On 19 March, 2013, Lok Sabha passed a legislation which made stalking a criminal offence and the stalker could face imprisonment for upto three years. Why did they do this? Swathi’s murder is a clear example of stalking gone wrong and which means any form of eve teasing or stalking whether online or in real life should be reported asap. Almost every girl we spoke to and many of our friends have gone through it at least once in their lifetime.
Those goggled wonders eve teasing you in a mall or a theatre is not a simple matter anymore. If not acted against, there will be more Swathis every day, in every city of the country. Many of you must have received ridiculous suggestions of how you should have blocked the guy on Whatsapp and blah blah! Don’t listen to such advises! Take charge report the crime! If the stalker is stalking you, we’re sure there would be other women that are their victims too. We spoke to some of our friends and colleagues and here are some instances which left a lifetime horror of a memory for them. Stand up against it, don’t wait!
Binjal Shah, Journalist, Mumbai
Binjal is a Journalist who did not just sit down and let a stalker harass her with sexually explicit messages, she reported it to the authorities and made sure he was shamed in public on social media. Social media can be a big boon especially in cases like these. More so, the stalker was a graduate from the prestigious IIT Bombay. Binjal spoke about the incident and said,”“His messages reeked of entitlement, and looked like the work of a cocky, seasoned harasser who is used to getting his way with women. They were meant to slut-shame me.” The case is being investigated! Here are the messages:
Payal Shah, Journalist, New Delhi
Many of our colleagues and friends we spoke to have had most of these experiences when they were between 12-17 years of age. Minor girls are the biggest targets for these creeps. Payal Shah recalls an incident and says,”When I was in the eighth grade, on my way to my tuition classes I used to be followed by this rickshaw puller. The moment I would turn back to look at him he would change his path. This continued for a few weeks till one day he actually in the middle of the road pulled of his pants and started masturbating in front of my eyes. I was purely disgusted and ran away from there. It was only after five days I resumed the courage to continue my classes with not having to see him thereafter.” Incidents like these break the courage a girl has to pursue day to day activities. It’s a shame!
Rochelle Stephen, Student, Chennai
“Last week I got a missed call. When I dialed back the number the man on the other end insisted knowing my name even though I explained to him that he’s got the wrong number. He told me that he just came from Singapore and my number had belonged to his friend David. After I hung up I got a text saying sorry for the disturbances… followed by hi’s and good mornings. Finally, he took to Whatsapp from different numbers which everyone advised me to ‘just block’. I was fed up with “blocking” and I was also curious to know what he was planning on gaining from this. Yesterday I got a Whatsapp ping from his original number. His display picture was an inexperienced selfie of himself, he introduced himself as Chris and he said he was from Singapore… probably hoping I’d be a gold digger. He later told me he’s generally very friendly to which I replied it didn’t matter to me because I don’t know him at all and I already have enough friends, for which he replied that ever since he came from Singapore he’s lonely and he was hoping that whatsapping me and being friends with me would take that away. I mean if he’s so friendly then why is he lonely?” said Rochelle, an 18-year-old student.
Pari, PR Professional, Chennai
Pari is a Public Relations Manager and often her number is circulated for professional reasons. She says,”Working in Hotels we meet lot of guests who try to stalk. They ask for number and ask us to meet outside but we try to maintain privacy because with us we have the name of brand and organisation and we know how to have that distance maintained with a guest.”
Jennifer, IT Professional, Chennai
When Jennifer was 15-years-old, a tuition mate took stalking to a whole new level. She says, “He used to wait outside my school until I arrived and would follow me to school each day. One day he professed his love for me and I rejected it. Next day, when I stepped out to do some chores, his best friend came up to me and threatened to burn me down if anything happens to his friend, who by now was in the hospital for attempted suicide. Fortunately, he survived and post my 10th grade we moved houses. To this day sometimes I get really stressed when I think about it.”
Jayashree Balsa, Homemaker, Vijayawada
Now happily married, Jayashree recalls a very scary incident which happened before she was married. “I was engaged to my now husband and since we had a six-month long engagement, we could build a great rapport. A guy from my neighbourhood proposed to me more than three times and I started ignoring his advances. A week before my wedding, he travelled to my in-laws house and told them that I wasn’t a virgin and was in physical relationship with him for years. This was handled well by my husband who was aware of the stalker’s harrassment and took care of the situation. Thankfully he did and I din’t have to face further issues. However, even to this day when I have a verbal argument with my mother-in-law, she points out at this incident and says there’s no fire without a spark. It hurts me as I wasn’t wrong in any way. Fortunately I have a very understanding husband,” says Jayashree.
Soumya, Model, Hyderabad (Name Changed)
Being in the glamour field can bring in a list of stalkers each day! Soumya’s experience was quite creepy, to which she says,” This guy would come for all my fashion shows and used to insist on taking pictures with me. I obliged and he in turn would photoshop my images and send it to all his friends. One of my friends one day told me that he received a nude picture with my face on it. I immediately reported the incident.”
These are just a few incidents and there are many more such incidents which occur on a daily basis. Whether it happens to you or your friends make sure you register your complaint asap on 011 2322 2845 and this website .
Written By: Deepa Kalukuri