My safety hatch – Femina

The Delhi gang-rape in December 2012, and others reported since, have spurred protests, effected speedy trials, and triggered a change in rape laws. But it has also engendered an ever-present fear. Femina spoke to four women who have since gotten proactive about their safety, by carrying a weapon, taking self-defence lessons, downloading a safety app and even cutting down on late nights.

“I have been staying away from my parents for nine years now. And even though Baroda is a relatively safe city, my parents do worry about my safety, especially when I have a late night at work. Last year, while I was working on a short fi lm on women’s safety, I had to stay back for practice every other day and would get back home very late at night. That is when I started fearing for my safety, as every other day I would notice someone following me or staring at me as I hurried back home. I felt it necessary to arm myself. It had to be something that would be easy to use in case of an emergency. I thought about carrying a gun or a knife, but decided that pepper spray was far easier to carry and use. It causes temporary damage and provides you with crucial time to act. I am aware of the fact that carrying pepper spray does not necessarily guarantee my safety. But the thought that I am armed makes me feel stronger.”