Bengaluru: A survey of over 3,000 girls and women in the city conducted by NGO Save the Children has revealed that 90% of women do not feel safe in the city and fear sexual abuse in public spaces.
The survey stated that more than 90% of them fear daily harassment, including lewd comments, inappropriate touching and other forms of sexual assault in public spaces.
The survey revealed that nine out of ten women/girls feel that they are unsafe while travelling in the public transport, especially if they have to travel alone. More than 95% of females feel that the biggest fear for girls in public places is of sexual abuse. Nine of ten women or girls feel that girls are often sexually harassed in social media, while 83% of women feel that a girl’s movements are restricted by her family if they discover that she was harassed.
Save the Children, which aims to inform the public and inspire them to be the catalysts of change in making India safer for girls and women, held a session on Wednesday at Mount Carmel College as part of its ‘Changemakers Series’ that aims to address the youth as ‘Changemakers’ by bringing together political leaders, public figures and the community.
Kripa Alva, ex-chairperson of Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said, “The figures on perception of safety in the city show a grim situation. It is important that the youth stand united. Unless this is done, the future of its youngest citizens – the children, will be in peril. We are working tirelessly towards raising awareness and demanding safety and security. Change is possible when each one of us do our bit towards creating the India we wish for.”
Geeta Menon, a social activist, said, “Safety is not an option, but it is our right. Safety is a collective responsibility and while we enable our girls to be safe, let us teach our boys how to behave.”
Srimurali, Kannada actor and an advocate of child rights, said, “We need to teach our boys at an early age to change an entire generation. This needs to be imbibed in our homes, in the education system and in our daily lives. Cinema has a mass reach and we will not just highlight these social issues through our films, but commit to raise it till we have made public spaces safer for its girls and women.”
DCP North East, Kala Krishnaswamy, said, “Looking at the city’s concerns, all-woman squads have been formed in various station limits to curb offences and create safe public spaces for women.”