Cases of sexual harassment are the most prevalent when women step out for studying or working, shows a survey, conducted by the Haryana police. The survey was conducted from May 2 to May 17 with an aim to gauge the gravity of the problem in the state and devise an action plan.
The survey included responses from 28,539 people from all over the state. Among them, 40% of the participants were females of 14 years and above.
“It is the biggest ever sample size for a population of 2.5 crore and the most exhaustive one. A total of 16 questions covering all aspects of women harassment were asked from the respondents. People from all age groups, gender and districts participated in the exercise,” Additional Director General of Police, O P Singh said on Thursday.
Important findings from the survey
Places where eve-teasing takes place
6 out of 10 women said that they experienced eve-teasing during commutes while 7 out of 10 said that buses and trains were more unsafe.
How does it happen?
7 out of 10 women responded by saying that eve-teasers use public transport or bikes. On the other hand, 7 out of 10 women found that culprits operate in groups.
Does Haryana invoke fear?
A staggering 85.2% of the respondents confessed that they feared harassment while only a small 14.2% women of the respondents said that they felt safe in the city.
In case of eve-teasers under 20 years of age
36.3 per cent respondents said the culprits should be counselled in presence of parents while 33.1 per cent were of the view that they should be chided publicly. 18.2 per cent wanted them to be beaten up and 12.3 per cent felt that the culprits should be jailed right away.
Is counselling a solution?
22.4 per cent respondents felt that counselling eve-teasers in presence of parents would not make any difference, 34.3 per cent thought that counselling would incite them to be even more aggressive. There were 30.4% women who thought that it would deter them and 12.9% said that it would deter even their friends.
How can police help?
34.2 per cent of the respondents felt that police can play a pivotal role in stopping eve-teasing more effectively by catching those in the wrong with the help of plainclothed lady policemen while 26.6 per cent felt that police patrolling would be a better option.
Safety quotient of Haryana
27.5 per cent of respondents feel that the state is ‘quite safe’, while 40.6 per cent say that it is ‘safer than neighbouring states’. 19.6 per cent said that it is as bad as neighbouring states while 12.3 % admitted Haryana to be “quite unsafe”.
The survey highlights the need to address the problem immediately. “The survey shows that public transport, urban and local bodies and educational institutions need to invest more in women’s safety by way of warning signs and CCTVs. Cops need to patrol these areas more frequently and traffic police need to reign in lumpen bikers more aggressively,” says the Additional Director General of Police.
The Haryana Government is trying to reduce women-related crimes with initiatives like ‘Youth Against Sexual Harassment’ that attempts to sensitize the masses on why eve-teasing should be condemned and how it prevents women from advancing their careers.
Charvi Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV