Women need to speak up to resist violence
Women should speak for themselves; they should speak by their own.
Today if you don't speak for yourself, if you don't talk about your likings and disliking, no one will ever speak for you. Your parents, siblings, love ones none of them. And even if they speak, it will be a vacant voice. Make your voice your strength, your profit lies in it.
A country where a woman is blamed for her clothes if she is raped, she is blamed for returning home late, in such country you have no choice without speaking for yourself. If you can't save yourself today, no one in this world can save you, and you can't save anyone. This is the time, speak for yourself. It's never too late. Everything can be started anew from today.
You may think that if something happens to you today, the people around you will stand by your side. No, that's not true, this is your misconception, the reality is, no one will stand by your side.
Let me tell you a very old story. In the Mahabharat, when Draupadi was stripped naked, all five of her husbands were present at the meeting. Guru Dronacharya, grandfather Bhishma and many other dignitaries were present there at that very moment. But none of them protested against the incident which was happening with Draupadi.
This incident happened thousands of years ago. Let me tell you a recent story.
In November 2019, our bus was stuck at Kalabagan traffic signal; all of a sudden a hand pulled my mobile phone through the window of the bus. I looked out of the window and saw a 10/12 year old boy running with my mobile phone and a number of bike riders staring at that boy silently. They could have caught that boy if they tried but they did not. No one helped us that day, only two of my female friends and I were running after the thief.
I mentioned two events of two different eras just because I wanted to make you understand that, you have to protest the injustice that has happened to you. No one will stand by your side in danger.
We should all have adequate knowledge about Sexual Harassment, Sexual Consent, Good Touch and Bad Touch for our own safety. In a country like ours, these are not discussed openly, they are still taboo. Due to lack of adequate knowledge on these issues, crimes like sexual harassment and rape are not decreasing in our country but are increasing day by day. Proper Sex education is not available in our country. Children get ideas about this from social media or pornography which is very harmful. In these respects, children get bad education instead of good or correct education. Therefore, parents, elder brothers & sisters, family members should teach children about sexual harassment, sexual consent, good touch, bad touch at an early age. Teach the boy in your family the right way, teach him to respect women, teach him not to run away but to protest if anyone around him encounters harassment. Teach the girl in the family to protest if she encounters sexual harassment, tell her to talk to you about it and take legal action if necessary. Tell the girl that you will be by her side no matter what, create such environment in the family for the girls where they can fearlessly tell you about the injustice which has been done to her. Let the change start with me and you? Let it start with mine or your family?
Please do not ask a victim to remain silent. It's not her fault she got harassed, she is the victim. The girl who has faced it, why will she remain silent out of shame! What is her fault? If she remains silent by being ashamed, will you guarantee that the same thing will not happen to her again? The one who has been wronged must live with her head held high, she should raise her voice and speak out against the injustice that she faced, thus ten more people will get inspired by seeing her. Please do not discourage a person if you cannot encourage.
Today not only women are being harassed but also men, child, old aged people, even eunuchs are being harassed. Take a look around you, maybe the people closest to you is being harassed but you don't even know that. Harassment is harassment. No matter which gender is the victim.
Now many may ask what is sexual harassment?
Talking about sexual intimacy for no reason, touching your body without your consent is also sexual harassment.
To put it bluntly, any unwanted sexual behavior is sexual harassment.
According to the law of Bangladesh, sexual harassment is-
* Unwanted sexual appealing behavior. Such as, physical touch; this type of action.
* Trying to have sex with someone by using institutional and professional powers.
* Sexual harassment or harassing comments, illegal application for sexual opportunity.
* Showing pornography, blackmailing through pictures and videos of someone's private moments.
* Sexually explicit remarks or obscene gestures, teasing through obscene language or comments, making fun of using sexually suggestive language.
* To approach or follow a person invisibly for the purpose of fulfilling indecent intentions.
* Letters, mobiles, telephones, SMS, pictures, notices, cartoon benches, chairs, table notice boards, office factories, classrooms, writing something sexually abusive on bathroom walls.
* Forced to refrain from participating in sports, culture and educational activities for the purpose of sexual harassment.
* Threatening or pressuring if rejected by offering love.
* Trying to establish sex through intimidation or false assurances or deception.
Lawyers say that if the above-mentioned issues are undesirable or unacceptable to anyone, it will be considered as sexual harassment.
They say, love, marriage, love - any sexual harassment can happen in any relationship.
Sexual harassment is not just about touching the body, it is also a form of sexual harassment to talk to you unreasonably about sex. Many of us are unknowingly facing this kind of harassment. Maybe the person doing the job doesn't even know that constantly talking about having sex with someone is a form of harassment and it is possible to take any legal action against him.
In our society, no one talks openly about these things, but we should talk openly about all these issues. If someone's mentality changes a little after reading this article, if only two people get benefited by reading this, then that will be my success. I always believed changes should start with yourself. If you can change yourself, you can change others.
Translated by Hamida Ela