It happened to me…

I was wearing a beautiful beige & gold banarasi sari with a pink brocade blouse. (Remember that I was NOT wearing Western clothes, it is important.) I attended Lakshmi puja at my father’s restaurant on the occasion of Diwali. I got into my car & drove myself to my friend’s house. (Remember that I did NOT take public transport, it is important.) I went in & greeted everyone. (Remember that I was NOT out on the streets when it was dark, it is important) I knew all of them present for a long time, some of the boys there were like my brothers, I had known them that long. (Remember that I was NOT among strange men, it is important.)

All of us hung out like old friends should. Chatting, laughing, singing. Alcohol was a part of the party and as the evening progressed, several of them at the party started to get drunk. I was on my second drink. (Remember that I was NOT drunk, it is important.) It was beginning to get late. I left the party which was happening in the living room and went to the adjoining dining area to serve myself some dinner. One of my male (not single) friends came to make sure that I would eat well.

As I was serving myself food, he put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Please eat properly, don’t be shy to serve yourself.” I smiled in acknowledgement. Slowly the arm slipped down from my shoulder to hold me around my waist. He continued to make small talk. I stiffened up but told myself, “Well, no need to overreact, he’s a friend. We’ve known each other a long long time.” Even before I had completed that thought, his hand went up to fondle my breast. My sari palloo provided the required shield against anybody who might have looked in our direction. I froze. The smile I had, to keep up with the small talk, also froze on my face. I was incapable of moving for a few seconds, a few minutes, I don’t know. All thought drained out of my brain. I was screaming inside but I felt unable to move my limbs.

Fortunately, another friend came over to serve herself dinner. The hand moved away from my breast. I immediately returned from my shell shocked state. I put my plate down, said bye to everybody and left. I drifted in and out of a very restless sleep that night.  I didn’t speak to anybody for most of the next day, still trying to wrap my brain around what had happened to me.

I was shocked by the thoughts that came to my mind. Had I done something to attract this? Had I given out the wrong signal? Had I behaved in a way that made a man think that it was okay for him to touch me inappropriately? What if I was not single and had a boyfriend/fiancé/husband with me at the party? Would things be different then?

I was horrified by the way that I felt. Yes, I felt violated. But I also felt guilty. I, the victim in the situation, felt very very guilty. Would people believe me if I told them what had happened? The friend was well loved among everyone. As a slightly older man, everybody looked up to him. I felt very alone.

Fortunately for me, I have a few friends in my life with whom I can talk to irrespective of how I feel about myself. They knocked some sense into my head. They snapped me out of the whirlpool of misery that I found myself drowning in. Feeling empowered again by a strong dose of loving support, I decided to tell everybody present at that party about what I had gone through. Men & women alike, I told them all. I had nothing to be ashamed of. I had not asked for it. It was not my fault.

Everybody expressed shock. Everybody on their own time confronted the friend who admitted to what he had done but blamed it on the alcohol. Everybody was enraged. Everybody soon forgot about the incident. Everybody decided to continue to be friends with that man while shuffling their feet and staring at their phones every time they encountered me.

When one takes a stand for what is right, it is easy to do so against a stranger. It takes true character to take a stand against a friend or a family member. Little wonder then that a majority of sexual crimes go unreported as they are mostly done by a known person. Can a woman be expected to be brave and courageous and speak up against injustice done to her when society as a whole provides feeble support based on who has committed the crime?  I have been blessed to have a few friends and then subsequently my family in my corner. What about the women that can’t even have that? I am an educated, independent woman. Yet when a crime was committed against me, I lost my voice, I felt terrible about myself. What kind of conditioning takes place in this society that made me feel that way? The man in question is also educated, works in a multinational company. What made him think that he could do what he did, that despite being in a committed relationship a single woman is fair game? There were other women present at that party. Was their loyalty to their men’s decision so strong that they didn’t feel compelled to express solidarity with another woman?

Remember, I was in a sari, driving my own car, was indoors after dark, was sober and was among friends that I had known my entire life. And yet it happened to me. If it hasn’t already, it can happen to any one of you. Trust your instinct, it’s the strongest tool we women have and it is the weapon we use the least. Talk about it, it is the best way to heal. Even if there are few to feel your pain, still, talk about it.

While it is shameful that something like this had to happen, there is nothing to be ashamed of. I did NOT ask for it. It is NOT my fault.

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217 thoughts on “It happened to me…

  1. Very well written piece. I have two young nieces and I shudder to think the kind of world they have been born into. Most women face this kind of situation at least once in their lives. Very very few confront the perpetrator. Some tell family and friends. But most hide away the guilt/shame/blame etc into the dark corners of their lives and move on. Everyone reacts differently, but I hope more and more women bring this out so the problem can be faced head on. Kudos and all the best.

  2. To start with, I do feel bad considering you had to experience it from a friend who was also educated. Absolutely no excuse for him to misbehave. Alcohol is an excuse, not the reason. It’s a ‘get out of jail’ card. I do hope you would have asked him to take his hand off the moment you felt uncomfortable. It could have been the shoulder or the waist, but there’s nothing wrong, absolutely nothing wrong in telling him if you aren’t comfortable. You could even ask him not to hold your hand if you weren’t comfortable. There’s no one to judge you, or no one to ask/tell you. You are your own master and you decide everything about yourself. Next time, even if someone holds your hand longer than needed (like an extended shake hand), it’s totally your prerogative to pull it away. What another person thinks or feels about you isn’t what defines you. It’s what you think about yourself. Glad that you made public the fact what he did. He is to blame for even starting this off, but you are slightly to blame for letting it go till where it did. I wouldn’t blame an uneducated lady if she didn’t shout back (for lack of confidence), but you seem like one who could do that, hence, the partial blame. You are the kind of women (educated, independent) who should set an example to the rest of the country by taking no sh!t from any guy. Please don’t take my comment the wrong way, I totally condemn what that idiot did.

    -A guy

    • While it’s great that you condemn what the man did, in typical “a guy” fashion you still place a percentage of the blame on the woman. Please read through the story again, put yourself in my shoes, go through the comments from various other victims of abuse and know that it is very very easy to sit in the comfort of your armchair and give free advice as to what could’ve/should’ve been done.

      • I agree, I could never imagine what you went through. Unfortunately, we live in a society where almost every woman goes through such horrors. The only way this will end is through strict punishment, ensuring the guy is put to shame and by setting an example. I wish one person could change the world. I am not blaming you for what happened, I am blaming you for not taking the fight to that guy. Please do not misinterpret the word ‘blame’ for ‘being the one responsible’. Also, please don’t do the stereotypical ‘in a guy fashion’. Please don’t stoop to that level. The only reason I mentioned myself as a guy was to let you know I was ‘male’ and not ‘female’. If your story had mentioned ‘I kicked him’ or ‘I screamed and brought in my friends and got the guy beaten up’, I’d be glad. As to give free advice, that’s pretty much what I can currently do. Either sympathize with you or offer advice. I don’t like to sympathize, beyond an extent. The advice, is not meant for you alone. It’s for all other ladies who might read this too. If any other lady ever gets misbehaved by a friend/colleague, I really hope she remembers to take the fight to the guy. Either shout at him, or hit him or scream and get others’ attention. I really hope I am able to get my idea across. If not, blame it on my writing style. Rest assured, no one in their sane mind (including myself) would blame you for the event itself.

