In our country single women living alone, especially single women above a certain age are considered “easy” by men. The so called eve – teasing on roads, the leery colleagues & over-friendly neighbour may turn to stalkers if not handled.
These are some general tips to manage unwanted attention during various situations but girls do not hesitate to talk to others if you are in any such situation. It may help to stop you from becoming a victim of crime against women.
- On the street:
- Wolf Calls: Ignore it. It’s tempting to say something back but if you talk to him you’re giving him exactly what he wants: your attention.
- Touching in buses and public transport: Keep your elbow bent to accidently hurt anyone who touches you accidently. If it doesn’t stop ask him to maintain distance in a loud voice.
- Staring : Do avoid direct eye contact with the person staring at you. This may be considered by the “ogler” as sign of welcome. Do not adjust your clothes or look uncomfortable.
Some other tips for the streets
- Always carry pepper spray or a sharp object with you. These should be within easy reach.
- Learn basic self-defence
- Your nails , heels , keys , bag etc can all be used to hurt
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Walk tall & be confident
- A pretend mobile call giving the number of auto, bus & expected arrival time can also help you.
- On the job :
- Being asked out or others such hints :
- Be direct and say “no”, you can always you the excuse that you do fraternize with colleagues.
- Note down all such incidents which made you uncomfortable with dates.
- Keep your boss/ HR informed.
- The colleague who doesn’t say anything but hangs around your desk:
- Ignore any kind of attention from them
- Do not use them or take their help for anything : it can be misinterpreted
- Get a colleague to report to their managers that the person is shirking their assigned duty and loitering, creating demotivation for working members.
- Boss / Senior management professional :
- Be direct & to the point in all your interactions
- Ignore any kind of special attention / do not take any favours
- Give indirect hint of fake relationships
- Inappropriate jokes / comments :
i. Being firm yet polite inform that you do not appreciate the joke / comments
ii. Note down any incidents with descriptions and dates
iii. If needed use a voice / camera recorder to record evidence
iv. Inform HR / Boss’s Manager
- Direct proposition
i. Be direct and say “no”, you can always you the excuse that you do fraternize with colleagues.
ii. Keep HR informed
iii. Get the team changed, if possible.
Some other tips for the workplace
- Dress appropriately: Follow your office dress code, dress professional, with appropriate makeup.
- Act professional with no nonsense attitude
- Constant giggling, adjusting you dupatta , or neckline of your kurta/ shirt when you are uncomfortable may all be taken as promiscuity
- On your own time:
- If a guy asks you out and you’re just not interested: be firm but clear of your lack of interest
- If he persists – be direct. Their feelings may be hurt for a bit, sure, but they’re hurting you by repeatedly bugging you.
- Unwelcome touches at a party:
- Get up and walk away, grab a friend — whatever will help you feel okay.
- If you want to confront: directly call attention to the act, without being embarrassed. It’s he who should be embarrassed by what he’s doing, not you.
- Unwelcome advances from neighbour / security : Keep you society’s chairperson , elderly , trustworthy ladies & other responsible families informed.
Do not be scared / embarrassed about letting your parents and friends know about the situation and if required, you must also seek police assistance. Many a time, girls have lost their lives or have been brutally raped, injured or kidnapped by stalkers and boys who could not take the rejection.