Not only we celebrate the brave women, who raise their voices against sexual harassment but also raise our daughters to seek inspiration from them.
But, sadly, more often than not, many of these courageous women are left disappointed when it comes to seeking justice.
An event that took place almost 6 years back in 2013 is just a reflection of what Indian women had to face when they raise their voice against sexual harassment.
Shruti Chaturvedi took to social media to share her struggle in seeking justice in a 6-year-old sexual harassment case, which will leave you disheartened for every daughter of our country.
So what happened?
In 2013, Shruti Chaturvedi, then, a student at St Xaviers’ College, filed a complaint against a shopkeeper who had allegedly harassed her and her female friend at Bhadra Fort.
According to the tweets shared by Shruti, the incident happened near Bhadra Fort, where she went into the Bhadrakali temple while her friend waited outside as she wanted to check out some earrings from a hawker.
But, as Shruti came out of the temple, what she saw shocked her.
Her friend was struggling hard to get out of the hold of the same man, who was selling the earrings. And, while holding her forcibly, the man was touching her inappropriately and kept making lewd remarks.
As a perfect response, Shruti tried to help her friend, the hawker held her too, which made her slap him.
But, the saddest part was that no one in the market came to help these women as they were being sexually harassed in front of them. As a brave and independent woman, Shruti refused to stay silent. She, along with her friend, filed a complaint at the police station to seek justice.
But, six years later, Shruti has withdrawn the complaint without any justice.
And, her reason for retracting the complaint may expose the ugly reality of why women in our country don’t raise their voices against harassment in the first place.
While sharing her turmoil, Shruti shared on Twitter:
“6 years later, I got the first notice for hearing at a house where we no longer live in.
In the last 6 years, I have switched 2 jobs, started my company and moved 3 cities setting up offices. For every hearing, I was supposed to travel to Ahmedabad from my city of residence. On working days with prior notice of 1 or 2 days.
There’s been 8 hearings so far, every time a new date. Fed up, I decided to close the case today.
I confronted the man again.”
She further added a heartbreaking detail of how the accused has shown no sign of remorse:
Despite the judge insisting that the crime was unpardonable and I should pursue, I had to, because it didn’t look worth all the effort it takes anymore/don’t remember how it felt either. The man later today had the audacity to tell me “dukaan par aavjo” (come to my shop someday).
At the end of her heart-breaking struggle, she shared a very important message for the society that judges women for not pursuing sexual harassment cases:
“Why am I sharing this?
One, to tell you how courageous those women are who pursue cases and see them through. It does not matter of months or a couple of years. It’s YEARS.
I couldn’t see it through, couldn’t keep canceling important work meetings, travel multiple times, and spend all day in trial courts. Trial courts are not a pleasant place to be in. They stink, hardly have a fan & benches hurt.
Two, next time you invalidate someone’s story because she didn’t file a case but only complained on SM, remember this ordeal. It’s easier tweeted than done.”
After a day, she shared an update that may be seen as a silver lining in dark clouds:
Update: I asked the exact status of everything with the govt advocate because he couldn’t communicate anything y’day after the hearing, he was moved to next case.
The judge has rejected the settlement request, but I won’t be required to appear any more.