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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Boundaries, teacher!

Update : 25 May 2015, 01:05 PM

“I always tried sitting in a place that was far away from his reach. Unfortunately, no seat in the entire room was far enough. He would come around and try to talk to me about my studies and my family, breezily touching my hand and making small circles around it, like a hawk circling its prey. I always ended up feeling filthy and degraded afterward. Sometimes he’d ask me to stay a few minutes after class and when everyone was gone, he’d give my shoulders a little squeeze. I didn’t like it. It was invasive and personal.”

How many of you have been in this position? With the increasing rise in reported rape and molestation cases, this city is becoming more and more a victim of sexual abuse. Not a month ago, a six year old was abused by a teenager and left to die in a water tank. If an innocent child like that can be a preyed on like that, most of us can’t exactly feel safe around here – not even in schools.

There is usually a teacher we all know who’s a little too friendly. You always thought he had boundary issues, but somehow it usually happened with you more than anybody else in class. He always made sure the distance between you and him was minimal and he wore this smirk on his face you were downright terrified to even look at. Many a time he’d make you stay back after class was over to ask you all sorts of unnecessary questions or even give you a secret applaud on your performance in class.

Whatever the case is, we doubt you need to understand the symptoms. If you feel like you might be in such a situation, try to follow the next few steps to ensure maximum protection:

1. Always trust your gut. If you tell someone and he/she tells you that you’re being delusional, don’t listen to them. Your intuition has a clearer idea of what’s really going on beneath the surface. Don’t for a second think they know better.

2. Tell someone. It could be your mom, friend, sister – basically anyone you know and trust to stand up for you. If it’s possible, make your friend stay back after class with you if the teacher insists.

3. Tell someone in charge. If things get more intense and you feel like it might be time for you dive in and let it all out, go ahead. Talk to your supervisor, but make sure it’s someone you know will help you and isn’t very chummy with the teacher in question – in which case, your complaint might backfire. Plenty of girls let these things go unreported, and this is what keeps these sick-minded people going. They start thinking they can get away with being who they are and that is what makes them even worse. The next time you think you’ll drop the gun, because it wasn’t a “big deal,” think again: it will be another girl like you next time.

4. Safety first. Always plan a safe way out of your class. Tell your dad or driver – whoever comes to pick you up – that your class ends at so and so time and if you’re not down within a few minutes from then, that they should call you and find out what’s going on. If you can, carry a can of pepper spray, just in case.

Don’t think that just because it’s someone you know you’re safe from them. Keep in mind that 80% of abuses are done by people the victims are already familiar with. If it’s someone you know who might be in these circumstances, alert them as soon as you can.

Stay safe!

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