Feeds Special Issue | Volume 9

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Special Issue

SEXUAL HARRASMENT

no!


Index Introduction Redressal Consent Incidents Bystander Intervention Perception Opinions


Director Dr. Mini Shaji Thomas

Dean (Students’ Welfare) Dr. N. Kumaresan

Faculty Advisors Dr. K. N. Sheeba Dr. S. Mekala

Cover Story: Ajay, Amogh, Anisha, Arpit, Dhwani, Harshini, Ipsita, Kavya, Kumaraguruparan, Koushik, Nandini, Nikhil N, Parasu, Preetham, Rishab, Sai Sudhir, Sarath, Shiwang, Shrikar, Sripradha, Swedha, Tania, Trisha, Vaishnav, Vedanjali, Venkat Cover: Nikhil P Poster: Sruthi V Illustrators: Komal, Sneha, Nandini, Vijay, Nikhil P, Piyush Designers: Amogh, Harish Raj, Komal, Nikhil P, Shiva Kanth, Sneha, Nandini, Parasu, Sruthi Photographers: Abishek, Sumiran, Yash

VOLUME 9 Editor

S. Akaash Preetham

Co-Editors

Parasuram Srivaths Pinjala Sai Sudhir

Editor, Online Presence Venkat Natarajan

Editor, Design Komal Telagavi

VOLUME 8 Editor Trisha Reddy

Co-Editors

Tania Gupta Sripradha Sankruthi

Editor, Online Presence Harshini Ramanujam

Editor, Design Sivaprakash

Administrative Head Yuvan Subramani

Creative Head Ashwin Sridhar

Founders

Karthik Selva and Deepak Valagam ( ICE 2012)

Printed at Iyyan Color World, Chennai. © Feeds NITT 2019. All rights reserved.

S. Akaash Preetham Editor Humankind is capable of myriad vile acts. But none is as widespread or as polarizingly perceived as sexual harassment. The concept of sexual harassment has existed since the dawn of age, and mankind’s inability to draw boundaries around what it exactly encompasses shows how complex and vastly subjective it is. Experts, mainstream media and even judicial bodies have wavered in their stances and been inconclusive on defining sexual harassment. Growing up with the inherent privilege of being a male, I had looked at it from a distance, as if it were occurring in a distant and a parallel reality, as if it didn’t exist in the safe bubble I was born and brought up in. But life has a way of popping bubbles, and it sure did pop mine when I learnt that almost every woman I knew had gone through some form of harassment - and it shook me that not all incidents had happened before I met them. I learnt that it’s astonishingly easy to remain oblivious to things happening around you, as long as it isn’t happening to you. Personally, I was blessed to be a part of a team which engages in conversations on such difficult topics with open-mindedness and insightfulness. The contentions, the agreements, the differences in opinions and the many miscellaneous commentaries shed light on how blurry the subject is. Hence, we, at Feeds, decided to take a look at these blurred lines through the focusing lens of our campus. Around a year ago, we conducted a survey in a manner as exhaustive as possible, focusing on various aspects of the daunting subject such as consent, campus incidents, redressal etc. We received an overwhelming number of responses and positive feedback, engendering us to write an accurate and a detailed report. What started out as an 8-page article ended up as the book that you now hold in your hand. And thus, with great pride in my team’s commitment and with utmost gratitude to our beloved readers, we present to you the special issue on sexual harassment. With this issue, we hope to spark discussions and initiate action to make our campus a safer and friendlier place.


Harish Raj

02


Pseudoscience

03 02 03

Arunagiri

Sudhir, Harish


602

A survey conducted in the campus released on 15th February 2019, filled by 602 respondents, that gauged their awareness about behaviours constituting sexual harassment revealed the following results.

RESPONSES

Awareness on Campus

39%

61%

Population demographic of survey takers

(Not representative of the population of NIT Trichy)

Both male and female students agreed that the following scenarios constituted sexual harassment:

“Invasion of personal space (getting too close for no reason, brushing against or cornering someone)” 83% male, 86% female.

“Unwelcome sexual advances which may or may not be accompanied by promises or threats, explicit or implicit” - 85% male, 85% female

While the former is the definition of ‘quid pro quo’ harassment, the latter is listed as one of the forms of sexual harassment under the act.

86% 85%

Invasion of personal space

Unwelcome sexual advances

83% 85%

When asked what sexual harassment is, students responded affirmatively to the prompts mentioned in each illustration, in the given ratio. These were some categories with least disparity among the sexes.

Nandini

04


However, 19% of females thought that “staring in a suggestive manner or whistling” did not constitute sexual harassment while 35% males were of the same opinion. This disparity was even greater when it came to “making sexual comments about appearance, clothing, or body parts” - 11% females and 30% males did not consider it as sexual harassment. Only 50% odd males and females considered “stalking an individual” and “repeatedly asking someone out despite being turned down” to be sexual harassment.

Yes

81%

According to the Indian Penal Code, “Whoever monitors a person’s use of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication that results in a fear of violence, or interferes with the mental peace of such person, commits the offence of stalking.” Persistence is a virtue long romanticised by our culture be it in movies, songs or even books. However, repeatedly pursuing someone despite them indicating disinterest is a violation of consent and clearly disrespectful of the person’s desires and emotions. Failure to recognise this as a form of sexual harassment indicates the need for having conversations on consent in campus.

No

Yes

19%

No

65%

35%

Staring in a suggestive manner or whistling

Yes

Yes

No

89%

70%

11%

No

30%

Making unnecessary sexual comments Yes

56%

No

44%

Yes

42%

No

58%

Stalking an individual

Yes

53%

No

47%

Yes

46%

No

54%

Repeatedly asking someone out When asked what sexual harassment is, students responded in the illustrated ways. The top two categories are ones with great disparity in the responses. The lower two, related to persistence, however, were considered to be harassment, just as much they were not, by the student community.

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Workplace Harassment and Casual Sexism Using bigoted slang, phases, or nicknames With an almost 50-50 split in the number of males and females marking this option, this indicates a confusion so as to whether it constitutes sexual harassment. It must be remembered that sexual harassment, to be prosecutable, has to have sexual overtones. While it is an example of workplace harassment, bigotry does not amount to sexual harassment. Racism or any form of intolerance towards communities or individuals perceived to be ‘different’, can be called bigotry.

Yes

No

57%

43%

Yes

No

46%

54%

Displaying sexist or offensive visuals, texts, or emails Yes

No

65%

35%

Casual sexism, although not strictly sexual harassment can contribute in creating a hostile work environment where employees of a particular gender or sexual

Yes

44%

orientation feel excluded and belittled. Leaving such behaviour unchecked might lead to further sexual harassment.

26%

56%

42%

58%

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

74%

Casual jokes that devalue or stereotype your gender Falsely accusing someone of sexual harassment Yes

No

66%

34%

Yes

No

63%

37%

False accusations can damage a person’s reputation and credibility, and as a result must be considered a form of sexual harassment, a sentiment echoed by most survey takers. The Internal Complaints Committee has the power to take action against the complainant in case of a false allegation.

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1

2

3 4 5 12 3

4

5

On a scale of 1 to 5, with “1” being “Not at all”, and “5” being “Very commonly”, these were the repsonses recorded for the question, “How commonly do you experience sexual harassment?” P. S. The thickness of the colourband for the number represents the popularity of the choice.

Mitigation Measures Most workplaces today have compulsory gender sensitization courses, sessions, or programs for their employees. Do you think similar mandatory courses, sessions or programs should be held on campus?

Yes

80%

Maybe

No

4% 16%

While the majority of the students felt that such sessions would be beneficial, a few of them expressed concern as they were unsure about how well it would be received by the intended audience. Due to the strong stigma linked with these issues, such sessions need to be carefully monitored to avoid escalating gender tensions. Another important point made by the surveyees was that these programs must not be limited only to students, and must be held for professors and other residents of the campus as well.

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Redressal To whom would you first complain if you were sexually harassed on campus?

