#MeToo campaign against the molestation, sexual harassment and rape has become one of the most important movement of recent times and rightly so. A number of women and men have come out and shared their side of the story through media and legal channels. This movement shook Hollywood, Bollywood, media houses as big names such as Harvey Weinstein and Nana Patekar been accused of sexual harrassment. Tanushree Dutta, Asia Argentino, Angelina Jolie are amongst the women who have come forward. While we hear and read all the stories and reactions of people on media, it is unfortunate that many people are still not sensitive towards it. What we as a society should do in the wake of this movement.
The least thing we can do is hear out what others have gone through. Stories of the victims should be heard not to react on but to understand and accept that these kind of stories happen in our society. We also need to hear the side of the person who is being accused. Decision to hold someone guilty or innocent should be left to law making machinery.
Do not pass judgement
Blaming the victim is the most common reaction that victims get when they speak out against abuse. We need to stop judging anyone just because they do not fit into our moral compass. Similarly, we should not assume that just because someone fits into our perfect man/woman perception, he/she can’t do anything wrong. Ultimately, no one deserves to be abused irrespective of who they are and how they live their life.
Abuse isn’t gender specific
Though it’s true that more number of women go through abuse, it is certainly not the gender specific issue. Anyone can be a victim of abuse and one should not be judged based on their gender for coming out against abuse.
In India, as per National Family Health Survey-4, 30 percent of women have suffered from physical violence since age 15 and 6 percent have experienced sexual abuse in their lifetime. Strikingly 7 percent of married women have suffered sexual violence from their spouse. Shockingly, only 14 percent of the sexual or physical violence gets reported which is a shame for society.
Create an abuse-free environment
It’s a responsibility of every individual to create an environment free of any abuse for fellow colleagues, friends, partner, etc. #MeToo movement has broken the fear of coming out and have given courage to the victims. It’s important now for law to take corrective action and create a sense of belief in people for justice. Only then the #MeToo movement will reach it’s ultimate goal of punishing abuse crimes.
Gulzar in his poetry aptly asks us to find a kaala bandar (here, Bad side) inside us and kill it
Saare riti riwaaz hatakar,
Dekho apne ghar ke andar,
Keep your beliefs aside and look within your own houses
Shayad kahin kisi kone mein,
Ghoom raha hai kaala bandar
Somewhere in the corner, a black monkey might be lurking around.