December 17, 2007

Dec 2, 2007
Sexual abuse is on the rise in city colleges
MUMBAI: According to a recent study on sexual harassment in Mumbai’s colleges conducted by Akshara, a city-based NGO, 61 per cent of the 533 female students interviewed had been sexually harassed in colleges, either by their peers or by staff. It’s not just girls who are being victimised. More than half of the 327 male students interviewed also admitted to having been sexually harassed during their college years.

Nineteen-year-old commerce student Ameeshi Khanna steers clear of her college staff room. This was where she was sexually harassed by her principal three months ago. It was only after weeks of counselling and reassurances from her teachers that she resumed attending lectures in the suburban college. The researchers spoke to students from 44 city colleges in South Mumbai, Western and Central suburbs, and Navi Mumbai, which included academic institutions like St Andrews, KC, St Xavier’s and Somaiya Colleges. The findings also revealed that 66.7 per cent of the male students admitted to have sexually harassed their victims ‘just for fun’.

Dr Nandita Gandhi, co-director of Akshara said: “Sexual harassment can range from eve-teasing to molestation and rape. A majority of the victims are females, while most of the male students are perpetrators.” The study stated that almost all the female students resort to absenteeism when sexually harassed.

No comments: