mid day editorial: Women, go on, file that police complaint, too!

Updated: 18 December, 2018 10:42 IST | mid-day online desk | Mumbai

Women who have been harassed by perverts are using Twitter to voice their complaints and tag the Mumbai police

The Mumbai police force is at its wits' end as more people take to social media to air their tales of harassment, but stop at naming and shaming their tormentor, rather than going to the police to file a formal complaint.

Women who have been harassed by perverts are using Twitter to voice their complaints and tag the Mumbai police. While the police are proactive on Twitter, if we really want the culprit to pay, the only way forward is to file a police complaint. Otherwise, the cops cannot help.

A report in this paper cited how in the last two months, cops received 20-odd complaints on their Twitter handle @MumbaiPolice, but only six survivors went on to lodge a case after much persuasion.

The report included the example of a fashion stylist who had tagged Mumbai Police on Twitter, complaining that her Uber driver was masturbating in the car. The cops responded swiftly but now are waiting for her to file a complaint. Today, we have fortunately gone a step ahead when it comes to sexual harassment cases. Women are speaking out, it is now the accused who is shamed, and not the one who has been harassed or assaulted.

The entire narrative is being changed. Our lingo - where the victim is now called survivor - is a reflection of that. Let us now go that one mile ahead, and take cases to their logical conclusion by filing a police complaint, to ensure legal action against the perpetrator.

While social media gives you some power and credibility, finality only comes after a complaint is filed. The reluctance to file complaints is also a sad commentary on the rigmarole and red tape that complainants associate with the system. Here, if there is a way to make things simpler, the police must do so.

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First Published: 18 December, 2018 09:00 IST



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