Safety Guide: ‘Don’t Go Out Alone At Night’, Kerala Cops Tell NIFT Girls

Govt scheme Women's Safety

Cops in Kannur, Kerala, recently told the female students of NIFT there to stay inside at night in order to avoid harassment. The police made the comment in response to the high number of harassment cases registered in the campus in the present semester. According to the police, the girls must “maintain certain discipline and not go outside alone at night’’.  The Taliparamba police has also suggested that the girls “dress properly”.

TOI reported, “The overall feeling among the police is that such cases are not reported from any other campus because girls there do not venture out at odd hours and dress appropriately. Now, police have started night patrolling and CCTV cameras will be installed soon as a deterrent.”

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Students filed numerous complaints

The students had earlier expressed concern over  safety issues around the campus. They have faced several instances of harassment and stalking around the campus during evenings. Around 50 complaints filed were related to harassment in the present semester. This has led to widespread anguish among the students, who even staged demonstrations and protests. The faculty members suggested that these instances must be countered since they reflect how unsafe educational spaces are for women. These cases can also demoralize girls from joining the institution.

Read: Cases Of Violence Against Women That Grabbed Headlines In 2017

Is the police comment derogatory or a preventive measure?

The recent comments made by the police have drawn mixed response from the people. The police have been criticised for a myopic vision of harassment cases and for blaming the victims.

“Telling the girls to dress ‘appropriately’ indicates how harassment is ultimately linked to the girls’ behaviour and social presence and not on the mindset and intentions of the harasser. When will we stop asking women to behave instead of sensitizing our boys? Is harassment only linked to the type of clothes and the time of the hour? Asking women to not go out at night can be a preventive measure as long as it is not the only measure undertaken. Additionally, stringent security measures must be enforced. The police should focus on creating gender sensitization programs and spreading awareness,” Shubhangi Mukherjee, a DU student, commented.

Read: How to stop violence against women in India — train police officers

Nimisha Bansal Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV