I went out with my girlfriends to party on the crowded streets of a metropolitan city, they came out in large numbers and molested us. But my safety is my responsibility.
The next time I went to a discotheque, it was enclosed and had bouncers, they came into the place, beat us up and ripped our clothes off. But my safety is my responsibility.
I went to watch a movie with a male friend for company, they pushed me into a bus and shoved an iron rod inside my privates. But my safety is my responsibility.
I went for a job trying to earn a living, they stopped my cab in the middle of the road and took turns in raping me. But my safety is my responsibility.
I went to my college, fully clad in a "decent" salwaar kameez, they caught me around a corner and squeezed my buttocks. But my safety is my responsibility.
I decided to stay at home in the comfort of my own house, but they broke down the door, tied me up and videotaped the things they made me do with them. But my safety is my responsibility.
I went back to live with my family feeling safe and secure with them. They were my uncles, but they didn't think of me as their niece when they made me take off my clothes and have their way with me. But my safety is my responsibility.
These days I sit in the bathroom, locked tight, not coming out at all. They stand on the terrace opposite to it, peeking in through the bathroom window, but I don't take a bath, because my safety is my responsibility.
Now, they have me exactly where they have always wanted me, my spirit broken, my ability to fight back gone, my will to do something destroyed. At their mercy, still stuck in the bathroom, dreading the time when the knocking starts on the door as they come to get me here too.
I am that Indian woman who can excel at sports, win medals for the country, join the army, become a CEO, go to the outer space and be the talk of the world, only if I can come out of this bathroom. But my safety is my responsibility, so I cannot.
PS: Girls wearing short clothes, drinking and partying are copying Western culture, then are boys molesting them copying Indian culture?
First published here, republished with permission.