PROFESSOR PARENTS NOBODY RSC HOD GUARDS FRIENDS EXTERNAL AUTHORITY COUNSELLOR ICC

Amongst the survey takers, 41% responded that they would first complain to the student council, with the rest being tossed between friends, warden or RSC and guards, while only a handful of respondents said that they would report the incident to the ICC. This may be due to lack of awareness or due to students feeling more comfortable talking to their peers at first. However, any authority receiving a complaint is required to forward it to the ICC, who will further investigate the case and take action against the accused.

WARDEN

Whom the survey takers would first complain to, excluding the student council

Are you aware of the existence of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)

82%

18% Overall, only 18.4% of the survey respondents were aware of the existence of the ICC. To address this issue, the ICC members have been taking several measures to publicise themselves. Contact details of the ICC are displayed on the homepage of the institute website. An interactive session was arranged by the ICC with female students at Opal hostel on April 4th, 2019, during which the members encouraged the students to report all the instances of sexual harassment through a formal complaint letter or email.

Sneha

NO

YES

Internal Complaints CommitteeAwareness and Student experiences The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at NIT Trichy was set up in accordance to the specifications of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act in 2013. It is mandatory for every institution/ workplace to have such a body. The ICC at NIT trichy can be reached at their helpline number 9486001150 or by emailing to womencell@nitt.edu.

Scan the QR code to read an interview with the members of the ICC. https://feedsnitt.com/2019/02/19/interview-with-the-icc

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Feature

If yes, have you ever contacted them or helped someone contact the ICC ?

59.4% Yes No

39.4%

Never had any reason to contact them

If you did not complain, pick the most appropriate reason. Didn’t know where to complain Didn’t want to get the offender in trouble Felt ashamed or embarrassed Wasn’t clear that the offender intended... Wanted to forget it happened Didn’t think it was serious enough to report

22

7

Female Male

13 10 22 12

48 12 35 11 42 18

The most prevalent options chosen by the respondents were - “Wasn’t clear whether the offender intended harm” and “Didn’t think it was serious enough to report”. The first reason could point towards a lack of awareness on what constitutes sexual harassment. It could also be a result of the pervasive victim-blaming culture in our society, which forces the victim to internalise their feelings of discomfort. The second reason could stem from a reluctance to jeopardise someone’s career or job prospects because of the disciplinary action. The ICC can often settle such cases through a conciliation between the accused and the accuser, if the latter demands it. Disciplinary actions are only taken if the accuser rejects the option of conciliation.

09 08 09

Nikhil P

The third most prevalent reason given by respondents is that they “wanted to forget that it happened.” Narrating instances of harassment can be traumatic. Fears of loss of confidentiality can also deter them from complaining. Victims must be assured of timely action and a fair hearing. The reluctance to report sexual harassment could also stem from a lack of awareness about the official procedure for redressal. A complicated and time-consuming procedure could put off even those at the receiving end of constant abuse. Not choosing to report repeated acts of sexual harassment might encourage the perpetrator to continue exploiting the aggrieved, or even other victims. In case an acquaintance's behaviour is making someone uncomfortable despite indicated disinterest, it is the right of the victim to complain.


O

btaining and giving consent should always be the first step while taking part in any sexual activity with another person. When one indulges in sexual activity without consent at any degree, it is called sexual assault. Giving consent exactly means to agree to participate in sexual activities with someone else. One must remember that consent must be freely given while fully informed about the sexual activity that a person wishes to indulge in, and must always be in the form of a specific answer, which can be withdrawn at anytime during the course of the activity as well as the relationship.

Co n se n t 21.4%

1.8%

61.8%

3.8%

11.3% How important do you think consent ( to any form of physical Intimacy such as a touch, a hug etc is in a relationship (

Komal Telagavi

10


Q

Consent

Consent must be given at each step in a relationship

94.8% female

Q

If a person has consented to a particular sexual activity, then consent cannot be assumed to all kinds of sexual activities

94.8%

Say Yes

87.3% male Say Yes

Q

If a person doesn't physically resist sex, they have not given consent

Consent is given only when it is a definitive ‘yes’ to a specific activity. This means that not resisting sexual advances cannot be considered as consent. The ‘yes means yes’ approach, developed by a group of women at Antioch College in 1991, puts this more succinctly. Once again, a majority of males and females agreed with this.

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94.9% Similarly, if a person has consented to a particular type of sexual activity, it does not mean that they have consented to all of them. A significant majority of the surveyees agreed with this, with the male (94.9%) and female (94.8%) percentages being roughly the same for this question.

91.3%

84.3%


Q

It is important to note that consent should be given freely by the person before sex when they are neither pressured nor manipulated nor under the influence of drugs, alcohol or any other narcotics. In our survey, when questioned on what the surveyee thought about giving consent, a majority of both males and females answered that consent obtained through coercion or repeated pursuit is invalid.

96.5% 90.0%

Q

Consent

Consent obtained through coercion or repeated pursuing is invalid

Q

If a person gives mixed signals, it can sometimes mean consent

When a person is giving off mixed signals, one should assume that they have not received consent and desist from going forward with the sexual activity. Most of the surveyees agreed that giving off mixed signals does not imply consent, with the percentage of men agreeing being 82.1% and that of women being 88.6%.

82.1% men say no Once consent has been given, it can be withdrawn

Another aspect of giving consent is that anyone can change their minds about the consent anytime without the pressure to give any reason. Again, the majority of both male (95.1%) and female (93.9%) surveyees agreed with this.

93.9% 95.1%

88.6% women say no

A majority of the survey takers have a good idea of what consent means, and are aware that all sexual activities must be consensual. However, the size of the minority who have erroneous ideas of consent is still much higher than it should be. This trend seems to be a bit higher in males than in females, which shows that the experiences that women have had with sex and consent have been different from those of men. It is also to be noted that men outnumbered women among the surveyees. Thus, the public perception of consent collected through this survey shows that more sex education is still required to make people realize the various factors that come into play while giving consent such as power dynamics, inebriation, social pressures and expectations of society.

Venkat, KGP, Ipsita, Vedanjali

11 12


Creative Space

I nci dents We had asked students in the study whether they had been subject to the following forms of predatory behaviour.The following set of infographics cover these scenarios with respect to the male and female survey takers. Have you ever been repeatedly asked out?

Have you ever been in a relationship where your partner was abusive? (an abusive relationship involves mistreatment, manipulation, disrespect, intense jealousy, controlling behaviour, or threat of physical violence) Not been in relationship

Yes

13%

76.0%

4.0%

Have you ever faced non-verbal and non-physical harassment on campus? This could include incidences which made you uncomfortable with your attire (staring aggressively, flashing etc)? Male

No

47%

40%

Not been in relationship

Yes

7%

Have you ever faced a situation within a romantic relationship where you felt blackmailed or forced into being physically intimate when you didn’t really want to? Not been in relationship

Yes

13%

No

47%

40%

Not been in relationship

5%

No

31%

64%

Have you experienced any such act which can be considered as sexual harassment/violence in campus? This includes all forms of physical, non-physical, verbal, non-verbal sexual harassment, stalking, abusive relationships etc.

Verbal Harassment

Yes

No

41% Yes

13

Harish Raj

29%

64%

Yes

31.0%

No

10.0%

11%

59% No

89%


Venkat, Preetham, Arpit

13



CAMPUS INCIDENTS If you had one or more of the incidents above, who was the perpetrator? SECURITY OFFICIAL

21

FACULTY MEMBER

15.7%

26

19.4%

FELLOW STUDENT

83

OUTSIDER PARTNER 10

50

37.3%

7.5%

EX-PARTNER 19 6

61.9%

RELATIVE

14.2%

4.5%

The following section reported a total of 134 responses comprising of survey takers who said they had experienced one or more of the following incidents: repeatedly being asked out, non-verbal, non-physical harassment, verbal sexual harassment, repeatedly stalked by someone, cyber-stalked, having an abusive partner in a relationship, blackmailed or forced into being physically intimate, or sexually harassed or sexual violence. When asked who the perpetrator was, the most common survey answer was a fellow student. Other responses from the survey include outsider, security official or ex-partner. According to RAINN, a US based non-profit organization, in most cases of sexual harassment the offender is someone known to the victim.

