Awareness of undergraduate girl students about avoidance strategies for sexual harassment

Keerthi Mohanan, Sandhya Gupta and Rajesh Sagar

Young female adults are most vulnerable to harassment and violence towards them. These strategies could be learned either from circumstances surrounding young female adults or by some organized training. A descriptive, cross sectional survey design on 200 female undergraduate students from the University of Delhi, India was undertaken using convenient sampling technique. A semi structured interview and a structured awareness questionnaire developed by researcher was used. Results: Most of the subjects feared for facing sexual harassment of self whenever they went out alone.Most of the subjects reported high level of alertness from strangers and identified dark, isolated, lonely streets as most probable place for sexual harassment. More than half of the subjects were unaware about legal provisions and two fifth of the subjects never complained to any higher authority or police official. Nearly half of the subjects had fair level of awareness about avoidance strategies for sexual harassment. Awareness was not found to be correlated to any of the variables and the type of college (women or co educational college) they attended. Implications: Youth need to be aware and avoid risk factors for safety of self and how to report the incident to prevent further harassment. Conclusion: Overall awareness about avoidance strategies for sexual harassment of undergraduate females of the University of Delhi was found to be less than satisfactory.

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