Actor Nivetha Pethuraj has revealed that she faced sexual harassment as a child while calling for a better community participation in checking the threats to the safety of children and women. “I’m sure many men and women watching this video would have been victims of sexual harassment, including me,” she said in the video that she posted on her social media handles.
Nivetha also appealed to the parents not to hesitate to talk to their children about ‘good touch and bad touch’. “At the age of 5, how do I go and tell my parents what happened? How can I explain it to them? At that age, I didn’t even know what it really meant,” she said.
The Oru Naal Koothu actor noted that majority of perpetrators in the cases of child sexual abuse are known to the survivors and their families. “Not strangers, usually the relatives, friends and neighbours commit such crimes. I’m requesting parents to be more responsible. I know it will be very very uncomfortable. But, please sit with your kids and talk to them from the age of 2. Explain your kids difference between good touch and bad touch,” she said.
“We don’t know what happens to them at school or at neighbours’ house or at tuition. So please start talking to them from the very young age,” she added underlining the imperative need to teach the children about the boundaries that will prevent them from becoming a victim.
She also sought the community participation to ensure the safety of women in every street. “I request men to form a group of 8 to 10 people and take turns in keeping a vigil on your streets from morning to night. If you do that, you can easily spot something shady in your streets and you can question it.”
“Please do it for us (women),” she said.
She also asked men to take pro-active steps for the protection of women in their streets. “We cannot completely depend on the police force. Yes, they do help us. But, we have to believe in ourselves and people around us as well to secure our safety. It is because I’m always wary of everyone when I go out. We can avoid this thing, It is wrong,” she said.