Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday urged schools not to hesitate to act on complaints of sexual harassment received from women and children. And he urged parents not to decide against going public with complaints.
In his televised message on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, he encouraged women and children to come forward and file complaints in case of sexual harassment. Mr. Stalin said he was in agony over the recent incidents of harassment of women and children, some of whom had ended their lives. While women and children were sexually harassed at public places, “only a few incidents come to light and others are being hidden”.
Pointing to the laws available to deal with such cases, Mr. Stalin said, “I assure [you] that these persons [offenders] will be brought to justice under these laws.” Children could lodge complaints with school teachers and headmasters, parents and the school management. “Those in the administration should not hesitate to act on complaints, presuming that doing so would bring disrepute to their schools.”
The Chief Minister said that dealing with offences against women and children was more important for his Government than all other issues, and his Government had been taking immediate action on complaints of sexual harassment. “This Government would not hesitate to bring offenders to book, irrespective of their status.” Any affected child should at once call Childline at 1098. “I have ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Women Empowerment to protect the identity [of callers] and take immediate action.” Mr. Stalin said schools and colleges should ensure the safety of girl students. Parents should talk to their children and not lead isolated lives within their households. “We have the responsibility to ensure your protection. Not only as a Chief Minister but also as a father, I have the responsibility to protect you all. I plead with you all not to end your lives,” he said.
( Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050 )