      • Thank you for clarifying your stand. I spent several days & sleepless nights after the incident itself wondering why I couldn’t have just slapped him. I played out in my mind several things that I should have done differently. But in that instance of shock and horror, I could not think, leave alone move my limbs or even scream.
        I have learnt from this incidence though. If I feel uncomfortable around a man, I move out of there super quickly.

      • Dear Ms. Chinthagopinath,
        I totally understand ur state of shock reaction when this happened to u.. I have been in a similar situation n this was at a relative’s home.. He was even older than my father.. n I was shell shocked that I just froze.. All the courage I previously thought I had, just drained away n I all I cud do was “nothin”. Men who comment on gals not reciprocating back do not understand what happens to us in that state of shock.. Thankfully my parents have been their thru thick n thin n so i am out of that state of guilt.

        Fellow survivor.

    • Dear Guy,

      There is no universe, real or imagined, where even a percentage of the blame can be placed on the lady. In effect, what you are saying is that if this so-called friend of the lady had stopped with just moving his hand from her shoulder to her waist, then the guy has zero blame and the lady has a little blame for the situation. Nonsense. I completely disagree.

      Such thinking is the reason the country/world is in its current state.

      Cheers,
      Another Guy.

    • broke by your reaction!a gal i knew experienced sth similar in a lift.she was groped and she was shellshocked that she couldnt even raise her voice when she could have.there r ppl who cant move an inch when a bomb explodes!you knw y?das wt u call a SHOCK!..more than the incident the gal or woman narrated, ur comment pains me more coz u ended up giving a piece of advice of wt she could have done.or wtever it is..(if its nt an advice) .you blamed her(nt entirely bt u still did) .(partial blame it seems.).m saying that that moron is to be blamed 100 percent!!!!iam a boy or rather a man!!!my name is Sagishna Xavier and i respect women!!!!

  3. So what is it going to take for people to understand that there is no social environment in existence that justifies violations and affronts to another’s dignity and space? Some of those who have commented here are way out of line telling this young woman that she should not have been in the place she was..that she should have reacted in a particular way..that she should have dressed in a particular manner.
    Why is it so hard to understand that a woman’s body is her own. What she chooses to wear, where she goes, how she behaves is her decision and choice and not something any of us can intefere with. Touching, feeling, fondling, propositioning and rape in part or full are crimimal encroachments of her dignity and personal space as are verbal and written judgements and directives.
    Let us respect the fact that one brave girl has shared a story that not many women would be willing to share in a public space. If she has highlighted personal aspects in her narrative, I would imagine that it is to disprove the certain commonly touted accusations that victimised women are slammed with. Maybe her story challenges your stereotyped beliefs of what a woman should dress like or behave like. Maybe her narrative challenges your beliefs about how a woman who is victimised should behave. But fact is Chinthana’s sharing of her experience does not entitle any of us readers to judge or disrespect her in anyway.
    To those who are tempted to do so, the only thing I can say is: Please get your sick minds out of here..preferably to a shrink’s counch pronto!

  4. I’m shocked! Call me naive, I can’t believe this happened! I cannot imagine myself looking at a friend like that; bringing such fetish to reality is out of the question.
    What happened was definitely unfair! But I cant comprehend the fact that someone could be shocked and not be able to move! Guess its a guy thing – to not understand what a girl goes through.
    This reminds me of an incident – a couple of years ago, it was just me and a girl friend at her house and she was going through a rough patch. When we were talking, tears started rolling down her eyes and I put my hand around her shoulder to console her. Her instinctive reaction was to get my hand out of the way. Back then, or maybe until now, I thought she dint trust me. But after reading this, I’m starting to think if she had such a bad experience as well! I wonder if everyone has an incident like this in their life and it makes me sad, not just because I’m a guy but because I live in this society!
    I wonder what the reasons could be for men to treat women like this!

    • Every woman, with maybe a very few exceptions, would have gone through something like this. Most of us pretend that it did not happen and live with shame and guilt. Some of us speak out and people pretend that they didn’t hear what we had to say. Very few of us are blessed with a support system that helps us get past these things.
      Heartening that you are able to see things from a woman’s perspective.

      • I just read the comment by Shreya; she said that she was molested by a 7th standard kid!!! Should we assume that kids are no longer kids? That they loose their innocence as soon as they learn to walk ???
        It seems to me that is something wrong in the way the kids are brought up; both boys and girls. I wonder if its an irreparable damage?!!
        @allfemales – Please speak up! Those who judge don’t care, those who care, don’t judge!
        I feel you were really lucky to have friends and family who are very supportive! I guess shreya, fenugreek and my friend weren’t as lucky!

      • It is not an irreparable society if each of us speaks up against a wrongdoing and does something to take a stand. Even if there are fewer of the courageous ones, it is enough to keep the balance.
        There is another woman who has shared her experience of having gone through something terrible when she was just 12!! I wonder how people will prove that she was to be blamed for that??!!

    • I guess it’s a girl thing. Or maybe a society thing. When we women feel uncomfortable, we (like this blogger says) get out of there super quick.
      When I was 12 (I had just attained menarche, and was yet to understand the boy-vs-girl thing), I visited a water park along with family and friends. Three of us kids were girls and the youngest kid a boy. We all went up to the biggest water ride. It was super crowded. The eldest and the youngest left first on the ride. We were next. But suddenly I felt some pressure on my arm. Remember I said it was crowded? It was hard to move or even turn around to look who it was. But whoever the sicko was, he pulled my arm and placed it on his p****. I don’t remember being more scared, ever. I was scared to look at his face. My mind was blocked, my body was frozen, but I didn’t want a face haunting me.
      I yanked my hand out of his grip and fled forward to the ride. Needless to say, I remember nothing of the supposedly wonderful ride. I told no one about it – till I was 21. It took me long, I know, but I still felt loads better – not like it was something I was ashamed of, but because I realized women NEED to talk about it – at least to put others on guard.
      I’m now a lot more matured than I was then, but I think if I were 23 instead of 12, I would still have been just as scared. Maybe that’s the takeaway for women from the society – learn to be scared.

      • Nitty, I just re-read your comment. It is not a girl thing. It is a thing called fear & shock. It can make anybody freeze the same way. Many male victims of abuse also go through it. Doesn’t matter if it is a child or a full grown adult that is at the receiving end of the abuse, it happens to most of us,

      • 12 year old, 30 year old..I guess age in no bar; women of all ages are molested my men of all ages!! Right now, I look up from my table, I see lot of girls in the library; can’t imagine the kinds of horrific experiences they would have gone through! Its a very scary world out there and its only getting scarier! I can’t help but notice that all incidents say only men are the wrong doers. I wonder if women have no such thoughts or do no such misdeeds or if its never reported. I know it sounds stupid – a woman molesting a man; because I’m sure all men would consider that making a move and not molesting. Nevertheless, its possible.
        Also, is there something fundamentally wrong with the way kids, boys, are brought up?!!