Sneha

Arunagiri

16


What eect did this incident have on you? You changed your route or regular routine

36.4%

Stopped a hobby or activity

29.5%

Ended a relationship

27.1 %

Sought medical help (inl. mental health counseling) Filed an official complaint

10.1 % 2.3 % 43.4 %

Felt anxiety or depression Became wary or suspicious of people Others

75.2 % 9.6 %

When asked what effect the incident had on them, most (75.2%) responded that they became wary or suspicious of people, and that they became paranoid. Additionally, 43.4% has said that they felt anxiety or depression. Some said that they changed their route to avoid the location of the incident, while some said that they decided to not show up or quit the group or friend circle that they shared with the perpetrator.

16 17


Parasu

17 18


18 19


Bystander Intervention Talking about sexual harassment in terms of ‘perpetrators’ and ‘victims’ alone takes the responsibility off the shoulders of the rest of the community. This is where the role of the bystander enters in ensuring an atmosphere free of molestation and harassment.

A bystander is a person who is present when an event takes place but isn’t directly involved. Bystanders might be present when sexual assault or abuse occurs—or they could witness the circumstances that led up to these crimes.

Role of the bystander in preventing sexual harassment Bystanders can intervene and thwart/subdue the ongoing harassment before it aggravates to potentially dangerous levels. Experts suggest the following steps that a bystander could take to prevent a probable case of sexual harassment.

Supporting the victim

1. When you are unsure if an incident was consensual or unwelcome, ask the person. Try asking “I noticed that happened. Are you OK with that?” If she/he confides that they were not comfortable, Confronting the perpetrator offer to help them by reporting to the authorities. Often, the victim is unsure or blame themselves for 1. Often, bystanders may not find it safe to being in the situation. Your support will help them confront the perpetrator directly. In such cases, ascertain that they didn’t do anything wrong. convey to the perpetrator that the victim is not comfortable indirectly. For example, by telling 2. If your friend shares with you about repeat“That wasn’t funny!” or “Were you aware of how ed instances of harassment, encourage them to colyou came off in that conversation?” it will let the lect evidence. Ask them to record calls, take videos abuser know that you are observing. and save text messages or emails which can incriminate the harasser. 2. Approach the harasser as a group. If you witness someone being molested on a bus or in 3. Do not pressurise the victim to report. Reaa similar setting and you are afraid to speak out son with them what might be the best course of acalone, ask the others around you to speak up as tion. Do not take decisions for them. Offer moral well. support to help the victim stay mentally and emotionally strong and regain their sense of self-es3. Distract the abuser and give the victim a teem. chance to escape. You can do this by dropping a heavy item, or giving the victim a phone call. 4. Delegate the task of speaking to the abuser to someone you trust. If it is a colleague, ask a trusted senior to warn them about their behaviour. If it’s a cousin, speak to a relative who can confront them.

Shiva Kanth

20


A section of the survey was devoted to understand- Would your friends validate your experiing the behaviour of students as bystanders of sex- ence? ual harassment. This lets us know how actively the student community takes steps to prevent acts of sexual harassment. If you experienced sexual misconduct and shared it with your friends/peers, how would they respond?

Nearly 60% of females and 50% of males believe that their friends would validate their experience and help them get information of any kind about coping with the experience. On the flip side, nearly 35% of females and 40% of males also believe that their friends will “Tell you that you could have If you come to know that your friend is a done more to prevent this experience from occur- harasser what would your response be? ring,” indicating that the trend of victim blaming A sizeable majority of both females (78%) and does exist. males (75%) believe that confronting the friend who is a harasser would be the correct way to deal with the situation. “Reach out to the victims” and “Report them to the authorities” are also some options chosen by more than a few surveyees. About 5% of males and 1% of females responded with “Do nothing about it”. The following comments are representative of the reasons given by them.

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If you were a witness to sexual harassment where you did not If you answered yes to the preknow the parties involved, how vious question, what have you likely are you to intervene? done to remedy the situation? Most of the respondents answered in the range of 3 to 5, thus showing their intent to inter- Here are a few responses to the above question. “I have never been accused of harassment, but in vene and prevent sexual harassment. hindsight, and witnessing the growing ‘me too’ Do you think that your actions culture around, even keeping a hand on a friend’s might have ever been wrongly shoulder can be interpreted as sexual harassment interpreted as sexual harass- so I don’t know where the line ends or begins” ment? 26% of males and 5% of females responded “(When I was falsely accused of sexual harassment) with a yes. This calls our attention to the gaps in I had a long discussion about consent with the conunderstanding what constitutes sexual harassment cerned person and communicated to her that I felt among both males and females. It is also import- that she had also been crossing boundaries. New ant to understand that certain acts can fall in a boundaries have been set for both of us and things “grey-area”. In such cases, instead of the intent of are okay now.” the perpetrator, the impact perceived by the victim is considered to gauge the seriousness of the act.

