Our Youth and Outreach Officer from Pune, Mona More recently visited the Kasewadi Police Station where she had a discussion about the Safecity App and the initiatives that we are implementing in Pune, namely, Amplify Change.
Amplify Change concentrates on two specific localities in Pune- Premnagar and Kasewadi – and manages to loop in not only the residents but the Anganwadi centres as well as the students of these communities. We regularly conduct thorough workshops on gender sensitivity, sexual violence prevention and understanding of the legal mechanism for easier access to civil rights.
During one of many such sessions, questions were asked as to why are women so reluctant to lodge a complaint or report their incidences of sexual harassment to the police. The general consensus was the ingrained distrust of the authorities and fear of being roped into bureaucratic red tape, apart from the obvious stigma surrounding any discussion about sexual assault.
Mona made an instinctive decision to drop by one of the local police stations at Kasewadi and started the process of bridging the gap between ‘them’ and ‘us’. The good news is that she has managed to usher in a new chapter in the community where police officials will now be taking part in our workshops and will interact regularly with the residents.
We are hopeful that Amplify Change will continue to make such strides in the future and obscuring the sentiments of fear, guilt and being ashamed about sexual harassment as a distant dream.