      • Arjun, There are lots of boys/men who are victims of sexual abuse too. But it may be a very small percentage compared to the instances against women, so they probably go unnoticed. In our will to change things for women in this society, there are lots of misguided “solution” ranging from chemical castration for rapists, to asking women change they way they dress, to blaming “Western influences” on our society, to banning alcohol etc. What we need to do is simple and at the same time complex, we need social reforms. Start at a very young age to teach boys to be respectful towards women, do not treat a girl child like a burden. Our education system is very academic driven, no importance given to human values which need to be inculcated into children at a young, impressionable age.

      • I guess there are a lot of boys/men sexually assaulted; but we will never know because none of them come forward as speak about it. But wouldn’t that mean that there are women/girls who have done this but were never accused?
        Doesn’t this mean that there is something wrong in the way kids are brought up, be it a boy or a girl?
        As for the boys, I’m not sure how many parents talk about sex or respecting a girl or any such sensitive yet important things. So as a kid, boys do learn a lot from movies (mainstream and porn). And I believe porn is the main reason why boys grow up with the idea of girls being objects of sex and not as a human being.
        As for the girls, I wouldn’t know how they are brought up. All I can imagine is that they are taught that talking about sex or sexual abuse is humiliating and hence a lot of these incidents go unnoticed/untold. But what about the women perpetrators? Were they influenced by porn too?

  5. Appreciate your courage to speak up about the incident that caused you so much trauma.
    It’s definitely not alchohol that made your ‘friend’ do that unworthy act, I’ve had my share of drinks in my life and I know it for a fact. Its who you are ‘within’ that matters. But, alchohol is such a good excuse to do a lot of acts and then blame it on the drink.
    The victim is never at fault, it always IS the perpetrators fault. I dont see why people fail to understand this very simple concept.
    have a good day.

  6. SHOCKING Very brave of you to have given it out but i am sorry i don’t agree with ur friends of keeping in touch with that Guy Alcohol or not U CANNOT PLAY WITH THE DIGNITY OF A WOMAN I would have NEVER forgiven him and people who are your true friends SHOULD NOT

  7. Hi
    “Can a woman be expected to be brave and courageous and speak up against injustice done to her when society as a whole provides feeble support based on who has committed the crime”
    I m sorry, this was the most disturbing part of the whole episode for me. Good that you talked about it.
    Somehow i feel, we depend on the society too much. It is a crime against an individual and the first one to speak against it and fight against it should be the person wronged.
    Yes, it is the onus of the society to make everyone feel safe and healthy. But if that doesn’t happen we should stop looking for help and seek justice for ourselves.
    There is an interesting line in an interesting book The Palace of Illusions, “Wait for a man to avenge your honour, and you’ll wait forever.”
    I think this can be extended to the whole society and we better start accepting this.

  8. I think that the name of the accused should be mentioned along with his details. why don’t u do so? why is it that only the victim becomes public. shouldn’t the accused be named so that everyone who knows him should know what he did. and that his friends (especially girls, and especially his girlfriend) should be cautious of him and so that many more girls are saved from becoming a victim.

    • All his friends know but it made no difference at all. My aim here is not to make him a social pariah, my aim is just to share my story to heal myself and hopefully help many others who have gone through the same thing.

      • Yeah i accept that. but i m not asking you to make him a social pariah. all i am saying is that there are so many cases like this where the name of the accused if not revealed. Good that your post is helping you heal and i hope many others will find it helpful too. but after all precaution is better than cure. 🙂

  9. smthn of that sort happend to me also! That too by a 7th std kid.and no one believed me except my mum. what is the world coming down to! Thanx for sharing ur story with us. 🙂

    • :-O
      Did I read it right? Did you say a 7th Std kid molested you?!!!
      What has our society come down to??!! Are the kids being brought up in such a way that they have no moral values at all?!

  10. I find Sndp’s comments quite interesting. I think it’s important for people to realise that a person is usually numb with shock when an incident like this happens. It would perhaps have been more likely for you to have screamed or hit out had you been followed in a dark alley– because of the atmosphere of distrust in such a situation. You see the red flags and you’re mentally prepared to defend yourself. But it’s very different in an atmosphere of trust, like this get together. You simply don’t expect something like this to happen.

    So even though I may never meet you, I want to stand by you — and by that I mean I don’t put even an iota of the blame on you or on the fact that you didn’t hit out/ scream/ shout/ slap at the time that the creep was doing what he did. You hit back, and that’s important. Also, a woman never asks to be molested. It’s sad that we still have to clarify that.

  11. we were afraid to tell for fear that they (including our family) would say it was our fault. that’s how we are raised. therein lies the tragedy. when something like this happened long after i became older to a younger person i knew and when i reported it to the parents and family members — they turned against me effectively angry that i had not kept the secret. that i had not been forgiving of the perpetrator. that still remains the general attitude. sadly.

  12. Thanks for expressing. Your words would definitely put an impression on girls. They’ll start thinking for two most dangerous situations, first This may happen to any one by any one & second, Its not any girls fault. God Bless You.

  13. That’s horrible and uncivilized of him.

    If you’re attracted to a woman, you let her know in a respectful and APPROPRIATE way. Touching is NOT appropriate.

    Dude needs counselling.

    Oh wait, he’s married too. Strike that, needs thrashing.

  14. I am an Indian guy. I am not going to pretend to be outraged and express my sympathy. I am going to confess- I could have been the guy who touched you.
    But I have been at the receiving end of this from girls myself. Single girls. I am single myself. Girls casually resting their hands on my privates. May be it was just a little aggressive flirting- from both sides.

    My questions are – why did you freeze? why did you not ask ‘What are you doing?’ If he had apologized and removed his hand, he had done nothing wrong. But if he denied any wrongdoing and blamed it on you, he is the worst kind of pig.

    Why is there this need to be a ‘good girl’?

    Who are you trying to justify to?

    From my point of view: I have my needs and I am not going to unknown girls on the street to meet them. I will try flirting or getting frisky with acquaintances who seem to like me. What is wrong with that?

    Sometimes, they have asked me to stop. They have said they are not enjoying my ‘touch’. I have immediately stopped, but I have mentioned, “I thought we liked each other. I did not intend to do anything without your consent. I am sorry.” And things have not become awkward.

    Why cannot men and women respect each others’ desires and behave with maturity?

    • This man is married, ergo he has no business touching another woman the way he did. As for why I did freeze, please go through the stories of all the other women here. Shock and disbelief can numb you in a way that nothing else can.

