I belong to a town called Meerut which is 60 kilometers away from India's capital. Recently my cousin sister who is 21 years old got a wonderful opportunity to work in India's capital. I was very excited and happy for her first job but the thought of letting her go and work alone in India's capital was so scary to me considering the latest cases of rapes that I read daily in newspapers. I did a full research and came up with a list of DO's and Don'ts; before our government comes to some senses and makes strict laws to eradicate this evil, we will have to take onus on ourselves to make sure girls are safe. This list is an attempt from my side and I am sharing it with everybody hoping it will save someone.
- Be aware of your surroundings; whenever you are walking on a street always make sure to know if someone is following you and for how long. If someone has been following you, and if he is coming too close: yell, shout and draw attention to yourself. Attackers usually have an idea of how the attack will happen. Disrupt that idea. Yell loudly and strongly. Bystanders are unsure of what is going on; does the attacker know you? Etc. Yell "POLICE!", "CALL POLICE NOW!” or "HELP!". Words such as "POLICE" are more likely to scare the attacker and alert bystanders to the truth of the situation. Also, point to an individual bystander by saying "you sir, in the white shirt, I need your help now! - This man is attacking me..." Tell it like it is, and point to an individual.
- Try to be at home before sun set; some streets are not properly lighted and these are the places where someone can easily drag you into a vehicle. If you have to be out please make sure you have a reliable company.
- If you feel uneasy or unsure in anyway, get away and get help; don't freeze which happens to a lot of people, move quickly out of that place or situation.
- Try to avoid going to parties where you know very few people. Don't accept drinks from strangers or someone you cannot trust. Also, make sure to keep your drink in front of you. There are some drugs that can be mixed to drinks and can cause temporary loss of senses.
- Practice being careful when going into your house because someone could easily push you in and lock the door behind you. Be aware of your surroundings; carry your keys ready in your hand and look around you before opening the door.
- Carry sprays, pepper and chili powder in your bag. Even an umbrella or a purse can be used as a weapon against an attacker. Also, you can try soft targets. Center of stomach-Instep-Nose-Groin, the four attack points you should focus on if grabbed from behind. Elbow them in the center of stomach, stomp on the foot as hard as you can, and when they let go, turn around and jam the palm of your hand into their nose in an upward motion, then finish with a knee to the groin. This may disable him long enough for you to get away.
- When you take a taxi or an office cab, make sure to call some and tell them loudly the vehicle type, color and plate number, also little description of the driver. This will give an impression to him that he can be easily traced. Also, in case none is available just pretend as if you are calling to a real person.
- If worse comes to worst, it means if you have to confront a rapist. You must do everything in your power to escape even if it means hurting yourself. Sometimes, the rapist will kill his victims to prevent him from being caught or identified. If the rapist comes in your home, throw heavy items through windows and at the rapist. Make as much noise as you can. Do not get in the car or van with them if you can help it. Jump out of a moving car or crash the car if you are driving. Look for every opportunity to hurt them and escape. Take your extreme fear and turn it into fighting anger at your attacker. Do not be passive unless you feel you have to because a weapon is on you.
Also remember, rapists do not necessarily look like criminals. The person could look very normal, well groomed, pleasant, young, etc. They might not look evil or like a bad guy. They could be your boss, a teacher, a neighbor, boyfriend or girlfriend, or relative.