Foreign women in India feel safe even after spate in sexual crimes

March 20, 2013 | By More

New Delhi: March 20, AP – Louis, a French national, pursuing her undergraduate degree from St Stephen’s College, says sexual abuses are a global phenomenon and women are vulnerable in every society.

With renewed attention on crimes against women in India, foreign nationals living in or visiting the country feel sexual abuse is a global phenomenon.

“I don’t feel unsafe here even after the gang-rape incident of a Swiss lady. if that was the case, I would have never chosen India as home,” Flora Saints Sans, a German national living in Delhi, said.

She said foreigners living in India should get used to being stared at – by men as well as women.

“Thankfully, I have never been stalked,” said Sans, who runs an intercultural exchange programme.

“There is something wrong in almost every society,” Louis, who gave only her first name, said.

Looking back at her two-year stay in India, she said the way people perceived a blonde or a white woman here was not good.

“There have been times when some people have tried to touch me or get too close,” she said.

For a first-time visitor to India, Jessica Toroda, a Briton who came with friends, never felt unsafe from the moment she landed.

“My first trip was to Kerala; then I travelled to Goa and Jaipur and now reached Delhi. There hasn’t been any major incident and I do not feel insecure or intimidated,” she said.

“People do stare here, but I think they are just curious. They ask a lot many questions but I feel they are just too inquisitive and not offensive,” Toroda’s friend Sarah Lagaraff said.

“We are often told to take extra precautions while visiting places like India,” Lagaraff, a Briton, said.

Janet Philip from Australia said when she was coming to India, her friends listed out many do’s and dont’s.

“As soon as I told I’m going to India and visiting Delhi, my colleagues and friends told me not to venture out alone. They also asked me not to be too adventurous. But so far it has been good,” Philip said.

Sophie Methurst from Britain, on her third trip to India, said: “I never had any experience here that involved anyone trying to feel me or passing any lewd comments or making vulgar gestures.”

“There are some places where you have to be extra cautious. I have been in Delhi for nine months and I’m always cautious,” she said.

“This (crime against women) is not true to India alone. Any big country will have

Associated press journalist for Human Rights Observers – reports from the region.

Category: Women Rights

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