“People have the right to relax, go to nightclubs after a hard day's work”

 Urging women to stand up for their rights even in adverse situations, a woman, who was allegedly raped in a moving car in the heart of the city last month, said here on the occasion of the International Women's Day on Thursday that society needed to show more respect to her gender.  “Stand up for your rights. Do not give up. Believe in yourself and keep fighting,” she said, when asked what message she had for women on the day.

 The 37-year-old woman not just suffered the indignities inflicted on her by her assailants at gun-point in the early hours of February 6, but was also allegedly jeered and ridiculed by policemen on duty when she went to lodge a complaint at the Park Street thana two days later.

 The incident created a huge public outrage and raised the wider question of security of women in the city.

 Nearly a month after, she said that living through the ordeal has turned her into a stronger individual.

“I was a strong person from my school days. But since the incident have emerged a stronger person…I have learnt that life offers many challenges that one has to deal with,” she told T he Hindu .

 A mother of two children, the victim identified three men arrested in the case at a test-identification (TI) parade only the day before. She said “it is very sad” that there are people who misbehave with women, thinking they can get away with it.

 But she expressed the hope that at some point they are going to realise their deeds and mend their ways. “For after all, they too have mothers and sisters in their family.”  On the recent directive of the State government to close night clubs by midnight, the victim said she disagreed with the order.

“People have the right to relax, go to night clubs after a hard day's work…This freedom cannot be taken away for fear of a bunch of psychopaths on the loose.”  The answer lies not in the closing of night clubs early but in the authorities and the government ensuring that those visiting them feel safe, she said.

 The woman, who claimed that she had fought her “battle” all by herself, rues the fact that women are still looked down upon in certain areas of the public domain even though they have proved themselves in all spheres.

  “What a woman needs is respect and the freedom to live a life with dignity” she said.