Eve teasing: What Is It And Everything To Know About It In ‘Indian Penal Code’?

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Amitabh Bachchan once said, 'NO means NO'. Many Indians seemed to make memes out of it but a minor proportion of the population understood the real meaning of it. But what exactly is 'Eve teasing' and what are the laws that are made to prevent these?

I was dressed in a white salwar kameez with a multicolour dupatta, after all, that is the national attire of girls on Holi.

Like every year, a Holi party was organised in our colony. I was on my way to my friend Saloni’s house which was just opposite to my colony. It was a bright sunny day and the road was a little busier than usual.

The sun suddenly sunk for me when a random guy on his worn-out Royal Enfield, dark lips (probably from smoking too much), a golden chain around his neck who seemed like a Gangster of a Tollywood movie cornered me in the middle of the street and asked my name. My mind was unable to process the entire incident when his lusty eyes shifted from my stomach to the fragment of cloth that covered my breasts.

Before I could shout for help, he pressed my bosoms hard and said “Bura Na Mano Holi hai “.

It’s been 6 years to this incident. Over the years I have come to realise, it’s not the clothes that you wear, not your age, not your gait, not the curves, it’s not even the gender for I have heard of boys being victims of molestation too.

So, What is EVE TEASING?

girl being eve teased
Illustration Credits: OrissaPost

An intentional act of troubling and annoying women in a public place. This includes:

1. Teasing Girl by passing comments

2. Display of indecent dirty video

3. Cheap gestures

4. Offensive watch

5. Improper behavior

6. Sly whistle

7. Suggestive song with closed lips

8. Passing by in slow-moving car blasting loud music with many eyes.

9. Improper touch

Eve teasing can also be called a form of sexual harassment. I know almost all women go through such experiences at different extremes. But does it makes it easier for anyone just because it happens with every woman?

autowalas stare at a woman passing
Supreme Court in India still has a lot to do when it comes to curd Eve teasing

Here’s everything you need to know about the provisions in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against it.

Section 294:

This penalizes annoying acts of obscenity by a man against women in a public place that includes singing songs, stating words or making gestures which are obscene in nature.

Section 354:

Punishes for instances of eve-teasing which breaks the line of verbal harassment and can be called more of molestation and physical abuse.

It is non-bailable and punishable with imprisonment for a term of 1-5 years.

Section 354 A:

Gives protection to women from Eve teasing that has underlying sexual innuendoes like a man asking for sexual favours and making sexually coloured remarks which are punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to 3 years.

Section 354 D:

Applies to acts of eve-teasing which take on the form of pursuing and stalking a woman against her wishes, which shall be liable to imprisonment for three years.

Section 509:

Punishes all acts of eve-teasing which are intended at outraging and insulting the modesty of a woman, the person is liable to punishment with imprisonment for a period up to three years.

men eve teasing and staring 2 girls in a park
Girl ends her life over eve teasing in Bengaluru
(Read the full featured story in Deccan Chronicle)

Most of the women live with the trauma of such experiences all their lives, knowingly or unknowingly because every time she goes to her brother/ husband/ boyfriend /friend; they say, “It happens to everyone. Calm down and forget it.”

When any female decides to share such traumatic experience with you, be there and listen to her whatever she has to say. Don’t say that you understand because you never know what she has gone through.

Instead of saying, ‘I understand’, say, ‘I hear you. You’re brave to let this pain out. You are safe here. You can be yourself in my company.’

All she wants is, to be heard.

You put her on shame when you advise her to forget about it. Be kind to them.

Help them heal

Be sensitive.

Be gentle.

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Pravati Mishra
Pravati Mishra
2 years ago

This toxic behavior of Eve teasing is mostly promoted through Bollywood movies and songs… Although I don’t blame them for anything but the people are basically stupid to believe in those stuffs

Pratikshya Nayak
Pratikshya Nayak
2 years ago

Finding people who will allow you to talk openly about your sexual assault triggers & emotions without giving a judgement is the utmost relief for a surviour . As I have felt this. I really appreciate your thoughts on this, kudos to you ankita and the whole team for bringing out such topics which shouldn’t be normalised or get normalised.Keep it up guys✨❤️

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