There are many social evils in the world today, and abuse of women is one of them. It is an issue that the society has battled with for centuries and till today, we have not reached a conclusion. Bangalore, in the past weekend, ushered the New Year to a rude awakening. Though laws have been past, action has been taken, security measures have been upped, nothing changes. Why? It is time to delve deeper into the hearts and minds of the human world to see what really causes someone to act in such a depraved manner.
The root is in the heart: Way before a sexual assault or crime has been physically done; the crime has already been committed in the heart of the man intending to abuse the woman. See, this is where it all begins. A desire is formed. It takes root in the heart, and the deeper the roots, the stronger the desire. It is in our hearts that our thoughts are formed. Our thoughts of lust, greed, selfishness, anger, bitterness, hatred, revenge etc. It is here the seeds are sown. So every time a man looks at a woman and lusts after her, in his heart, he has already erred in his heart. It won't be very long till before this desire is converted into thoughts and takes residence in the mind.
A desensitized heart: Once the desire is born, it is fed by the mind. The heart today is so dead that is has become ignorant of the pain it can cause others. Living in a world where pain and anger and war and bullets are the order of the day, the heart has become desensitized towards pain of another person. What could cause any man to cause such mental trauma and emotional agony by molesting her, sexually abusing her, other than a dead heart? He thinks not of the consequences, he thinks not of the way in which he is breaking her world. Has the heart become devoid of pain? Has the mind become devoid of logic and reasoning?
Women are more than mere bodies: If we are to look at women as more than mere bodies, we are to believe it in our hearts that they are. Just like men, they are the sum of their thoughts, their actions, their ambitions, their wishes. It's time we lifted off the scales that have covered our eyes for so long and looked at women as not just women, but as humans too. Would we dare hurt one of our own?
A heart of sympathy: What is our response to someone that has been a victim of sexual abuse of any kind? She is judged, she is talked about, she is blamed, and she is put down on. Where is our sympathy? Where is our empathy? Where is the support that we all need to be for each other? Are we not all human? Do we not all belong to the same race? The HUMAN race? We can never imagine of putting an end to heinous acts against women if we don't stand behind the victim. Supporting her, strengthening her.
Look at her like you would look at yourself: One of the ways to tackle this is through change of heart and change of mind. Would we treat ourselves the way we treat our women? While so many are being educated, and brought into awareness about women equality and non-objectification of women, rapes are still committed; women are still molested or sexually assaulted. Why? Because when we look at someone, judge them, hurt them, pain them; we don't look at them as how we would look at ourselves. Look at her and treat her like how you would treat yourself. Respect her the way you would want to be respected. Let's step into her shoes. It all begins in the heart. All the awareness and education in the world cannot change a dime if the conviction doesn't come from inside. The person inside of us has to change. The seeds we sow has to change. Our hearts intention has to change. A heart that loves, a heart that empathizes, a heart that sympathizes.
Inside the mind of a sexual abuser
Inside the mind of a sexual abuser
This has been hashed out all over the country. In the media, at schools, college discussions, debate forums etc. The 'why' of the act. Some have denied the importance of the why question. Why should we find out what his reasons were? The crime was heinous enough. Put him behind bars. While nothing and absolutely NOTHING will ever justify any kind of sexual abuse, it is imperative that we try and understand the root cause for such depraved behaviour. Understanding the mind of a sexual abuser gives us insight into what goes on the inside, thus enabling us to seek solutions and maybe, just maybe, end this horror. Once and for all.
Feeling of power and control: Those with insecurity issues, isolation, loneliness, depression are all people who feel that they have lost control over their lives. They grapple with trying to make sense of it all and when opportunity arises, they grab it. A woman on the street, irrespective of her attire, if she can be pinned down and forced upon, gives the offender a powerful sense of control. He has taken control over someone he thinks as 'helpless'. In his mind, he has validated himself as strong and powerful. That he is wrecking her life, causing her pain, at that moment, is the least of his concerns.
A brutal past: Most sexual offenders and molesters, more often than not have had a brutal past. They may have been abused for years on end and have never had the chance to speak out or speak against what was happening to them. Imitating what happened to them in their past helps them justify the abuse that they do. Their minds are locked in a dark shadowy place filled with filthy thoughts and corrupt desires.
Passing on the blame: More often than not, the minds of these offenders are so damaged by their past and just life in general that they have built towering walls that shut out all kinds of remorse and guilt. They play the blame game. Sometimes, they may blame the victim, sometimes their circumstances. Very rarely does it register in their minds that this is their fault, that what they have done is wrong. It is a dangerous web to be caught in.
The mind of a sexual offender is a dark maze. Many elements and factors are responsible for the degrading thought processes and the depraving acts of a sexual offender. If we focus on the root cause, the why, the what, we just maybe, help root out this problem all together. Not to say that justice shouldn't be served. It should be, and the perpetrator needs to pay for his heinous behaviour, but the issue being deeper rooted than the assault itself can help save another woman life and can stop another man from doing something that may wreck another life.
Protecting yourself through self-defense
Protecting yourself through self-defense
India still remains a country that is unsafe for women and children. The shameful acts that took place in Bengaluru this weekend, brought to light, the dire need for women to step up and out. If anything, self-defense has become the need of the hour. Self-defense may not stop molestation, but it will definitely help a woman to run away or escape from it.
Here are some helpful tips to consider:
Start with prevention: As with the case of the Bengaluru molestation, the men had stalked the woman for about a week before and then attacked. So they knew her place of stay, the route that she would generally take. The attackers were well prepared, they had planned it all. It is time for us to be one step ahead. If there are routes in your day that you always take, keep a look-out for familiar faces; watch to see if they are observing you. If you have suspicions about anyone, change your route for a day or two. If you see those faces on these new routes too, then raise an alarm. Inform a family member. Get them to accompany you. Bottom line is, be aware and alert. All the time. Daylight or nighttime.
Be loud and Push off:
As soon as you see your attacker approaching, scream. Loud. As loud as you can. The attacker might not be expecting it, so your loud voice could put him off guard even for a minute. That one minute is all you need to decide your next course of action. The minute you know your attacker has been taken off guard, throw all your weight on them. Your loud scream and the full force of your weight does two things: you signal for help and you don't become an easy target. These are just a few small tips. There are many ways to defend and protect ourselves. Bottom line is this; we've reached a day and age where we cannot really depend on others. Till the day this country becomes a safe place for women and children alike, till we can be assured that we needn't keep looking over our shoulders, needn't be on guard all the time that is exactly what we will do. It's time we start looking out for ourselves. The heart and mind of the human kind is perverse in so many ways, and till we reach the day where needn't be afraid of each other, it's up to us. So, keep the faith ladies! Together, we can overcome this. Be aware, be vigilant and take all precautions necessary.