    • Hi Arnab,

      As most of us have just admitted to you. The shock of being touched by a man whom you have not particularly associated in terms of genders because he is just a great friend as a lot of shes are, is quite huge, and can paralyze your little mind for a while which can even last to several months and years or life-time for some women.

      You may say that we girls friend-zone people – but that is not entirely true. We just dont always look at men in a sexual way, or shall I say women look at less no. of men in a sexual way. So all my male friends or acquaints dont always have a license to flirt or touch me in a sexual manner. Its similar to how a guy would not go on touching or caressing genitals of another male friend. Some men are sensitive enough to understand this and Oh! I love them for he great relationship we have.

      The fact that you touch your friends first and try to come out clean of it by apologizing – I doubt if you have real close well-meaning female friends who would have expected or accepted such a behavior.

      And please lets not bring in Indian and Western ideologies into this (if that is the direction you may want to take). I am married to a European guy (its been 8 years of loving and knowing each other) and half of my family and friends are from the West, and let me assure you, this kind of shady behavior I only see from Indian men in general and drunk Italian travelers (who BTW make their sexual intentions very very loud and clear the moment they see you, and they dont go on being all nice and paly for chanced sexual encounters).

    • Dear Arnab…firstly..what has you being Indian got to do with anything you have just said..?
      If you want to call the situation of others feeling you up without your permission as “aggressive flirting” and not “violation”..i feel blessed that you are not the one writing the definitions of molestation and rape!!

      -“why did you freeze? why did you not ask ‘What are you doing?’”
      How would you feel, if at a party, a guy comes and as much as pinches your butt? How do you expect a woman to react when something like this happens out of the blue? The expression shell-shocked simply means you retract into a shell so hard that u cannot breathe!

      -“Why is there this need to be a ‘good girl’? Who are you trying to justify to?”
      What the hell is that even supposed to mean?? Not wanting your breasts touched by every random xyz is now called being a “Goog gal”..? And that is how women are suppose to justify their existence..? As being an object of male desire?

      What exactly are you trying to tell us all here? That every time i feel a sexual urge, i should go and feel up some woman who is my acquaintance. You actually have the audacity to say that you turn to the women you know instead of looking for it on the streets! Did you equate all women to………… Disgusting!

      You are actually so shameless that you touch a woman, say a sorry, and not feel awkward about it..!! Who gave you the right to touch her in the first place.
      And you talk about “Respecting” desires of women, when all i can see is you respecting only your own desires..!! Wonder who lacks maturity!
      Damn you!!!!!!
      p.s- i’m not a woman.

      • Thank YOU.
        When a woman talks of her story of sexual abuse on a public forum, not hiding behind anonymity, I wish people would understand that every word spoken here is the truth. Despite reading it, if there are questions asked as to why I didn’t do this or do that, if suggestions are given as to what I could have or should have done, words of indignation spoken to the effect of “Oh but I would have done this or that.”… then the person making these comments is placing part of the blame squarely on the woman’s shoulders.

      • Oh…and btw…i’m quite positive that those women you said sorry to, are crying themselves to sleep every night out of guilt and shame, wondering what it is that SHE did wrong for you to act like that! Blaming herself for what “you” did, and cursing every moment she has to spend with you acting like nothing happened just because she cannot possibly do anything else! Especially when “If he had apologized and removed his hand, he had done nothing wrong”. Wah!!

      • damnyou
        What Arnab has been trying to say is that he “touches” only familiar women he’s shared a sexual encounter with in the past. Hasn’t it always been customary for the men to initiate a sexual tryst by way of touch? Or have i got the birds and bees all wrong?

      • Nope, Arnab said he touches women who are his acquaintances and friends. If they express that they have a problem with it, he stops touching them, says sorry and everybody lives happily ever after in some twisted fairy land that he inhabits. I wonder what would happen if the woman (probably shell shocked like I got) is unable to express how she feels in that moment.
        He has to ask the woman BEFORE he touches her, not AFTER. And nobody should ever get THAT wrong!

      • Maybe in Arnab’s social circle they don’t categorize themselves as friends, lovers or acquaintances. The world is a big place and a lot of people are casual about their sexuality. Anyways its upto Arnab to clarify himself.

      • Sid
        Correct me if i’m wrong.

        “” I have my needs and I am not going to unknown girls on the street to meet them. I will try flirting or getting frisky with acquaintances who seem to like me. What is wrong with that?
        Sometimes, they have asked me to stop. They have said they are not enjoying my ‘touch’. I have immediately stopped, but I have mentioned, “I thought we liked each other. I did not intend to do anything without your consent. I am sorry.” And things have not become awkward. “”

        I dont see which part of that suggests that he has had a previous sexual encounter with the woman he is hitting on! I dont see, how one just ‘touches’ a woman to the extent that she does not like it..even if he has had a consensual previous sexual encounter with her. I dont see why a person would say ‘i thought we liked each other’ to a person he has has a previous sexual encounter with. I dont see how one ‘touches’ a woman without her consent and cheekily says “I did not intend to do anything without your consent. I am sorry.”

        In your support..yes, we men initiate a sexual tryst by way of touch. But does that mean we just go ahead and touch her however and wherever we want? Do we not talk to them? Do we not see if she responds to our words, our moves, our intentions?
        Isnt that one of the functions of flirting? What irks me about Mr.Arnab is not that he flirts..but in his own words “gets frisky with acquaintances”. Thats one damn sleaze bag right there.
        IMHO, men are allowed to touch women only..if and ONLY if they allow you to touch them.

        P.S. The word ‘Touch’ in these posts refer only to the inappropriate placement of male appendages(limbs or otherwise) on the woman and not otherwise. Anyone arguing that she responded to him touching her shoulder by keeping quiet, thats why he touched her waist..and she responded by keeping quiet..and thats why he touched her breast…..simply need to get their tongue chopped off! Because when a “friend you’ve known a long long time” places his hand on you shoulder or waist, it is difficult to label it under the present context of the”‘TOUCH”.

      • Its very easy to misunderstand Arnab for a sleazebag in the following lines enclosed in double-quotes, simply because he’s brusk and hasn’t been specific.

        “From my point of view: I have my needs and I am not going to unknown girls on the street to meet them.”
        “I will try flirting or getting frisky with acquaintances who seem to like me. What is wrong with that?”
        “Sometimes, they have asked me to stop. They have said they are not enjoying my ‘touch’. I have immediately stopped, but I have mentioned, “I thought we liked each other. I did not intend to do anything without your consent. I am sorry.” And things have not become awkward.””

        What about these lines –
        “I am an Indian guy. I am not going to pretend to be outraged and express my sympathy. I am going to confess- I could have been the guy who touched you.
        But I have been at the receiving end of this from girls myself. Single girls. I am single myself. Girls casually resting their hands on my privates. May be it was just a little aggressive flirting- from both sides.”

        Both yourself and Chinthana are so completely focused on certain sentences that you’ve left out the first few lines in the very SAME post.

