Amid nationwide outrage over the rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad, the Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat has issued an advisory for women to stay safe.
The advisory issued the by the police, like always, puts the onus on the woman to keep herself safe, rather than the administration taking responsibility for making the streets safer for women. It also steers clear of society as a collective taking responsibility to teach men to respect women and their bodies and not to defile and violate women.
The News Minute reported the statement as reading, “Get to know about the route while going to an unfamiliar place. Always wait in crowded areas and in illuminated areas and not in isolated areas. Never hesitate in calling a police patrol car or patrol bike for help. They are for your safety and security.”
The police also asked the women to share their location with family and friends and even share the number plates of autos and taxis with loved ones.
The police, it seems, want women to save themselves from rape, rather than asking men not to rape women.
The advice from the police is something perhaps all women who move around the city alone.
While there were many conversations after the brutal 2012 Delhi gang-rape case about holding men responsible and accountable for how they behave, those in power and responsible for women’s safety seem to have forgotten all of that.
Women took to Twitter to express their anger and outrage, even as the police seemed to wash their hands off of ensuring the streets were safe for women to walk on without informing their entire family about where they are going.
Here’s what women said on Twitter:
Women pointed out that even if they locked themselves up at home, they were not safe.
Writer Anna MM Vetticad pointed out that women take these precautions anyway.