What does safety mean to you?
Shirin Bhasin has recently completed her graduation in B. Sc. (Hons.) Physics from University of Delhi in 2016. She enjoys spending time with friends and reading novels by Nicholas Sparks. As a girl living in Delhi, she strongly believes that women in India should not be withheld from their goals and dreams – professional or personal – just because of their gender. By joining Safecity, Shirin is trying to help make a difference for those girls and women out there who need the motivation to believe in themselves, before they believe in others.
What does safety mean to you?
Here at Safecity, our volunteers work very hard on helping women who have been abused in any way to get back on their feet, and bring light on topics related to the abuse that women in India face today. Hence, we thought, why not ask the women working in Safecity itself as to how safe they feel in the city they live in. We asked 17 women (including volunteers and interns) questions and decided to share the statistics with you.
Q1. Which city do you live in?
Ans. 47.06% – Mumbai
23.53% – NCR (National Capital Region)
5.88% – Jalandhar
5.88% – Visakhapatnam
5.88% – Pune
5.88% – Anand
Q2. Which of the following describes your living conditions best?
- I live in a nuclear family
- I live in a joint family
70.59% – I live in a nuclear family
17.65% – I live alone
11.77% – I live in a joint family
Q3. How many female members are there in your direct family?
- 0 to 3
- 4 to 6
- 7 to 9
- 10 or more
76.47% – 0 to 3
17.65% – 4 to 6
5.88% – 7 to 9
0% – 10 or more
Q4. On a scale of 1 to 5, how safe do you feel leaving the house at night?
35.29% – 3
23.53% – 4
23.53% – 1
17.65% – 2
0% – 5
Q5. What makes you feel safe in the area you live and/or work?
Ans. Here are a few replies people gave:
- I work with a predominantly all women team. The atmosphere is encouraging and positive. This makes me feel safe.
- The type of people, when there are people around me, good transport, good location, easy access to necessary resources
- Ample Security and Surveillance.
- My family and relatives live in the same area from generations so I feel safe in some areas only
- Knowing that someone familiar is walking or driving with me.
- Lights all around. A busy area having people.
Q6. What makes you feel unsafe in the area you live and/or work in?
Ans. While some women did not feel unsafe at all, others felt that bad lighting, lack of public transport at night, and an unknown group of men (who may or may not be drunk) makes them feel very uncomfortable and unsafe. A respondent from Delhi was scared by the mere fact of the number of rapes that occur in the city.
Q7. What are the precautions you take to stay safe?
Ans. Replies included increasing the amount of clothing worn, carrying something that can be used to defend/ protect oneself or knowing some form of self-defence and keeping a loved one updated about one’s whereabouts. There were also multiple replies stating that one would avoid leaving the house at night altogether in order to stay safe.
Q8. Is there something that you would want to change in your daily lifestyle that would help you feel safer?
Ans. While most of the responses included taking self-defence classes and avoid going to dimly lit places, here are a couple of very inspiring answers:
- “No point in that since people around me need to change and not my lifestyle.”
- “I think instead of introducing self-defence classes for women, there should be a general awareness class for men.”
Yes, some locations are improving in terms of security and women are feeling much safer. But are they completely safe? A beautiful poem on Poem Hunter says –
“Girls are treasure to one’s family,
Girls give moral strength to the family
Girls are the future of every nation
Girls needs a little amount of care,
a handful of warmth,
a heartful of love;
education to girls,
will lift the family.
Let the girls also be
smiling and happy.”