        When i read the his post the first time, i thought he was talking about getting frisky with the same women who according to him were being aggressively flirty. Having said that isn’t it logical that Arnab’s social circle consists of women who are casual about their sexuality(read aggressively flirty) and that he was talking about the same women where he mentions getting “frisky with acquaintances” followed by “who seem to like me” indicating furthermore that its the same women he’s talking about.

        If i could make the connection the first time then why can’t you?

        Sure the quality of his language deteriorates drastically in those 6~7 lines but i don’t think its fair to call him a sleazebag just so. It would’ve helped had he specifically mentioned that he propositions the same women or aggressively flirty women in general, but he didn’t.

        His train of thought when commenting about the women/acquaintances he gets frisky with had to have been related to the aggressively flirty women or women like such in general BUT ends up sounding disjointed in the actual comment.

        Also, so far this is his first and only comment. So lets just wait to see if Arnab can clarify himself for all of us.

      • I’m not too sure this is very appropriate – me discussing with a second guy about a third guys post in a Fourth person’s platform! Nonetheless…
        CG..please feel free to delete any of the posts..

        Dear Sid..
        As you have rightly said..its only Arnab who can actually clarify what he means..and i’m sorry if i misunderstood and jumped the gun!
        But…here is the thing….
        The way i see it..a connection to the first paragraph and the last is a li’l difficult to be made..because..

        -As in my prev post..I do not see how, a woman,’aggressively flirting’ with you, with her hand on your privates, is going to say ‘i’m not enjoying your touch’. I mean that would be logically the greatest insult. She gets to touch me, feel me up,’aggressively flirt’ with me..and when i touch her, she says she does not like it.To top it off..icing on the cake..i apologize for touching her and tell her i didnt mean to do anything without her consent…all this while her hand was on my privates first! I would feel like a steaming pile of shit if that happened!

        -“I am an Indian guy. I am not going to pretend to be outraged and express my sympathy. I am going to confess- I could have been the guy who touched you.”
        I dont see why he mentions his nationality here. He is branding you and me and stereotyping us into people who would blame the woman in such incidents for no fault of hers. I’m not assuming this..since i’ve seen posts right here about how ‘Indian men’ treat women and how its patriarchal society, and how men are pigs etc etc.

        And seriously..?? He could have been ‘that’ guy? The married guy who gropes his ‘friend’ who has known him for a ‘long long time’, at a friends place..in the company of so many of his&her friends..when she was eating..by fondling her..?? He really could have been THAT guy..? Then i’m sorry..i find it really hard to see him in any better light than i do now!

        And i definitely do not think we are completely focused on certain sentences.

        If as you say..he is not talking in this context..but in the context of behaving with women who are casual with their sexuality..then he is clearly..Out of Context. If he is talking about being ‘that’ guy, who would respond to woman aggressively flirting with him, by touching her, and if she didnt like it, duly apologizing to the same woman for having misunderstood her singals of touching his privates…then he clearly is in the wrong post!!!

        The only thing i will give credit for is – “I am not going to pretend to be outraged and express my sympathy.” When i first read the post..i felt..’here was a guy, who would not pretend’..then ofcourse everything was downwards from there!!

      • Sid, there is no room for a gray area in the world of sexual abuse. Either one is right or one is wrong, either one respects women or he doesn’t. Arnab here lost all credibility the minute he said, “I could have been that guy.”. I’d much rather have a male friend who bought sex from a willing woman on the street than grope me and then ask me if I was okay with it or not.
        “I thought we liked each other. I did not intend to do anything without your consent. I am sorry.” What a brilliant line to hide behind too. You THOUGHT I liked you? Why? Because I smiled at you? Or because I agreed to let you drop me back home at night? Or because I let you buy me a drink? There is so much ambiguity in that statement. How about asking for my consent BEFORE you let your hands rove?
        Remember that men that molest, abuse and rape, love these smokescreens, these shades of gray that they can hide behind if they get caught out. If there is one big thing that my experience has taught me, it is to trust my instinct. And instinctively there are huge warning bells ringing in my head about this man based on what he has written..
        Damnyou, I totally get why you would not want to be in the same category as this fellow.

  15. Ouch! To feel violated by a friend is like being betrayed. I understand how tough it must have been to write this. And, though you mentioned in an earlier comment, that it is easy to give armchair advice and pass judgement please do bear with me for a moment. I don’t condone what the guy did at all – he definitely crossed a line. It started with something as innocuous as him putting his arm around your shoulders – something I do quite often with close friends who are girls, either to comfort them or just give them a hug. After reading your story I’m beginning to think if there were instances I ever ‘violated’ their physical space. I _do_ feel that instead of sitting quietly you should have asked him to stop or said that you were uncomfortable when he put his hand on your waist I don’t blame you for what he did, but I feel that you could have stopped it from happening. And even after it happened, you could have confronted the guy alone. Had he not been repentant even after you spoke with him, then it would be ok to burn him publicly. I know several couples who ‘became couples’ only because the guy put his hand on the girl’s waist and gave her a spontaneous kiss. While your case is different (the guy was not single, there was no ‘chemistry’ between you two, he groped you without actually being in a relationship, etc etc) there are situations and societies where this would constitute sexual harassment, and there are situations and societies where this would be considered ‘normal’.

    DISCLAIMER: Please do not misunderstand what I’m saying. I re-iterate: what the guy did was WRONG. The reason behind writing this is that there are often situations where you ACCIDENTALLY brush a girl in a way she doesn’t like, maybe while working, maybe while hanging out. It’s happened with me on several occasions. I would hate to be publicly chastised and embarrassed like I was a womanizer for something that happened by mistake.

    • He admitted to having touched me inappropriately, there was no accidental brushing. Lot of friends had the same thought process as you and when they asked him, he still admitted to having done what he did, even though he blamed it on the alcohol.
      I know you admit what the guy did was wrong but all the “you should’ve/could’ve done this or that” is still passing an amount of the blame on to the victim.

      • I’m dead sure a woman knows with undeniable guarantee as to what kind of ‘touch’ it is. I’ve ,more than once, been in the awkward position of accidentally brushing a woman’s breast, and obviously both of us knew what just happened. Yet, the women never created a scene or the sorts, because they were well aware it was accidental and they would for sure know if it was otherwise!! So if a woman tells you he did something..it simply means he did ‘that’ something and not anything else.
        Once again..Oh poor alcohol.. I pity thee.
        I’m not going to say ‘you should’ve/could’ve’…but i promise you i would have been so happy, had you given him a TIGHT slap the next day or whenever you saw him after the incident. If not you..atleast someone should have slapped the ol’ fart!

      • You know what…? You should probably go and slap him now! Its never too late..! May be in front of an audience or may be at some party when no one is watching..or may be in some place open like a park..or may be in front of his wife! I’m sure you ll feel a lot lot better once you’ve done that!! He has scarred you for life..you should wound him atleast for a day!

