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Nivetha Pethuraj urges men to create safe spaces for women

The actress, through a video posted on social media, has urged men to form groups to monitor activities in their areas to ensure safe spaces for women.

Manigandan KR

Actress Nivetha Pethuraj, who has acted in films like Oru Naal Koothu (2016) and Pdhuvaga Emmanasu Thangam (2017), has urged men to form groups to monitor activities in their areas to ensure safe spaces for women.

The actress, who has two films in the pipeline — Venkat Prabhu's Party and Jayam Ravi's Tik Tik Tik — made the appeal through a video that has now begun doing the rounds on social media.

Her appeal comes at a time when the entire nation is outraged over the Unnao and Kathua rape cases.

In the video, Nivetha, speaking predominantly in Tamil, said: "There are a lot of problems that are going on in our country. We may not be able to control or contain a lot of these problems. Some problems, however, can be resolved. One such problem that can be resolved is women's safety.

"Why I am posting this video is because I am pretty sure many of those watching this video, would have been harrassed as a child. This includes me. As a five-year-old child, what would I go tell my parents? How would I go and tell it? I did not even know what this was then. This harrassment does not usually happen by strangers. People who are known are the ones who harass. I am requesting parents to be more responsible. I know it will be very uncomfortable, but please sit your kids down and start teaching them about good touch and bad touch. Please start teaching them about this from the time they are two years old. Because you never know when they will go through pain and all these things. You won't know what is happening in school or in the neighbour's place or in tuition. So, my kind request is to teach them [sic].

"Secondly, to all my male friends out there, I know you do a lot for us. Most of you guys do that for us. This is a request [to you]. For each street, please form a team or a community comprising of eight to ten people. Every day, two people need to take time to observe what is happening on the street. Please take turns doing this from morning to night and from night to morning. This is because if there is something shady happening, you will know and you can easily question them [shady elements]. Please stand for us and question them.

"Also, inform the people on your street. Please also suggest ways in which you can help us. This is because we cannot depend only on the cops to ensure our safety. Yes, they will help us. They do help us. But we have to believe in ourselves and the people who are around us as well. This is because I am scared to go out right now. I look at everybody with suspicion. This is wrong. Please, let us live in a peaceful way. You giving us a safe, secure place is a small issue. This is my appeal to all the men out there [sic]."

Related topics

Sexual harassment