A Not So Safe Haven
NLS is not as dreamy as you thought it would be. This is something that I’ve heard from quite a few seniors. Never thought that this also means that the college is also quite unsafe for every human being.
I wish that this article remains anonymous not because I am scared to reveal my identity but because I know that this article is not only my voice but the voice of many others who are currently quite shaken with each bomb that drops on the SBA noticeboard. Every 15 minutes Facebook sends me a notification “XYZ has posted on the SBA Noticeboard” and my heart stops for that moment, hoping that it is not another post on harassment (no point hoping anymore, I guess).
I am a first year and I am currently quite terrified of Law School. Not because I think that there aren’t enough people to listen to me or that people won’t be supportive if I am ever harassed but simply because I do not want to be harassed. Around 13 or 14 years ago, a neighbour shoved his tongue into my mouth and forced me to make-out. A clueless child that I was did not know that I had actually been sexually harassed and suppressed the entire incident. But it haunts me to this day. I do not want another harassment. I do not want to be denied the right to my body. I want my no to be heard.
We celebrated as a community when the 377 judgement came out. We celebrated because a person’s right to decide who they want to have love and have sex with was recognised. Should we now wear black and mourn when so many people of the law school community have been denied the right to decide what happens with their body?
We were warned about dangers outside Law School. We were told to avoid places like Roti Park and Bangalore University. We were told to go out in groups after 6pm because the possibility of harm was quite real. And it was easy for me to believe these statements and I would actually be careful when I stepped out of NLS gates. But it was today (08/10/2018), after twelve harassment related posts (and counting) that I realised that Law School itself is not as safe as it seems. That the possibility of assault inside our campus that is oh so vocal about personal liberty and rights is actually as high as the possibility is in our beloved Nags. I am cohabitating with harassers (some who admit their fault and some who justify their actions and some who are ignorant of their tag) and will continue to share that space for at least the rest of this year and that could go on for another five years.
It is a plea (yes, I am pleading for behaviour that is supposed to be normal and that is expected from each one of us) to every future harasser (could be anyone) that think twice, thrice, n number of times before you proceed to do anything to another person without their consent. And if you still think it’s okay, then think for the n+1th time and I hope at least then your super smart brain that got you into Law School works and makes you realise that what you’re doing is not fucking okay. Think till you arrive at the answer “NO=NO”. Please let Law School remain the safe space that it claims to be.
-A Lawschoolite pleading other Lawschoolites.