Alappuzha: Western women tourists to India now learn self-defence techniques against rapists and also carry ‘arms’ for the purpose in their kits like baton and pepper spray. This is in the background of the increasing assaults against women in the country, where a woman is raped every 20 minutes.
Three women—Kristine, a Candian, Jen, an American and Sacha, a Kiwi- have teamed up as ‘Kicking Sari Style’ to carry out a 3000-km autorickshaw run from Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, to Kochi by January to raise funds for the safety of Indian women and children.
Kristine says in her blog that they are anxious about the situation of Indian women. “We will be travelling together while we do the rickshaw run. We will essentially be tied to each other at the waist. I am well-versed in the art of rape whistling and we will have a practice session before we start the race. We have looked into taking pepper spray, but this is frowned on by airport security.
I think the chances of us using it on each other accidentally outweigh the benefit of smuggling it in our backpacks. We are going to pack a small police baton. I look forward to watching training videos of how best to use this,” she writes about the preparation.
Referring to the recent incidents of attacks against women, she says every 20 minutes, a woman in India is raped.“While one out of 17 women has been raped in her lifetime in Canada, one in six has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime in the US. About 80 percent of these assaults happen in the victims’ homes, she points out.
Quoting US travelling advice, she says that rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India.