Role of Men to build Safe Streets

 

“We must send a message across the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence. The shame is rather on the aggressor.“

Street harassment is a topic we all know about but still treat as taboo. It is a topic we don’t want to discuss, because we are afraid of getting judged in this type of society.

We live in a country where we treat our land like a  ‘mother’, with the same respect, but at the same time a country which reports the highest number of street harassment cases against women. That’s not what I want to talk about today. Throughout this blog, I want to give the male perspective on this matter. 

In 2014, SSH commissioned a 2,000-person national survey with surveying firm GfK. The survey found that 65% of all women had experienced street harassment. Among which, 23% had been sexually touched, 20% had been followed, and 9% had been forced to do something sexual. Although these statistics are taken from the year 2000, hundreds of men and women experience street harassment on a daily basis. But when we bring up this topic for discussion, the majority of people refuse to talk about it because of shame, fear, and  the possibility of damaging their career.

According to research, about 40% of men believe that one of  the major reasons for street harassment cases has its roots in a man’s upbringing. In our country, men are raised with the belief that they are superior to women which has become an unwritten mind set. It is statistically proven that 50% of the harassers belong to families where they have witnessed domestic violence, either with their sisters or mothers. This creates the false belief that it is normal to mistreat women or anyone for that matter. And this mindset leads to such inhuman acts.

Another major reason is the communication gap between parents and their children. The fast paced world that we live in today does not permit a parent to devote enough time to teach their children the importance of right and wrong. As a result, the child absorbs his or her surroundings as the truth. Additionally, the community that the child grows up in plays a vital role in his or her views. We have all heard of the famous saying, “a bad fish can spoil the whole pond” and this is currently happening in today’s society.The harassers feel proud of committing such horrific acts because according to them, these actions will raise their popularity, along with increasing approval from their friends.

However,  we know that every problem comes with a solution. If we all work together, we can attempt to stop street harassment. A key factor that is necessary for change  is self- realization. We need to realize that “Charity begins at home”. So if we really want to bring change in society, we can start from the comforts of our own home by educating our sons on the real meaning of being a gentleman. Only then can we make this world a better and safer place for all.

Well, “If you blame the rape victim because her clothes were provocative. You must also blame the bank that was robbed because it’s contents were provocative.”

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