Written By: Urooj Kodwavi 

Recently people have turned towards social media to expose the people who either harassed them, or even raped them. Pakistan has never been safe for women, but recently it has become impossible to go a day without hearing about someone you know, or even know of getting harassed or even raped. The world has always been a cruel place for women, there’s no doubt about it — but that doesn’t mean we stay still and don’t try our best to prevent such situations from either happening again or from happening. So here’s what you can do about it, as a women, a mother, or even a sister; here are a couple of tips and tricks to help you and your loved ones out. 

1. If you have children or siblings, talk about it. 

It sounds simple, but I mean talk about it to your sons/brothers and daughters/sisters. Not only when it happens to someone else, but long before that. Teach them about the parts of the body no one should ever touch, and for the sons how to react as a bystander — to go and help the women, and tell them that it’s wrong and not to friends with such type of people. Teach them to be a gentleman, that a women can take care of herself, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your part. And to always protect their sisters and anyone in their lives. 

These days boys even fall prey to such things, so go and teach your sons as well that these are the parts of the body no one should touch. Create a relationship with your siblings and your children that’s so strong, that they’d tell you what happened to them without the fear of getting yelled at or blamed. 

Most of the times when such things occur, within the moment we don’t know how to react — which is totally okay, but that doesn’t mean we stay silent afterwards either. Or even keep it to ourselves, it’s that persons fault for harassing you or even raping you — not yours! 

2. Carry a weapon with you, in your bag. 

Always keep your bag close to you, or in reaching distancing — so that you can grab whatever is in it to protect you. Weapons that can help you are pocket knife, taser and pepper spray — practice using it as well, so that when the time comes you know how to use it. Also there is no need to tell anyone that you have such things in your bag, because these days you can’t trust anyone. 

3. Send live location when you’re in your uber. 

Always send the friends that you trust your live location, and also the other important details — number plate, drivers name and the car that it is. Such things can be useful if things go south, not saying that it will but it is always better to be prepared. Send this information to about three or four close friends, who live in the same city as you — cause they can do something about it if the situation is presented. 

4. Be vigilant.

Know when something is off. Looking around, know where you’re going and where you are. Always, always be aware of your surroundings and listen to your gut — when you feel like something is off, then it is off. You need to listen to yourself, because most of the times you are right. So be confident, and trust your gut. 

5. Weak points of your body.

Know the weak points of your body, the knees, the gut — do your research. Learn that this is your body weak points, and also if something happens you can use this knowledge to benefit yourself. You can always hit your predator and run away. 

6. If you want, go for self defence classes.

These classes can help you out a lot, it will help you practice in protecting yourself. In Pakistan they’re not all that common, but that doesn’t mean that there is no place doing it. Look for places available in your area, and attend them if you can. 

In the end you did what you could to protect yourself, and spreading this information will help others protect themselves as well. Also, when something like this is happening in front of you — don’t be a bystander. Help out! Help the girl get out of the situation, attack the predator — and if your comfortable you can report it as well. Yes, our justice system isn’t the best, especially in cases like these — but if you want to you can try. Call that person out, and make sure no other women falls prey to the same man.