WOSAF – Prevent!


How can I ensure WOSAF?

All the atrocities that get reported and all the actions that are taken post incident, somehow feels like ‘closing the stable doors after the horses have bolted’. Why don’t we initiate steps to prevent the occurrence of such incidents. A number of YOU’ve queried what could be some possible steps. Well let me enumerate some of the steps.

Report photos that exploit girls/ YOUng women, when YOU seen them on social media sites like fb/ insta. Raise YOUr voice and don’t have the ‘chalta hai’ attitude. This perpetrates crimes/ atrocities.

Be media literate & critical of what YOU see. Otherwise it becomes ‘normal’ and we get desensitized.  The media regularly uses images of violence against women and objectifies them. If YOU see ad ad/ commercial that is sexist/ degrading towards women – write/ email the company; don’t buy their products.

Interrupt sexist/ homophobic and transphobic language. Remember, words are powerful, especially when spoken by people who have power over others. Gendered name calling and sends a message that girls/ women are less than human. When they are seen as inferior, it becomes easier to treat them with less respect.

Interrupt abuse if YOU see something. If YOU’re at a party and your intoxicated friend is being led away by guys. Stop and help her get home.

Stop street harassment and don’t engage in any form of sexual harassment, such as catcalling and unwanted touching. And don’t let your friends and peers engage in such behaviour either. Don’t look the other way.

Stop victim blaming for how they choose to dress or judge their behaviour. Violence can’t be prevented through limiting the freedom of girls. This only allows the violence to continue because perpetrators become invisible and sadly those who witness remain silent.

Stop stereotyping men’s and women’s roles as they affect decisions in a relationship. YOU don’t have to prove yourself. YOU don’t become small when you help YOUr better half in sharing chores at home.

Remember violence is a choice, a choice that YOU make. Don’t make excuses for friends and peers who are violent. Stop supporting the notion that violence is due to mental illness or lack of anger management skills, alcohol or drugs.

Come up with an action plan for any situation. How would YOU react should people you know/ strangers are being abusive/ sexist. It is easier to interrupt ans stop abuse when YOU know what to do/ say. Stand up!!!

STOP using social media to proliferate jokes/ forwards demeaning women. Social media has an empowering effect. YOU can spread the word. When a friend/ peer tells a joke about girls/ women, say YOU don’t find it funny and let them know it is NOT okay.

Because IT IS NOT OKAY. We can make this world a better place to live for our Mothers, Sisters, Wives, Daughters … Stop and THINK.

Unbreakable Resolve – Women

B&W (42)

Durga has been a warrior goddess: unmatched resolve, impassable, inaccessible, invincible, unassailable

My 25 years in the uniform has instilled in me a basic military tactics. ‘Offence is the only form of Defence’. In all my sessions on WOSAF (WOmen SAFety), I harp on this fact and share this fundamental rule. God forbid, you’re in a situation, where YOU need to act – Don’t wait for any opportune time … NOW is the time; always. YOUr mind should always be on the ‘Hunter’ mode – looking for options, seeking out escape routes, planning your next step ..

For a female, fighting back is the ultimate reversal. You become the huntress not the hunted, the predator not prey. When the only way out is through, you cannot just defend–you have to counter attack. There’s little to compare this to: YOU trade in your polite-self for your animal-self; you issue the ‘sic’ command and give YOUrself a carte blanche to go for the jugular. And remember offence is the only form of defence.

Always remember: FIGHTING BACK IS A LAST RESORT when nothing else will do. Your goal is YOUr safety, to escape. That said, a pumped up aggressor can withstand A LOT of punishment, so get your mojo in gear and be prepared to do what it takes to breakaway. Whatever it takes.

Never give up hope OR let futility set in. Futility is an enemy of survival; it’s enables paralysis. Even in a worst case scenario, an assailant or criminal may let his guard down (especially when he thinks he’s already won), presenting lucky breaks and opportunities to make your move and get away. Focus. Collect yourself. Stay on the hunt. YOUr body is the weapon. YOUr mind is the weapon. Surprise is YOUr ally.

Overcome the fear of injury. Always assess your situation, environment and skills.  Do not allow yourself to be held hostage by this fear. Remember: adrenaline is a wonder drug. It addition to supercharging the body it helps staves off pain. Use the environment: Can I head butt him on counter-tops, stairwells, hard surfaces or shove a person into walls/ hard ground? Be aggressive. Manhandle! Drop your center of gravity, widen your base, slink down into your hips and throw him away. Remember the last move of Dangal; the last bout – ‘dikhao kuchh aur karo kucch’. Feints . Duck . Ruse . Distract . Fake . Sham . Trick . Stall .

Attack the hands. Busting the hand(s) with a stick-like weapon or by slamming something on it can disable your attacker’s primary weapon: hands.  Knees could be broken with little force from the ‘wrong’ direction. All the joints are thus susceptible to slight pressure. Go for it.

Remember – Attack is the only form of Defence.