Trends of Sexual Harassment Emerging from Indian Cities

Trends of Sexual Harassment Emerging from Indian Cities

Harassment in one city is not the same as harassment in another. There are a lot of variations in the type of harassment encountered in one part of the country compared to another. In order to understand this, we need to have a sound understanding of what is happening where. To assess the safety of women in different cities, we at Safecity analyzed crowdsourced data available to us in the form of reports of various forms of harassment, and then drew conclusions based on them.

What we see is that the frequency of the type of harassment reported varies a lot with geographic location and there are quite a few differences in the patterns of harassment reported in different cities.

Commenting tops the list in the NCR and Mumbai, with more than a fourth and a fifth of the incidents reported in the two cities, respectively. In the rest of the cities, touching / groping came out to be the most common form of harassment. More than a fifth of incidents in other cities mentioned either touching or groping. This clearly shows that in smaller cities, women are at a greater risk of being abused physically than in larger cities. Moving on to the list, touching / groping accounted for 16% and 20%, catcalls / whistles accounted for 14% and 12%, and ogling / staring amounted to 14% and 10% of the reports from NCR and Mumbai, respectively. The top 4 types of harassment remained the same for the two cities, with variations in the proportion of reports. For the rest of the cities, commenting was reported as the second most common type of harassment (17%), followed by catcalls / whistles (13%), and ogling / staring (11%). Although there are differences between cities, broadly speaking, women, regardless of which Indian city they live in, likely encounter one of these forms of harassment on a regular basis.

After these types, in NCR, sexual invites were reported most often (6%). In the rest of India, the next group of reports pertained to indecent exposure (8%) or sexual invites (8%). In Mumbai, these incidents were not as common, with people reporting other incidents, such as stalking (9%) more frequently. This serves as an indicator that women in Delhi or the rest of India are harassed with sexual invites more often than women in Mumbai. Across all cities, the incidents of harassment with the lowest numbers were those relating to North East Indians. On the whole, verbal, non-verbal and physical abuses are the most reported abuses across all cities.

Though our sample for geographies other than Delhi or Mumbai is currently thin, we still did see a few patterns for states in which we have a decent number of reports. In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, touching / groping topped the list of incidents reported, accounting for ~40% and 28%, respectively. In Jammu and Kashmir, catcalls / whistles were the most reported incidents (28%), followed by stalking (21%). While the most common incidents reported in Maharashtra were commenting and touching / groping, with 21% and 18% of reports respectively, it is important to note that a whopping 15% incidents of poor or no lighting were also reported, indicating that it may serve as a forerunner of other incidents.

There is also a fair amount of variation in the time when the incidents took place. In the NCR and the rest of India, most of the reports were reported during the third quarter of the day. Most of the incidents were reported at 1 PM in the afternoon. However, in Mumbai, both the third and fourth quarter of the day had the highest number of incidents reported. Most of the incidents took place at 6PM in the evening. This probably indicates that during peak working hours, women in Mumbai are in general, safer than women in NCR or any other city.

While there are quite a few patterns and differences across cities, it is important to note that it is entirely based on our latest crowdsourced data, which we refresh every month. Due to the continuous addition of new data, some of the insights may change. In order for us to be able to generate the most meaningful insights, it is absolutely important that more of such incidents are reported on a regular basis and that they do not go unrecorded. The more these incidents are reported, the more meaningful our conclusions will be. I encourage all of you to report any such incident you come across. It may serve to save someone someday.

 – Namrata Sinha 

namrata Namrata is a member of Safecity’s data analysis team. She works as a business analyst in Pune and holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from BIT Mesra. She handles the monthly dashboard updates at Safecity. She enjoys travelling and trying different cuisines. She also loves to spend her free time learning new skills.

If you have been the victim of any form of harassment, please share your story with us here. You can report anonymously within 2 minutes. You can also report the incident by sending us an email at info@safecity.in or by sending a tweet with the hashtag #SafecityIndia.

This blog was first published on YourStory

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