As days go by, we hear more and more stories from victims of sexual harassment, not just women but also men, especially at the train station. It makes you wonder if you’re ever actually safe since there’s always someone suspicious lurking around.
Due to that, a Twitter user @hytshrr123 had generously shared some survival tips for EVERYONE to protect themselves against sexual harassment through her own experience. So, take notes girls and guys as it could come in handy.
1. Always be alert
Don’t use your phone when you’re in public! It might be tough having to be cautious of your surroundings, especially when you just got off work and need a moment to relax from your busy day. But as the saying goes, “There’s no rest for the wicked”.
Do pay attention to your surroundings. If you feel someone’s hands touching any part of your body, you should feel alarmed. Be cautious even if it’s a slight graze of your hands. That slight touch could lead to groping in a split second.
2. Stay calm and think things through
There’s a difference between hearing stories about sexual harassment and actually experiencing it yourself. It’s a pretty traumatising moment in your life when you’re clueless and not quite sure what to do about the assailant who is invading your personal space and touching you without consent. When this happens, you have to calm yourself and don’t panic. Think about your next move immediately!
3. Shout as loud as you can
Make a scene! If you have established the assailant’s evil intentions, inform the assailant to back off. If he doesn’t, do not hesitate to be vocal and loud even if it annoys everyone else around you. Scream the words “WATCH YOUR HAND PERVERT” as loud as you can. The assailant will usually back off by the sudden outburst.
Then, yell to alert the people around you “DETAIN HIM, HE’S TOUCHING/GROPING ME”. This will also spark a reaction from the crowd who were unaware of the situation. You can ask for their help to escort the assailant off the premises.
4. Collect evidence of the encounter
Document the scene immediately. Pull out your phone and take a picture or a video of the assailant as evidence for the police. It will make it easier for them to investigate and capture the assailant when you lodge the report. If you can get witnesses from the scene, it would help strengthen the evidence as well as they can testify for you.
5. Bring a weapon wherever you go
Self-defense is important! Don’t worry if you don’t have any karate or boxing skills. Just have a weapon on you at all times, preferably a long object such as an umbrella to prevent potential assailants from even thinking about attacking you. If you don’t have an umbrella, squeeze your keys in the palm of your hands with the ends poking out in between your fingers as a makeshift weapon.
Of course, you could still purchase pepper sprays, a Swiss Army knife and other self-defense items online! Anything that could give you the upper-hand in a struggle or a fight.
6. Lodge a report
Sexual harassment cases are very complicated. Once you find the nearest police station, you will be directed to the Kuala Lumpur Contingent Police Headquarters (Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen KL) to provide a further statement. You might not feel comfortable lodging a report but it’s necessary to prevent any more of these cases. Provide the evidences and the assailant could possibly be arrested within 24 hours.
Neetashini Kanendran contributed to this article