  16. An almost similar incident happened to me. The difference was- that it was a college party at our guy friends’s flat, with few of our foreigner student friends. And i was quite drunk. So drunk that when a foreigner friend ( not really a friend- we met for the first time at that party) tried to kiss me, I could’nt push him back. After some time, he came closer to me again and even I kissed back. I regret that thing even now! I was committed and I did it for no reason, just under the influence of alcohol. But after all this happened in the night, I slept in a room with two of my friends ( very good friends from college)- a couple. In the morning, the friend in our room was supposed to wake me up. I ,being, heavily drunk last night was very tired and sleepy, yet it was important for me to wake up, I had to go for some urgent work. He was calling out my name, trying to wake me, and I just signalled him to wait for 5 minutes. He then lied next to me. There was nothing wrong in that, i was about to get up in 5. We were really good friends and his girlfriend was in the same room . I closed my eyes, and the next thing I remember is feeling his hand in my shirt, on my back, he was calling out my name again, trying to wake me up, but this time, with his hand in my shirt. It took me less than a minute to understand what was going on and get out of my slumber. I opened my eyes, pushed him away, got out of bed and left. I looked for my belongings in the flat, and after collecting them, i said bye, to that girlfriend of his who was there in the same room with me, and left.
    It was a bad day for me, first that incident with the firang guy and then this in the morning. All my friends at the party knew about that firang incident, I was feeling so bad about it, embarassed, and shocked at my actions that night. I was discussing it with a friend at my place, telling her how things happened that night, and suddenly I froze. The morning incident, no one knew about it, but it did happen, I strained hard on my mind, to try to recall correctly, and yes that was the reality . That guy was a great friend and he had wronged me for no reason.
    Why did he do it? I wasnt even drunk in the morning. Did my behaviour with the firang the night before give him a right to behave with me the next morning?
    I confided this incident in a friend of mine who had not attended the party. She was shocked, but she was on my side. She asked me to confront that guy. I called him, and told him that I was in my all senses when he did that to me, and he bluntly refused , saying why would he do that. He gave me so many reasons for it . I told my other friends at the party. They too were shocked.
    They confronted that guy in front of his girlfriend, he denied, and then his girlfriend also supported him, saying that she was in the same room, she would have known if anything like that had happened.
    The friendship ended. My friends supported me, but all except one raised doubts over my side of the story. That guy made them believe that I was making up this story to avoid the insult I had earned from that firang incident.
    My friends are still friends with that guy, all but one friend who truly believed me.
    I felt horrible, that why did i even narrate this incidence , but listening to your story, I believe I did the right thing. Atleast I made it clear that it was not acceptable, even if no one trusted me, I made sure that he is not worth my friendship.
    I learnt a great lesson in life that day.

    • Who gets to touch you is a choice that is entirely yours, because it is your body. If you thought it was okay to get physical with one person at a party, that does NOT mean that you are fair game to the others. Good for you for standing up, more power to you 🙂

      • Oh! I so totally agree with this statement of yours – who gets to touch you is your choice ! 🙂 (girl hugs for that)

        For that matter you remember the Big Boss season with Sunny Leone in it and she said to that Dekh Bhai Dekh Guy (I forgot his name sorry). She said to him loud and clear that when a Girl says NO it means NO it does not mean YES or Maybe.

        I have always felt so strongly about men (and women) topofying another women. I mean how does it matter if you have raped a prostitute. the fact remains the same YOU RAPED and that is NOT JUSTIFIED, even if that girl sells her body or is an adult actress by choice – its still YOU who has RAPED ! and that makes you a RAPIST ! I wish men were more sensible and so were women

      • If a woman is selling her body from 8 p.m.to 10 p.m., she still has a right to choose who she sells her body to. If you touch her at 10:01 p.m, it still accounts for sexual abuse. Because she too, like the rest of us has a right to say no.

  17. I had the same incident with someone who was my closest friend. Except that we were out watching a movie on a Sunny sunday and none of us had even touched alcohol (neither him, if being drunk could be an excuse). And I froze like you did, Unable to react. But inside of me I was shouting, I was crying and I wanted to slap him right away, but outside of me I was confused, shocked and had no courage.

    I returned home in a state of shock and it took me few hours to actually break down in tears – It was the worst experience ever. My mom was so concerned seeing me crying that she called my friend and asked if something went wrong (ofcourse I never got the courage to bring it up with her but I was even more annoyed by that fact that even my mom trusted this guy as much as I did – that was really shattering experience). I changed my numbers and after few months of his trying to contact me uselessly he gave up too and we never talked after that.

    8 years from then to now, he tracks me back at facebook and the first thing he wrote was “I am sorry, I misunderstood you. You are not that ‘type’ of girl!”. I was not annoyed that he said sorry for his act, but I was totally annoyed that he said “I am not that TYPE of Girl”… Excuse me, ! what is he ‘typology of girl’. I replied back saying “You are an exactly that TYPE of asshole, whom I wish was never born”. Over the years, I have grown out of that incident and I was not sad or intimidated seeing his message popping up. BUt i was sad that I had for friend a guy who can typofy women (wonder if he has a type for all the women whom he comes across)!

    • I wonder if Bollywood movies have something to do with men putting girls into different types. Remember Hum Aapke Hain Kaun? Madhuri’s character got along with all the people in the family & knew how to make gajar-ka-halwa, so she was the girl you took home to your mommy. The other Shakuntala character was considered not good enough to marry only because she didn’t know how to make frickin’ gajar-ka-halwa!!! Ridiculous!

      • Hi again.

        Just wanted to chime in with this – films definitely heighten the probability of such things. You know, after my first comment above (to which you replied saying there’s hope for the world!) I’ve been wondering as to WHAT exactly could change such things. I’ve heard plenty of such stories from female friends of mine. More often than not, such incidents are perpetrated by family members and close friends. I’ve heard of an aged neighbour uncle who tried groping a 14 year-old girl’s thighs using the pretext of teaching her to ride the scooter – cunning, really, considering that her hands were busy with the scooter. She is scarred to this day. I can go on… This recently-renewed online debate about rape is pointless, IMHO. Rape and molestation (of the worst kind) have always been prevalent. It’s just that most of the stories fly under the radar because news agencies don’t report it, and so we don’t know. Right now, any rape case from Delhi that the media gets wind of would be reported, because that’s what’s hot now. What about all the other crimes against women in all parts of our country?

        I’ve also been pondering as to why this happens. Being a man, I can tell you flat that men are horny. There’s no denying that. But we need to define ourselves with a few boundaries of self control, else we cannot and should not be allowed to live in society with other human beings.

        The only thing that is clear to me is this: Men do this because SOMEHOW we seem to think that we can do whatever we want with women. Actually, a point you made about even a woman who sells her body for money owning her body is bang-on – that’s the problem. I’ve seen this happen many times – if it’s a skimpily dressed girl/lady, men seem to think that she’s “that kinda” girl… Films are a huge influence, but they aren’t the cause.

        I’m still stuck on what/how this can be averted, reduced or eradicated altogether – I’ve no answer. Just wanted to let you know that while your original post was informative and interesting, the comments’ debate that it has sparked off is far more interesting. It’s nice to know that there are plenty more idiots in our lovely country.

        Peace.
        Another Guy.

  18. I think the writer is very brave for sharing her story and the others here who have shared their stories. I too have been the recipient of unwanted and unasked for sexual attention that I was too young to understand how to respond to appropriately but knew within my spirit was wrong.

    Instead of sharing my story I want to make a comment. The writer states and restates within her piece that she was dressed appropriately and did not invite this unwanted attention among other disclaimers. This particular disclaimer is one that women need to stop making. No matter what you are wearing whether from a hijab to a mini dress, no man. EVER has the right to put his hands on your body in a sexual manner without your permission. This is a disclaimer that women make in order not to be blamed for this unwanted attack. It is a sad sad reflection of the patriarchal world we live in when we as women have to apologise and explain their selves for men being incapable of controlling their selves. As human beings we are supposed to be highly evolved. We know right from wrong and we choose whether to do right or wrong. This man made a decision. He chose not to respect you. He chose to violate you and alcohol has nothing to do with it. It just allowed him to bring out something that was already within him.

    Unwanted sexual attention and worse happens to women in all cultures all over the world and no matter the circumstance it is ALWAYS wrong and blame can only be placed on the perpetrator of the crime. FYI I am a African-Caribbean woman living in the UK.

    • I stated all those disclaimers just to show the irony of the situation we are facing, at least in India at the moment. The minute a woman is raped/molested, our police and our politicians at once start to find a way to blame the woman. And it is usually one of the things that I have mentioned that I was NOT doing.
      In the horrific rape case of the Delhi girl a few months ago, many people in power questioned, “But why was she on the bus that late at night?”
      Thank you for speaking up here. We as women, the world over, deserve freedom – unrestricted and unconditional.

    • Hahahaha… That is a big joke!! When victims of brutal rape are not taken seriously at the police station, do you think a victim of molestation would be? You live in a world of illusion Mr. Akshayan.

  19. Pingback: It happened to me… | Raising Me in Gulosity

  20. Dear Chinthana
    What happened to you must’ve been a painful experience and i hope you heal soon. Your friends are unfortunately cowards and I’m sincerely sorry you’ve had to learn of their true nature in such fashion. Please cut all ties with them permanently. Something very similar happened to a lady friend of mine but with a slight difference – what hurt her the most was that her best friend, wife of the perpetrator, tried convincing her against filing a police complaint. When she wouldn’t budge her best friend since childhood turned on her like a deadly cobra. She lied to the police that my friend tried seducing her husband. Insane as it sounds, you must understand that the main issue is not confined only to one gender but lies in the mental makeup of our society. Your feelings of sympathy towards the perp’s wife are unfortunately misguided due to the trauma of the experience. Do you realize that the underlying theme of your blogpost is about doing what is right whereas in your comments you take a stance against men instead of sticking to your original theme?

    Remember, India is a sexually repressed nation desperately trying to ape western culture without realizing the consequences that will follow. India biggest problems lies in its deeply rooted caste-based values that acknowledges only one form of relationship – master and servant, i.e, sycophancy. Our society currently consists of three consecutive generations that have next-to-nothing in common with one another save for an unjustified holier-than-thou-can-do-no-wrong-beyond-reproach mentality. Majority of gender based differences are a direct result of the above bigger problems. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the supportive yet deft comments from men on your blog. They wouldn’t have known what “pledge” meant until a certain famous brand, specializing in personal care products, recently launched an advertisement. Their conviction is only as good as the ads popularity.

    You have taken the first step towards doing what is right by opening up. But the next step requires that you put aside all feelings of sympathy for the perp’s wife and again do what is right by fighting for what is right. Your are a non-confrontational person and your ex-friends are probably fully aware of this. Can you live with yourself knowing that they’ve swept you under the carpet like dirt?

    If you ever decide to file a complaint, i will stand by you because hopefully like yourself, i believe in doing what is right.

    Sincerely
    Sid

    • I am really sorry if I came across like I was blaming only the men or bashing them up in any way. The two friends who stood by me unconditionally through this ordeal were men. There were many women present at the party who chose not to take a stand when they got to know about the incident. So values of courage to do what is right are not confined to a particular gender.
      As for filing a complaint, this happened a while ago. Too much time has passed for that to happen. While I speak about this incident openly in my social circle, I thought it was time to write about it on a public forum because of two reasons:
      1. I’ve been encountering many women who keep wallowing in the guilt & shame, as is evident from their stories that they have shared in their comments. I hope that my story helps them heal in some way.
      2. Lot of incidents of rape/abuse are coming out now and EVERY time a woman is blamed for what she wore, what she drank, where she was, what she was doing etc. The emotions I felt when I read this clearly indicated that there were some issues that I had clearly put aside from my own experience. Writing this has helped me get all of that out of my system.

      • An apology isn’t necessary. Please don’t. I hope that when you comprehend the larger picture, you’ll understand that India is plagued by some of the most pettiest issues one can think of.

        After reading damnyou’s post i plan on apologizing to a lady friend over a squabble and possibly make it up to her in some way, not only because i was acting like a MCP but also because she’s personally told me that i’m the one friend who has never hurt her.

        Sid

  21. Eshkyush me..von doubt…!! I see people here discussing the role of alcohol in this case. Moi doubt..If he was as inebriated as he claims he was (enough to not realize the position of ones own hands) and assuming alcohol does make you touch a woman other than your wife without your own knowledge….how exactly in hell’s name did he manage to withdraw his hand as soon as someone else walked into the room..?!
    #justcurious

  22. tat’s really shocking !!!! but if u can notice , most o such kinda cases ve an Ethanol story associated wid… so besides punishing doz animals, y can’t v fight against alcohol n drugs??? lets ve a war against doz chemicals dat lead to all perversion…Once tat goal (complete eradication o drugs n alcohol) z achieved, crime against women ll substantially reduce….

    so jus think bout da real culprit…..

    • When a man commits an act of sexual abuse, the problem is in his head & his thinking. Not in alcohol, not in drugs, not in the woman, not in the man’s genitals.
      I consume alcohol when I want to but I have never groped a man. Many of my male friends also consume alcohol but have never groped a woman against her wishes.
      I repeat, the problem is only and only in the head & thinking of the perpetrator.

      • tats pretty obvious…it lies in da head o da perpetrator obviously, but wot m trying to emphasize z alcohol accentuates tat criminal mentality…
        .
        .
        .
        n moreover, y can’t v stop boozing??? ( coz m a teetotaler , so i dunno y ppl love boozing)…

      • Then it is clear that we need to change the mindset of the people. Asking to ban alcohol is akin to asking women to cover themselves from head to toe when stepping outside our homes. As a doctor, I’m sure you agree with me, that unless the root of the problem is addressed everything else we do to control a disease is futile. And it has not been necessarily true that all acts of sexual abuse have been committed under the influence of alcohol or other substances. A sick man drunk is a sick man sober.
        And if you are a teetotaler, then I’m sorry but you don’t have the right to impose that choice on to anybody else. But this is not a topic that we are going to discuss here, it is not appropriate to the post.

