Harassment is a crime

By Tashmin Ali 

Any verbal, symbolic or physical behavior that humiliates, intimidates or belittles you is harassment. If you don’t like the behavior and it is offensive, you call it harassment. Harassment also includes offensive jokes, about race, religion, sex, age or any disability that you or those related to you may have, name calling, offensive nicknames, vulgar language, provocative gestures and sharing of offensive pictures or objects. In our daily routine we harass each other by using un-ethical words, bad attitude and more, it might not affect you directly or at the moment you would not feel bad about the going on situation of harassment but it is affecting you psychologically. When you are psychologically affected its takes much time to get to the stable state.

Who are harassed?

It is not necessary that most of the times for only one gender to be harassed in organisations, institutions, in public and other platforms. Both, men and women, are harassed. But, as Rameez Anjum notes in his article, ” research conducted by ‘Alliance Against Sexual Harassment’ (AASHA) in 2009 revealed that almost 93% of women confront different forms of sexual harassment at their workplace in both private and public sector organizations. This shows that women are more sexually harassed. Pakistan was ranked 123rd of 148 countries for gender-based inequalities in the 2012 Index (United Nations Human Development Report 2012).”

Many a times, a person being harassed gets scared to take action against the harasser just because of the fear that the harassed person will be threatened, or has to lose his/her job. It’s the right of both genders to speak up against the crime. Be strong enough to defend yourself, always prepare yourself mentally to stand against such activities, and utilize the resources which are there to protect you. If they don’t insist them, again if they don’t help you, go to another one. There are many doors you just have to enter.

In many societies women are not taught to protect themselves from the unwanted happenings go to the police stations/ responsible authorities and take action against the harasser. We do not speak because we get scared of the people around us, we get scared about what if people start looking at us with a bad perception although we are doing the right thing and what if we get alone and we won’t have any support.

We need to be trained to have the ability to challenge the miss happenings and defend ourselves. Women is a pillar of society, if you try to break that pillar the whole society will be weak. Support them in the right thing, encourage them to always stick to the truth and encourage them to speak against the crime. Dear parents teach your children to defend themselves. Dear all, stay strong and don’t let anyone harm you physically or mentally.

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