Sexual harassment can happen to you in several ways. When someone is following you on the streets or in any public space, peeping into your bedroom, making sexual gestures at you while you are at work or in the classroom, or singing lewd songs when you are traveling in the bus – all of this is sexual harassment. The law only recognizes sexual harassment of women.
If you have been or you know someone who has been sexually abused then you can either report it yourself or a friend/relative can do it for you. There are multiple ways to reach out to an authority that will help, so please use any way that suits you the most.
You can file a complaint of sexual harassment irrespective of the place where it has happened to you. According to what outcome you want, you can choose one or more remedies to deal with the situation of sexual harassment:
You want your harasser to be arrested
You can go to the police and file an FIR after which the Police will investigate and send the case to the Court. The Court will then decide whether the person is guilty or not. If the person is found to be guilty, they will be fined and punished with jail time.
You want your harasser to be kept away from you
- At your workplace
If you are facing any sexual harassment at work 1 and you want to stop the sexual harassment through employer action (for example dismissal of the harasser) then you can file a complaint with the Internal Complaints Committee, which is a complaint mechanism available at all offices. You have the option of going to the police as well.
- Not at your Workplace
If you are facing any sexual harassment and you want your harasser to stop harassing you, you can complain to the police. You can also complain to the National Commission for Women and Children who will prevent the harasser from contacting you. If the harassment is taking place online, then you can report or block him so that you can prevent him from contacting you.
When a child has been harassed
If you know a child (below the age of 18)2 who has been sexually harassed by either a man or a woman, you should then report the crime on behalf of the child. It is illegal to not report the crime and you can face criminal consequences for knowing about the crime and not reporting it.0
- The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
- Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,2012