  23. Thank you for showing the courage to open up and share this with others on such a public forum. If nothing else, it serves as an example (now many, with all the comments) to caution both men and women alike about the kind of unexpected things that can happen to us.
    All alcohol does is reduce inhibitions, which means that the guy would have probably done such an act many times till now had it not been for social norms etc. I personally feel that it is not simple school/college/university education that makes a person responsible, but rather real education which comes through culture. Traditionally, in India at least, parents have always been a big part of a person’s upbringing, and the entire line of ancestors have acted as pillars of strength for the children to fall back upon when in need. Love, support and care have been so integral in our family system, but lack greatly in many modern families. So even though the guy was apparently educated, I don’t think he really was, if he couldn’t even understand the kind of effect his act could have on another person.
    It is very difficult for me to relate to a person who could just be friends again with the the guy who you mentioned so easily. When I was growing up in different parts of India, I came across so many incidents wherein such a perpetrator would be chastised (often beaten) by the public. People didn’t lose hope in the person, but at least acknowledged his wrongdoing and served appropriate punishment or reform. If that doesn’t happen, does the perpetrator even realize what he has done? Does your acquaintance (I can’t call him a friend) realize what he did was wrong? Would he never repeat himself? “Punishment and reward” system does work, after all.
    Also, I am trying to understand the reason why a person becomes shocked in such a situation. Don’t get me wrong, I probably would be as shocked. I just want us all to think of how to avoid being shocked and being sufficiently calm/empowered to at least at that moment object and get out of the situation. From what I understand of our culture, again, it was common practice for mothers to train daughters to always be vigilant of such situations and be prepared for something similar to happen (as despite all training or culturing, there will be guys who are complete maniacs). There is no doubt that the victim would still be shocked, but maybe they’ll stand a chance of escaping the crime at least? Afterward they would still need to share with someone else what happened, and that goes for both men and women – we simply need support to get through difficult situations in life. We are living people after all, and we need others in life who are caring and loving; simply reading self-help books might not be as helpful as a real person comforting or preparing us.
    Again, these are all just my personal views, and I’m writing from the comforts of my home. I cannot possibly imagine what you and other victims went/go through. I do have a sister, and my roommates have sisters, and I remember having a discussion with them when they were sharing how many difficult situations their sisters actually have to confront on a day-to-day basis.

    I thank you again for sharing this with others and making us aware of such horrible incidents. Most of us live the greater part of our lives completely unaware and apathetic towards the situation of society today. But we are a very strong nation with an extremely rich and great cultural foundation. We can only be strong if we are united, and we can be united through shared basic values and culture. If only we can somehow make our educational system actually educate children in cultural values, and help them see everyone else as real, living people and not simply objects that can be exploited, then maybe we will live to see a more responsible younger generation. For me, my contribution has to begin from home, with my family and friends and through my own personal example. Those who are leaders and can influence a larger group of people, I beseech them to take this matter extremely seriously and use their positions to make a positive change in society.

    With much gratitude and love,
    Ankit

    • Also, just like how young girls would be taught by their mothers, young boys were also educated in what was appropriate and what wasn’t. We don’t have proper sexual education of children by parents any more, at least it’s not sufficient even if it is there. Just telling people what sex means isn’t sex education, that they have many means of learning (even animals understand that much about sex without anyone teaching them about it!). Again, education has to involve values and principles, and not just information.

      (I feel as if I’m preaching when I write (or type), but I only mean to share what I feel about the subject as it is relevant to every one of us, young or old, men or women.)

  24. To CG, and all the women out there who have been a victim of this nonsense: Am a 33 year male who lived 8 years of my grad/postgrad life in a hostel. I know how 90% of Indian guys ( haven’t interacted with anyone else) think and speak about women. Its disgusting- that’s all i can say. So here’s my simple advice to all of you. Next time some acts fresh with you, please make sure u slam your knee hard between his legs. Make sure he screams with pain and is down on the floor for atleast 10 mins. When people ask what happened, please say it aloud that he behaved unacceptably and this is what u did instinctively. LET THE WORLD KNOW WHO THE PERVERTS ARE!!

  25. Whilst I empathise with your story, why is it that it is important to note that you were not wearing western clothes. Is wearing western clothes wrong and does it ‘incite’ men to sexually abuse us?
    In my opinion, irrespective of what a woman is wearing, no man has the right to violate her physically or verbally in any way, unless consensual.

  26. Typical Indian mentality! We take great efforts to bring forth a problem; have a very long discussion about it, then its all over; we no longer have the interest to continue the conversation to find a solution nor do we have the energy to continue the discussion!

    • Conversations do not have to continue on this blog. I’m sure conversations are happening in the real world based on what people have read here. This is the first step, to talk about these issues, to make people think, to let people know that it is not as uncommon as one would like to believe. Hopefully, there is a change in the way people think and that is the kind of change that our society needs right now, along with (of course) the change in the laws.
      And I don’t like it at all when people say “Typical Indian mentality!” unless one has lived in another culture and knows for sure that there is a culture more proactive than ours.

  27. I read the post and I read the comments.
    Having been a a victim myself when I was 9, I don’t understand the arguments “why did you not say anything’. It becomes difficult for us to comprehend whats going on and that’s WHY we stay numb. In my case I dint even know I was violated (sadly by this neighbor who I called brother). That’s the sickness of sexual abuse. Now will you gentlemen please give it a rest?

    Thanks,
    Fellow Survivor

  28. hmmm..
    Girl, you have real courage in writing this up.
    Been through multiple instances since childhood.
    And am in my 30’s
    Everytime, I lose confidence in men, get into a depression, get into a shell
    But the time I get back almost to normal, something, may be not as gross as the previous, but happens.. An inappropriate comment, look, a touch..
    It is quite disgusting.
    Sometimes feel as if guys have only one wiring in their entire body.
    I dont understand what signs a 7-8 year old, attending a piano class sends to the master.
    I dont understand what signs a girl carrying 2 heavy grocery bags, walking back home after a tiring day at work, sends to the random jerk, walking next.
    Seriously disgusting behavior from the guys..
    Always blaming the girl for their lack of control.
    If any, the only thing I am happy about is, I don’t have a girl, I have a boy,
    And it is my responsibility to make him into a man who respects woman

    Thanks for sharing this.
    It has so difficult to write this comment, sort of reliving all the horrendous days.
    But a sure let out.

  29. Thanks for sharing.. I had a similar experience.. my neighbor was the perpetrator and I froze too! and was wondering why i didn’t shout or slap him. and i read and read and figured its a human tendency to “fight or flight” and I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. You were brave enough to let your group of friends know… I told my husband and he was upset and of course we stopped talking to that neighbor… but he did nothing to confront the neighbor .. infact dissuaded me too… I am filled with disgust everytime i see the neighbor and to some extent i lost respect for my husband too 😦

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