“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
What a wonderful initiative isn’t it?? We all know these issues are prevalent in our society. Even the ones who play an active role in harassing and assaulting are aware of this fact but how many of us know their stories? How many of us are aware of the turmoil or the pressure that the victim goes through? Each #metoo has a story behind which is deeply engraved within the heart which may not be seen from the surface but has left a long-lasting impact in our life. You have a #metoo and so does Riya (name changed), and this is her journey.
Riya is a trained classical singer. She has learned this art for a period of 16 years and has appeared in her Vishaarad papers in this field as well. After repeated requests, in the last two years of her training, a new teacher had been appointed who would come home to impart music lessons. Though he was not very old (29 years approximately), he was known with respect to the subject.
Since it had been quite some time, Riya had lost touch with music due to her academics, she was keen on learning and was open to all the knowledge that would come her way. But little had she known, things would turn out this way. Initially, things went smooth but then one fine day, she was asked to send him her picture over Facebook. Certainly, this was unwelcomed. Gradually, he started pestering her to send her pictures over facebook.
Things did not stop there. When he would impart lessons, they would also talk about emotions which certainly is an important criterion in the field of music. Once, he went to the extent of stating that had she been of his age, he would have proposed to her. Though these were indications, she decided to keep these things aside, maintain her cool and concentrate on her passion as it could probably be her last chance to revive her mislaid sense of music.
The evening she appeared for her Visharad practical and when it was time for her to leave the venue, he accompanied her to the main gate which was right on a dark porch where a car was parked. A gut feeling kept bubbling in her heart that something wrong would happen. Slowly, he found her way to her shoulders from behind… she was scared and frozen. She couldn’t scream. She knew that one wrong action and she could fail to qualify the examination. By this time, they were already out of the porch and the streetlights hit him hard to make him realize that his hands were at the wrong place.
Though this might not seem a major issue, he went to the extent of approaching her at her home… a place where she was safe…where she knew she would be protected. He once asked her to give him a foot massage because it had become sore as he had been sitting for too long. That was when she decided to take a stand and tell him “Sir…aapne itni der gaana bhi gaaya hai…aapka gala bhi dukh raha hoga…Hai na?”
That was his last day and I guess she was happy for being blunt…for being a fighter.
Guys, what I mean to say is that simply a hashtag campaign will not solve the problem. We know the magnitude of this issue but what now? Are we doing anything to curb this or is our silence fueling their spirits to continue with gross action wherein they let go of all barriers and lose their minds?
It is our awareness towards these wild hungry monsters that will help us take precaution. No place is safe, not even our homes so why just a hashtag? Share your story on firstname.lastname@example.org and speak about it and you never know how you may help someone dealing with a similar situation. Disclose the harassment and feel empowered to speak.
#Staytuned for more stuff from Shivani !