On average, nearly 13 women and girls are raped in Bangladesh every day. There is a widespread culture of impunity in this country since justice is delivered in only around 4% of cases. It's important to focus on raising better men so that they don't turn out to be predators. However, this is a lengthy process, and meanwhile, we must develop a better understanding of self-defence and awareness since every tool is worth having if it can protect you from gender-based violence.
How to train to defend yourself?
Among many martial art training programs in Bangladesh, a particular few have proven to be useful. Krav Maga is perhaps the most effective and well-known self-defence system in the world, which provides the apt skills to fight against the perpetrators. If you want to take up the activity, Tactical Krav Maga Bangladesh, in Bashundhara R/A, might be the institution for you. They have started their training program for adolescents as well, called "Krav Junior". Other contact fighting and self-defence techniques such as Kyokushin karate and Judo can help improve not only your self-defence skills but also your reflexes and coordination.
Which accessories should you carry for your safety?
Pepper spray is a popular choice since it is portable and has an immediate impact on the attacker. As far as inconvenience goes, carrying flashlights or emergency alarms may seem like a hassle but they can save you from getting assaulted. The last thing a perpetrator wants is to draw attention towards themselves from people around.
Which hotlines you should contact when you feel threatened?
Always remember to carry your phone with you. Whenever you feel like you're being followed or threatened by anyone, take your phone out and dial 999. This is a toll-free national emergency helpline open round the clock. It's better to be safe and let the emergency call-taker help you in case of emergency assistance. Another helpline which is specifically catered to women and children's needs is the toll-free number, 109. Both these numbers provide immediate assistance for tackling any sort of threat.
How to travel safely on a bus?
Almost 84% of women in Bangladesh have experienced staring, deliberate touching, groping and sexual comments while travelling in public buses. To cater to the needs of the capital's female commuters, a female-only bus service called Dolonchapa has been launched in 2018. It is specially designed to protect women from sexual harassment with the interior covered by CCTV. They currently have 4 buses running in different routes in Dhaka.
How to use ride-sharing apps while ensuring your safety
Most of us opt for ride-sharing services to escape all the struggle and harassment in public transportation. Uber, Pathao and other services are trying their level best to ensure passenger safety. These apps have in-app trip sharing features that allow you to share live updates of your trip with your trusted friends and family. Remember to verify the driver and the license plate of the car to what is listed in the app.