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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Case #5

One Thursday morning, I had to go to a travel agency located at La Rue John Kennedy in Port-Louis. I felt it would be safer for me to park my car at Le Caudan Waterfront and to walk down through the “underground” so as to get to La Rue John Kennedy. It was around 11:30 a.m.

I nearly reached the entrance of the “underground” when I noticed a man, aged about 30 who was looking intensely at me. He was wearing some formal pants and a long sleeve shirt. I glanced and continued my way down the “underground” which was very crowded. That same man passed me by and turned back to look me in the eyes. I acted like I didn’t notice and looked the other side and eventually looked down. But then, I couldn’t keep looking down for too long since I would be getting in the way of all other people passing by. I looked up again and noticed the man still walking in front of me and looking back to me several times. I still acted like I didn’t notice him. I reached a security officer and thought for a few seconds about what I should do. I looked up and didn’t see the man anymore. I figured he would have gotten out of the “underground” and continued his way. I felt safer after waiting for a few minutes before leaving the “underground”.

I finally got out of the “underground”… He was right there, at the corner. I anyway continued my way towards the entrance of the building in which the travel agency was situated. I got in and didn’t directly go to the travel agency. Instead I went to the lifts. The man had entered the same building I was in. this time, it was all clear. He was following me! I stood in front of the lifts for five minutes still thinking that I was wrong and that this man was just going his own way and had nothing to do with me.

He didn't get in the lift neither. He came closer to me while I moved towards the entrance of some other office (there are several offices in that building). He finally came and spoke to me asking me if I was waiting for someone. I somehow got the strength to confront him, though I was dead scared of what he could do to me. I asked him why he has been following me. He replied that he wants to talk to me about so many things happening in his life! Freak! Luckily I had noticed another security officer and told him that if he didn’t leave me alone, I would either call the security officer or go to the police station nearby. He had the nerve to ask me why I was reacting this way! I then took some steps towards the security officer and he realized I was seriously going to take some actions against him… and he left.

I spoke to the security officer and told him what happened. He went after the man who had been following me but the freak was gone already. I broke down and started to cry bitterly at that moment. I had been so terrified! I managed to call my father who luckily was around the city at that same time. I was just unable to do whatever I had to do at the travel agency.

From that day onwards, I never walk long distances alone and whenever I have something to do, I manage to park my car somewhere very close to the place I’m going to. I really do not feel safe at all walking the streets even during the day time and even while having many people around.

-Chris, Female, 26 years, Social Worker.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Case #4

Street harassment is nowadays something normal for teenagers and women as a whole. For someone living in a town, this kind of harassment is something which she has to face nearly everyday while going out of her house.

Hi, am a girl of 18 years old and since the age of 13 or so, I have been facing street harassment. At the very start I thought that it was because of the style of clothes I’m used to wear, and I was used to hold myself responsible for their act, but realised shortly after that this actually doesn’t matter for them... Even if am wearing jeans and pullovers, vulgar comments from those “unsocialised” people would not stop. And these "pssst", staring and honking would take place whether or not I am in a group of friends or with my brother or even my mother... Luckily I don't have these harassments in front of my father...

Two or three years back, I was at the bus station at Saint-Pierre, waiting for a bus to go home. There was a short man there, aged around 40 to 50, with dirty clothes staring at me. I didn’t really bother, because am used to it.... But then, shortly after, when the bus came and I took a seat, the man walked in the bus and sat just behind of me. I was of course irritated. And I didn’t know what to do, but I preferred not to make a show out of it. So I made as if everything was normal. Some minutes later, the man started to put his hand on my seat (as for him it is the front of his seat). Without saying a word, I changed seat and came two rows forward. To my great surprise, the man then took one seat in front of me in the opposite site. And then looked behind, staring at me, with a sarcastic smile and with a sadist look. I thus preferred to look through the windows, hoping that he would stop his stupid acts. But, this wasn’t enough for him. When he saw that I was not bothering about him as such, he came once more in the seat behind me. I was disgusted. I wanted to call the "controller", but then, I realised that it’s a public bus; he can sit where he wants to, and I could never be able to prove that he is harassing me. Then, I wanted to get down in the coming bus stop. But I realised that he can get down as well as and the bus stops around were not even crowded. And the places around were desert. So, I stayed there... even if I would change place, he would change his seat as well... so there's no point in doing that. He started then to play with my hair. At that point, I was really angry. I turned around and to my great surprise! He was smiling at me!!! As if he knows me since years!!! And I’m a great friend of his! I took a deep breath a look in front of me... we are now in Quatre-Bornes luckily and I’ll be getting down in some minutes. I was relieved. The bus was now getting full and the man stopped with his stupid acts. My fear then was that he could follow me when I would get down. When the bus stop where I should get down came, I rush to the door, and there was already a crowd in front of the door (those who had to get in the bus). When I got down, I stayed in the crowd for a while and saw the man coming down. He walked a little further and looked around. I could see him but luckily, he couldn’t. Then he started going to the opposite way of where I should be going. I was relieved and crossed the road and went home.... but continued to look behind me in case he would have spotted me and would be following me. He wasn’t there- thanks god.

Just like this experience, I have been facing many more harassment, but this is the one which lasted the longest.

-S.K from Q-bornes

Friday, May 8, 2009

Case #3

I was walking on the road from my house to the bustop. I was wearing casual jeans n a shirt. A car slowed down by my side...they started honing n making unpleasant comments "ppsss" ,, "fer gne to num".. People from the other side of the road were watching,,but no one did anything...I felt totally humiliated, weak n helpless.
-Anonymous, age 18

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Case #2

Mo ti p marC lor simé dan Rose - Hill pou ale bureau amnesty kan 2-3 massons fine comence sanT: "Mone envi touce toi partou girl". Mone mari gagne per,.....zot ti p guet moi ène façon ki mari bizarre, ek chemin la ti vide,...

Angel Age 19

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Case #1

I was walking on the street when some construction workers said 'bonjour mamzel.' They saw that I had a child with me, still one of them said that he would want to make his future with me. I ignored it and made as if I had not heard anything. This was a most preferable option as I was alone with my child and they were in a group.
-Age 28, from Rose Hill