Monday, September 13, 2010

More women reporting sexual harassment, say city police

More women reporting sexual harassment, say city police

Sep 13, 2010

AHMEDABAD: If applications received by city women's police station are an indication, the number of cases pertaining to sexual harassment in households or at workplaces is on the rise.
The harassment is not always in form of offensive physical contacts or sexual advancements. It can be sexually explicit talks in front of a woman, or talks and lewd gestures not considered acceptable in normal circumstances. According to women's police station officials, they had received 2,397 applications in 2009, most of them regarding dowry demands or assaults by family members. However, there were also complaints of, a small number though, sexual harassment.
The number has gone up in 2010. In 2009, a total of 64 FIRs were lodged in various cases, while at the end of August this year, the number is 48. The number of application the women police station has so far received this year stands at 2,000. The state women's crime cell conducts a meeting every three months to review the situation. For last six to seven months, the scenario has not been very encouraging.
Chetna Chaudhary, inspector of women police station, told TOI that sexual harassment was a menace spreading its tentacles. "One need not look at the figures as they do not represent the real picture. We receive four to five complaints every month about one type of harassment or other. Most of the applications, however, are not turned into FIRs," she said, adding, "The number of complaints earlier were one or two every month."
Chaudhary said many women did not want to get into trouble. "Many families dread getting involved in police cases. They look upon it as a hassle and try to settle the issue without lodging a formal complaint. In many cases, a visit to the police station brings the accused back to their senses and they vow not to harass the woman in future. If we see that the offender is not habitual and can mend his ways, we don't press charges," said Chaudhary. Talking about the cases received, the women police officials said that the complaints covered all places — corporate, households, schools

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