I have lived on this street all my life. He works as a car driver.
He’s about as old as my father, so he’s a good 20 years old or over. And that morning I was walking to go get an auto, and go to work. So he turned around and started making kissing noises at me and I don’t know what spurred me on but something in me just tripped. I said I can’t be taking this kind of treatment from this man anymore because he’s also made comments about the size of my breasts several times when I have walked passed him in the past. So I walked up to him and asked him what his problem was. And I told him that don’t you know that irrespective of all the considerations, I am as old as your daughter or your grand daughter for that matter. And this is not the first time you have misbehaved and as usual he feigned innocence. He began telling people “ you’re so young why will I do something like that?” and I think the worst part of that whole situation was that, of course lots of people stopped because there was commotion, but every single one turned around and asked me why I was making such a big deal about nothing. It didn’t help that this man was old, and looked vulnerable, but even the women there said “you know what you shouldn’t pay attention to these things, and you should just walk away, they’ll be like that only. You should know you shouldn’t make so much of noise about little things like these.” So it always starts with the smallest of these instances, they’re going to keep pushing you. They start with comments, then they’ll start with slight touches and they then will go all out.
And only then will people start taking you seriously when they have evidence or proof of sexual abuse and violation. And what I was wearing that was actually a below the knee level length Kurta with leggings and a sweater also. It makes you feel dirty because somebody is talking about your body in a way that you don’t look at it yourself. And they may not realize it but it instills a sense of fear that if this person is noticing these things about me that he’s also thinking about , (the next thing my mind thinks) is that he’s probably thinking about violating it. So I’m constantly walking around in fear because he’s explicitly expressed his desire or his want to do something with my body without my permission. So you may dismiss it as small, people may dismiss it as little, but psychologically I’ve spent sleepless nights rerouting my paths and rerouting the route I take to work the next morning just to avoid this person, just to avoid that feeling of fear that he put in me every time he said something about my body. That feeling of self consciousness, that feeling of just feeling dirty because that’s not how you see yourself. That’s not how you want other people to see you.
I was angry, there was so much anger and it actually made me realize that I’ve been harboring silently so much anger that I wasn’t even conscious of until that moment because I was shaking by the end of it. And we shouldn’t have to suppress those feels of anger so much is what I realized that day. If something makes you angry you should be able to stand up for it , stand up for yourself without having to suppress and walk around quietly . just because there are people around you saying that its not a big deal. It is a big deal and I realized that from the time I was a child these instances and incidents that happen on a daily basis I just bottled up and just caused so much anger that was harming myself by not letting myself express it or not having people who would understand what it is that I was going through
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