Wednesday Feb 21, 2024
Wednesday Feb 21, 2024

Are Women really safe in Nepal?

2022 Aug 24, 6:53,
Representative Image (Photo: Pinterest)

According to crime data against women for the fiscal year 2077/78, in Nepal, rape attempts in Province 1 are 167, Madhes 115, Bagmati 88, Gandaki 56, Lumbini 134, Karnali 46, and Sudurpaschim 89. This leads to a question if ‘Women in Nepal are really safe’. With that, NepalNews spoke with a couple of the ladies if they had encountered sexual harassment for the "Women Wednesday" feature and reported their tales behind pseudonyms.

Representative Image (Photo: Pinterest)
Representative Image (Photo: Pinterest)

Zeena Thapa, 28

When I was about 4-5 years old, my uncle moved in with us. I recall him taking me to his room and locking the door behind me. That incident is like a blurred memory in my head but I do remember us lying on the bed and him trying to open my dress. It was not rape, but the assault was as bad as rape for me. However, sexual harassment did not stop then as it was just the beginning of facing the real world.

When I turned 15 years old, I went to my aunt’s house for a sleepover. I went to my sister’s room to sleep and saw my cousin on the same bed as her. I had to sleep in between my sister and brother since there was no space. My sister was already asleep, and I felt really awkward but yet I wrapped myself in the blanket and tried to sleep.

After a while, I could feel my cousin brother pulling the blanket and then my hand. I tried to push him away and set myself free but his hands were all over me. I finally managed to push him away and stood up. He then grabbed my hand and pulled me again, but I somehow managed to free my hand and ran to the washroom.

After going to the washroom, I began to cry. However, I mustered up some courage to go back to the room and wake my sister up to tell her everything. When I returned to the room, my brother had already gone to another room.

The next morning, I told my cousin sister what her brother did last night, but she refused to believe it. She even told me how I might have taken it the wrong way and her brother was only joking around. And the irony to the situation is he is someone I still put Rakhi and Bhai Tika on and have to see at every family function.

The harsh reality of our society is when a woman speaks up or raises her voice against harassment no one actually believes her. And it is not necessary to be afraid of unknown people but of the people, you have known for a long time or are related by blood.

Representative Image (Photo: Pinterest)
Representative Image (Photo: Pinterest)

Smriti KC, 23

When I started going to college, I was very happy to find out that a childhood friend of mine had also joined there. We used to hang out a lot after classes with our new friends. One day, all of us decided to go drinking. Unfortunately, I got drunk after a few drinks and was having a hard time. As I come from a strict family, I would get into a lot of trouble if I went home in that state. My childhood friend lived close by, so he offered to let me rest at his place till I sobered up. Since it was just 4 pm and I trusted him, I agreed.

When we reached his place, I laid down for some time and ended up falling asleep. When I woke up, I realised that he was snuggled up next to me trying to kiss and undress me. I was still very intoxicated but told him that I did not want to get physical. He kept insisting and said I would not find anyone more ‘special’ to lose my virginity. Even then I was adamant that I was not interested he kept on pushing to have sexual relationship. The next day, he bought me an emergency contraceptive and pretended as if nothing had happened.

A few weeks later, I got a notification that he was going live on Instagram. When he saw me join in, he immediately started talking about a person he had recently had sex with. Though he did not take my name, he mentioned details that directly pointed at me. I was horrified and instantly stopped watching when he said “I don’t care about her like I did before”.

Since consent was a new concept for me, it hadn’t registered in my brain that “no means no” despite the circumstances. I only realised what had happened to me when I heard what he said on the live. I did not tell anyone about my case for a long time because I was afraid of being shamed and feared being blamed for what he did to me since I was drunk. I saw how easily victims were blamed by the public. I was able to talk about it to my close friends after months but still lack the courage to talk about it publicly.

My mental health has deteriorated a lot since the incident. Apart from having anxiety attacks and depressive episodes, I also struggle to become intimate with my current partner.

So many women around the world face sexual harassment or are raped by someone (whether a stranger or someone they have known and trusted for a while) and they feel like it is their fault something like that happened to them. Not only are they affected physically but mentally as well.

So if you're looking for a safe space to share your experiences and to reach out to those women who are too afraid to speak up, feel free to DM us on our official Instagram or leave a text on our Facebook page. Your stories matter to us!


Women fiscal year rape attempts sexual harassment Women Wednesday assault pseudonyms mustered up grabbed Wrapped rape anxiety attacks Instagram Intoxicated
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