worry about the repercussions of partying late at night, and even in broad daylight, women have to be on their toes, looking out for themselves? After massive candlelight marches and strikes that took place after Nirbhaya’s death, is there a change in this culture? Has the issue of safety for men and women improved in our country? Do women still suffer from sexual harassment followed by brutal death after 2012?
The statics provided, mentioning the number of rape cases in India, shows that there has been an increase in the said number of cases from 2005 to 2020. The most being in the year 2016, with approximately 39000 reported cases for a day. The year 2020 saw approximately 28000 reported cases daily in the country. Was this decline due to the vigilance and a change in the attitude of people, or was it because of the pandemic and the lockdown that kept human interactions to a minimum level?
This question might still not answer the emotional, psychological and physical trauma that women and men have to face while experiencing rape. If there has been a minuscule improvement in the decreasing of cases, there is still a long way to go for us to be able to breathe freely without having to worry or wonder the stares and the rabid thoughts that make people do such acts. Are there ways to protect ourselves from such instances? Yes, rather than worrying and staying at home, we need to face this horrendous truth that has stayed and will be a part of our lives for many more years to come.
How Can You Defend Yourself?
We have to collectively look after ourselves and defend our existence through some of the measures that might enable us to be fierce and ready for any challenge.
Here are some measures that one can keep in mind-
- Learning Self Defence Techniques, Martial Arts or Taekwondo. This can help you to physically ward off any danger or a human who is trying to harm you.
- Carrying pepper spray at all times. This can work as an initial defender and give you some time to run and protect yourself.
- Having Emergency Contacts and App to track your location. If by chance, you find yourself in a difficult situation, it is essential to inform someone about your whereabouts and these apps might help your family or friends to track you as soon as possible.
- Trust yourself and be confident. You need to believe in yourself and the fact that you are enough to protect yourself. This is one of the most essential things to do while stepping out.
- There are various helplines provided by the government to provide you with quick assistance. You can always use that for your safety.
We wish that Nirbhaya is in a better place now and hope that the women in our society feel safe and secure whenever they step out of their jobs. Creating a comfortable environment for everyone in our society is the goal that we should focus on achieving.