An ex-employee of the popular YouTube channel, The Viral Fever, recently spoke about being at the receiving end of CEO Arunabh Kumar's lecherous advances in her blog. The world and the workplace are getting tougher and tougher for women. The story is all too familiar: Woman alleges sexual harassment; Instead of probing into the matter and objectively approaching the case, people decide to fling mud on the woman and cast aspersions on her character. Read: Sexual harassment at workplace- know your rights.
Although at least three women who have also been abused by Kumar have attested to what she is alleging, TVF stars like Nidhi Bisht, Biswapati Sarkar and Amit Golani have come out all guns blazing against her baseless incriminations.
Read Reema Sengupta's Facebook post on the matter.
This sort of victim shaming is exactly what keeps women from calling out their assaulters. But sometimes, it s just your word against theirs. That doesn t leave you with a solid ground to pursue the case, and the burden of proof is always on the accuser. In such cases, you need to act smartly. Here are four important points women could keep in mind to build a water-tight case against their perpetrator. Also read: How subtle sexism affects women's self-esteem at work and How women face sexual harassment silently.
Don t let anger get the best of you When it happens for the first time, most women are caught off guard and may not have the presence of mind to gather proof. As awful as it may sound, making allegations at this stage will make you seem like the boy who cried wolf. Your anger is completely justified. But don t shoot yourself in the foot by doing something impulsively like vandalising their property; that will make you look like the irrational one. Remember, your credibility is your currency. Don t do anything to deprecate it. Stay calm and lay a trap for the big bad wolf.
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Document evidence Most of us commit the grave error of deleting the person s messages and blocking him or her on social networking sites. The perpetrator's emails, texts, notes and cards will all help you in building a solid case against the person. Save the evidence on multiple devices in case your phone or computer crashes. Be careful with hard copies as it can be destroyed or even stolen. Convert them into soft files and save it on your system.
Reach out to others like you Is there anyone else in the office who has been in a similar situation with the same perpetrator? Reach out to them. Urge them to come forward with it. The more people you have on your side, the more credible you will seem. If they are not comfortable with the idea of being in the spotlight, give them the support and confidence they need. Remind them that by sweeping the problem under the carpet, they are giving confidence to the perpetrator to carry out his or her deeds without the fear of consequences.
Use gadgets to your advantage Seasoned perpetrators know very well how risky it could be to keep text evidence of their escapades. So they approach you when you are alone. On the sly, leave your video or sound recorder on when the person comes to talk to you at your desk or calls you to his cabin. Invest in a pen camera and keep it on your person to gather video graphic evidence.
Get witnesses If the incident took place in front of a few others, reach out for their support. There may be a good chance that they may refuse. In such cases, appeal to their righteous side by reminding them of their ethics. Do your best to convince them.
Confide in a credible person If you have a reliable person on your side, your case will get stronger. It could be a colleague or a superior, report every single instance of harassment to the person, as and when it happens. That way, they will have a log of all the complaints and it won t seem like you have made it up overnight over some personal grudge you have with the perpetrator.
Get legal support If the perp is a seasoned harasser, he or she may be a pro at getting away with it. Seek some legal counsel from someone who is specialised in dealing with workplace harassments and lay them perfect trap that they'd never forget. Do you face similar problems at work? How do corporates function while dealing with sexual harassments?Watch as we discuss this problem in depth with India.com's HR Head.
Do you face similar problems at work? How do corporates function while dealing with sexual harassments?Watch as we discuss this problem in depth with India.com's HR Head.