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Perception Perception plays a huge role in making a survivor a survivor and a predator a predator. In our survey, students were asked what they thought were the perceptions of their fellow students on the following matters.

objectification of women, and unless you tell him to stop, so are you,” says Cara Hoffman, an author and lecturer on anti-social masculinity and sexualized violence.

Having many romantic partners: With the birth of this millennium, many European and American countries witnessed the transformation of polyamory and open relationships from hushed-up taboos to niche, yet welcome forms of relationships. However, the most common contributor towards people having multiple partners is infidelity. Cheating, as one may call it, is a known deterrent to a healthy, functioning relationship as it violates a partner’s sense of trust and acceptance of the axiomatic rules of a relationship. This violation is known to correlate to sexual jealousy and vindictive tendencies. The survey results were reflective of this - with 50.58% of the respondents thinking This kind of braggadocio is toxic and often tarnishthat having multiple romantic partners would be es the image of the sexual partner, especially in a scorned at by campus residents. setting such as India, where sex itself is still a taboo. 27.36% of the respondents felt that the campus perThey also indicated that 25.54% of the respondents ception is conducive for such instances to occur, believed that NITT students would be in support of whereas 35.8% equivocated their stance by saying such relationships. A possible explanation to this is that the campus is neutral. that the belief stemmed from personal experiences in which cheating happened to be circumstantial. Taking advantage of someone when they are intoxicated:

Telling stories about sexual experiences: “When a man shares intimate details of his past sexual partners with you, he’s contributing to the 23

Amogh


Inebriation or drunkenness is immediately seminal to blurring the lines of consent. Sometimes, doubts exist over the validity of given consent; at times, doubts exist on whether consent was even given. 65.83% surveyees think that the campus would strongly disapprove of a miscreant who crosses this line. However, on the flipside, intoxication is one of the most prevalent grounds for victim-blaming. Influencing/curbing a partner’s social circles and behaviour: In any relationship, it is known that the partners are individuals with dissimilar traits, preferences and circles. Often, people willingly change their lifestyle to accommodate their relationship. But it becomes borderline abuse when a partner dictates the lifestyle of his/her significant other. 67.16% of the respondents feel that such behaviour would be strongly condemned in our college. However, some justify it by labelling it as being protective or doing it for the betterment of the other. Insulting or swearing at their dates: Words are seldom merely words. Comments made in passing, intended as jokes, not meant to be taken seriously, sexual or non-sexual in nature, all contribute to the demoralization of the person on the receiving end. Verbal sexual harassment includes jokes, slurs, innuendos, name-calling etc. that are sexually suggestive. A healthy 67.83% believed that the campus wouldn’t tolerate such behaviour, whereas 13.43% of the surveyees felt that the campus would, on the contrary, be approving of it. We asked the surveyees if they felt difficulty in interacting with members of the opposite sex. 33.7% responded that they did have difficulties, while 17.9% responded that it is difficult sometimes. This is a significant number that cannot be discounted. It would be a great stretch to assume that a tendency for sexual harassment stems from interactional difficulties, but at the same time, it can’t be completely disregarded either. A gender sensitization program or activities that teach and facilitate the interaction between members of the opposite sex would be a great platform to curtail such inhibitions. 24


25 24

Mukesh Preetham


Preetham

Parasu, Arpit

25 26


26 27

Harish Raj


Responding to Sexual Harrassment Tell the harasser to stop Promptly let a person know that his or her behaviour makes you uncomfortable. Do not mince words - use precise language stating that you want the harassment to stop immediately.

Document the abuse

Write down what happened, when it occurred, the names of anyone who witnessed the harassment, and how it affected you. If you are mistreated on separate occasions, record every instance. Document the abuse as quickly as possible so details remain fresh in your mind

Consider confronting the harasser via a letter In this letter, include a factual summary of what happened, how you felt and a straightforward request that the behaviour never occurs again. Keep a copy for your records; it can prove a powerful piece of evidence if you must ultimately involve authorities.

Report the harassment

University Grants Commission regulations describe the responsibilities of higher educational institutions in taking measures for the prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace. UGC Regulations are statutory in nature, and hence all universities and colleges are bound by it. These regulations require every college to set up an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) as the redressal mechanism to deal with matters of sexual harassment. The ICC at NIT Trichy can be reached at their helpline number 9486001150 or by emailing to womencell@nitt.edu

Tell someone

It's important to tell at least one other person about the harassment. It can help to talk about the incident with a trusted friend, family member, or faculty member. If you find it difficult to get past the abuse, look into counselling services. The college counsellor can be contacted at 9677096968 (Josephine)

Do not blame yourself You did nothing wrong, and you are not to blame for the incident. The law is designed to protect you from harassment - anything less than full protection is not acceptable. As you pursue your options, stay firm in your conviction that you and other students at your school deserve to be safe and feel comfortable on campus.

NIT Trichy Against Sexual Harrassment The need for self-defense cannot be overemphasized in today’s world of upward crime graph and increasing sexual assault on women. To shed light on the importance of women’s safety and need to prepare themselves mentally and physically against harassment in any form, the ICC in association with Students’ Council organized a two-day self defence workshop by Franklin Joseph, CEO of Indian Institution of Special tactics and combat sciences, Bangalore on 17th and 18th August, 2019. He emphasised on the need to have a strong mind and sound personality to tackle real time situations since self defense is not a measure of physical strength rather a confluence of smart maneuvers and psycho-motor skills. The event was a huge success amongst the students and was attended by more than 500 girls, who particularly enjoyed Mr. Joseph’s ability to make the session fun and interactive and share stories and experiences without any inhibitions. NIT Trichy’s security staff, in association with the Orientation Team also conducted an awareness program for the first year girls regarding basic safety procedures they can follow to tackle assaulters inside and outside campus. They addressed the issues that girls face inside and outside campus and promised measures to resolve them. They also shared the contact numbers of the college security guards, the security officer, local police station and ambulance to reach out to someone in case of any emergency. The chief security officer also taught the students hacks and tips to tackle harassers, even when they are 1m away and urged them to stay alert and take precautions when they are travelling. This session was quite insightful for the first years and helped ward off their insecurities.

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Zero Tolerance To Sexual Harassment

!

Acknowledgement We, at Feeds, believe that honest and open-minded conversations can change the world for the better. Eliminating bias, prejudices and unformulated arguments constitute the foremost measures in encouraging all-encompassing conversations. Anonymity of sources inevitably adds onto the list, since exercising freedom of speech comes with unintended consequences from different sectors of the society. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the people who made this issue possible. We owe the completion of this issue to Tania Gupta, co-editor of Feeds 8.0, who spearheaded the whole cover story right from its inception, and ensured that the survey was made with painstaking detail.

We are grateful to the faculty of humanities for their constant support during the ideation phase. We are also very grateful to Dr. Venkata Kirthiga and Dr. Tamil Selvi for their valuable inputs. As members of ICC, they shed light on the nature of cases that they’d handled in the past. Their insight was extremely helpful in framing the survey questions. This issue couldn’t have been completed without the constant help rendered by our faculty advisors, our guiding beacons: Dr. S. Mekala and Dr. K.N. Sheeba. We would also like to thank the former Dean - Student Welfare, Dr. Samson Mathew, our current Dean - Student Welfare, Dr. N. Kumaresan and our respected director, Dr. Mini Shaji Thomas for their unrelenting support. Lastly, we thank you, the reader, for your feedback and valuable participation.


Feeds is the official monthly magazine and media house of NIT Trichy. Conceptualized and initiated by the batch of 2012, it is completely funded by the institute and is free of cost. Send your feedback and articles to feedsnitt@gmail.com. You can also find us at feedsnitt.com

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