Am I safe while travelling alone?

Having lived in Delhi since so long, I used to think that Delhi was a relatively safe place for women. There used to be incidents of crimes against women but mostly they used to go unnoticed. But now, I’m very concerned about the security of women in India, especially in Delhi. Nowadays I can’t imagine myself on the roads after 10 pm in Delhi even when I’m with other people. Day in and our thee are cases of brutal attacks on women. One does not need to look at the statistics collected by the National Crime Records Bureau to reveal that women in Delhi face high levels of violence. Even a random scan of the daily newspaper is enough to support this.

Women in Delhi run the daily risk and fear harassment attack, assault, rape and murder both within homes and outside. Having traveled in a public transport especially in local buses and sharing autos. I too had my share of unwanted activities such as being whistled at and being touched at various places. But now the crimes of the unspeakable horrors leave me disappointed and scared. Either its the Delhi Gang rape of a 23-year old student by 6 men who then beat the woman with iron rods, robbed her belongings, stripped off her clothing and dumped her dying on the road or its the recent Bengaluru Mass Molestation case, where goons had gathered on the bustling MG Road and Brigade Road , they groped and molested women in full glare of policemen who were deployed in the area.

These crimes against women shock me and shuns my idea of travelling in Delhi. People say travelling alone is unsafe especially at night because they think that one is more vulnerable and not physically competent. But if one thinks and takes these cases in account then Jyoti Singh, the Delhi Gang rape victim was travelling with her friend and the recent Bengaluru Mass Molestation Case took place in front of the eyes of a number if policemen.

It sends chills down my spine when I think of such violence against women and  makes it difficult for me to combat with my urge to travel alone. Yes, I travel alone a couple of times and I’m tempted to say that I’m lucky nothing terrible has happened with me but the statement just annoys me because it shouldn’t come down to luck. As a woman, I shouldn’t have to hope and pray that a man doesn’t decide to harm me. I believe its soul searching time now for the entire nation. Delhi might have taken the lead as the “Rape Capital ” of India, but the problem of women safety encompasses the entire nation.

Pratima Jain | Content Writer | DU Times

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