In Focus 5th April, 2016

Research to identify sexual harassment.

Breakthrough has introduced a new research that makes two simple assumptions:
1. Sexual harassment is present online and offline.
2. Sexual harassment is very common in educational institutions.

So why is this an important issue to research?

Firstly, this research would help map the different ways in which sexual harassment is understood on campus, the conversations around it and especially how it spills over and pans out across online spaces. An unfortunate occurrence in India, is that sexual harassment is still a confusing concept. There is rampant misinformation and a blurring of lines between what constitutes “serious” sexual harassment and other things like “eve-teasing” and “mischief.” The main aim here is to research how sexual harassment is understood across various “serious” and “non-serious” stands. Furthermore, we aim to make a distinction between sexual harassment and other forms of intimidation found online and offline like bullying, ragging etc.

The target group for this study are girls and boys in India between the ages of 13-23 years. Given the wide age-range, the dataset will be subdivided into 2 groups: 13-15 years; 16-23 years. The survey has an adaptive design that will ask questions depending on the age of the participant.

The task of talking about sexual harassment is a big one. Given the kind of conversations that happen around this issue today (unfortunately- limited to victim blaming and the god ol’ “she was probably asking for it”.),it is important to help understand the scale of the problem through research. While designing the research, we kept in mind that no space (online or offline) is neutral and that they are inherently gendered. Our goal is to look at physical and online spaces in tandem to understand the issue and current perception of sexual harassment. This will help us think about ways in which we can come together to co-create safe spaces in both the realms.

What can you do to help?

1. Engage with us online.
Find us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

2. Share the survey and encourage others to participate.
Here is a link to the survey:

3. Encourage conversations around sexual harassment online and offline.

Know another way you can help? Contact us:

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