Young British Woman Blogs About 'Eve-Teasing' and Harassment in India

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Young British Woman Blogs About 'Eve-Teasing' and Harassment in India

This photo was posted by Lucy on her Instagram account


She was sitting at a bus stop in Mumbai, writes Lucy Hemmings, when a man "pulled out his penis and was masturbating, staring intently..."

This is the account of a 26-year-old British woman who first visited India three years ago and then returned for another visit. Her blog, posted on 15 March has been shared over 500 times on Facebook.

"For days afterwards, I was nervous walking anywhere on my own, I stopped making eye contact at anyone in the street and I started carrying a pocket knife. I only ate in busy restaurants, sitting near families with children and I stopped smiling at any men, even the familiar faces of men who ran the guesthouse I was staying in," she writes in the blog titled "How I was publicly masturbated at & staying safe in India".

Lucy says she is normally "besotted with India" but her experience made her question whether she was "right to defend India" in her home town while discussing the Delhi gang-rape case. "People in my local town who knew nothing more about India than what a chicken korma tastes like made scathing comments on what a filthy country it is and how wrong Indian culture is," she says, pointing out that she offers a strong counter.

She says she also asked herself, "I was playing by India's rules - why wasn't India playing back? Explaining, she says she is careful to respect and follow local traditions - "Throughout the day here in India, I cover myself completely. I usually dress in Indian clothes; a salwar kameez (a type of long tunic and loose trousers) even when it is swelteringly hot."

The 26-year old also reached out online to other travellers to India to find out if they'd been put through similar ordeals. One girl, she says, replied to say "she was repeatedly groped" during a festival in Varanasi - and learned that "this type of harassment actually has a name - Eve Teasing."

Lucy stresses that other young women reported similar experiences in over 20 countries.

She then offers tips for travellers to India including "don't travel alone at night" and "filter your eye-contact."

However, she says the most important advice she can offer is- "Don't let one person ruin your overall experience of a place". And she says, about India, there are "wonderful people and wonderful experiences."


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