While news of harassment is not uncommon, finding a way out definitely is. If a woman receives incessant harassing and threatening calls/texts from a stranger, she is only left with the option of turning a deaf ear to it or changing her number. In many cases, it has led to consequences like depression, suicide and victim shaming.
Bhumika Desai Shah shared a story on Quora recently about how a single tweet to Smriti Irani and Narendra Modi helped her save 50 women from the harassment of a psychopath.
Bhumika, a professor at Surat, saw one of her colleagues receive abusive and disturbing SMSs from a stranger. A single mother, the woman received as many as 20 messages a day with threats and sexual abuses. The experience was so disturbing that she had no choice but to block his number.
However, the messages kept on growing each day as they got stored in the spam folder. The accused man went to the extent of threatening her with sending morphed pictures to her college. As a natural reaction, Bhumika urged her friend to get in touch with the local police. Initially apprehensive, the woman finally gave in, with much persuasion from Bhumika – even though all her friends and family were completely against it.
As it turned out, the police was of little help and much more of a harassment. They questioned her character while humiliating her for the entire episode.
In spite of concrete proof in the form of abusive text messages, sender’s location from Truecaller and history of this number being blocked by more than 70 people, the police refused to register a complaint.
The situation worsened when the intensity of text messages increased as the man started sending threats to harm her friend’s daughter.
Feeling pangs of guilt and disappointment due to the lack of action from the police’s side, Bhumika took to Twitter as her last resort. Shooting a tweet to Smriti Irani and Narendra Modi, Bhumika asked for help.
While we hardly expect a tweet in millions to get a response, it so happened that Smriti Irani and CM Anandi Patel immediately asked for further details to take consequential action against the accused.
In a matter of just 2 hours, the man was arrested.
On meeting him, Bhumika got to know how severely he had threatened 50 more women.
He used to take out phone numbers from college websites and target them. He had caused a school girl to go in depression, a 21-year-old government teacher to get a divorce and a majority of them to ditch mobile phones and social media platforms.
The case will be soon heard in the court while the CM has applauded Bhumika for her bravery by meeting her.
It’s a pity how a number of similar cases happen every day and go unreported. Be it for the sake of their social media image, at least Twitter is forcing power to take prompt actions. You can read the entire story here