30 Oct 2012

Ways To Help Women Stay Safe

October is my second favourite month (December comes first by the way! ) and it also happens to be the 'Violence Against Women Awareness Month'. So, this post is about a rabid and disgusting disease that is plaguing India - violence against women, and on how to ensure our safety!  India has been crowned the worst place to be a woman (among G20 nations) and I'm not surprised. Everyday, newspapers bring news of women being molested in different parts of the country. And true to our motto of 'unity in diversity', women all over India are united in suffering from eve teasing and violent forms of sexual abuse.

Kerala is supposed to be a state of educated and socially aware and responsible people but we are not better off in providing safety and security to the women folk. Infact, Kerala has surprised everyone by topping the list as the state with the most number of crimes being reported against women. We try to convince ourselves by saying that its because the crimes get reported here unlike in other states. But no one can turn their heads to the fact that in Kerala, women are getting raped in trains, homes and workplaces. A few days back there was a shocking story of a sick, bed ridden mother and her daughter who were raped in broad day light by two men who broke into their house.

There is also another form of violence that often goes unreported - eve teasing. The word 'eve teasing' itself  is very misgiving. It sounds like some kind of mild amusement, which its not! Any form of abusive action committed against women which falls short of rape, comes under 'eve teasing'. Almost every girl I know have at least once witnessed or experienced some form of eve teasing. That is how rampant it is.

Talking about our problems and worrying is not gonna make much difference, its time to act.We cannot always expect the men folk to come to our aid. Understanding our weakness and overcoming it is what we have to do. So, I've made a list of things that women can do to ensure their safety at home and while outside.

1.  Be Vigilant
I know that sounds a little scary, but better safe than sorry. Especially when you are traveling alone, be aware of the people around you. And whenever possible tell your family and friends where you are going and when you are expected to return. Keep police control room number and the number of a friend or relative on speed dial.

2. Dress Appropriately
Remember, what might seem normal in certain circles of the society might be provocative in more conservative sections. Don't invite trouble by dressing inappropriately.

3. Appear Confident
Criminals tend to target scared and lost looking women. So, don't look lost, be confident.

4. Carry Sharp Objects
It is very good if you know some form of martial arts but not everyone has the time to learn it. So, Plan B is to make use of the things you carry with you. Small sharp objects can be a very good weapon. Drop a sharp pin or pen into your purse when you step out of home. It might come handy when you need to distract the assailant and escape.

5. Water Bottles, Umbrellas , Torches and Sprays
We all know of pepper spray and how it can be the single most effective tool in the arsenal of women. In case you can't get hold of one, use deodorant, hair spray or air freshener instead. They are all very effective. Carry them whenever possible.
You can slip in a water bottle, umbrella or if you are traveling at night, carry a torch. All these can be used to strike down your opponent.

6. At Home
Always lock the door properly and don't open it for strangers. Know your neighbors and maintain a good relation with them. If a mechanic or plumber is due to arrive, request a neighbor to be present at the time.

7. Trust your Instincts
Always trust your instincts and common sense. If you think something is not right, flee immediately.

Every woman has her own methods to ensure safety. So if you have any such methods, do share it.
Lets take our safety into our own hands!!


  1. Very appropriate post, October is my fave too because I celebrate my birthday this month :)

    1. Thanx Ghazala.. :) Even I celebrate my birthday in October!! :)