How do I report an abuse, bullying or ragging?

Some background, some drama

Anyone who chooses to report abuse, bullying or ragging should be able to do it in an environment that is empowering and non-intimidating. A more confident survivor is also likely to be more forthcoming with details, which can lead to a more accurate report. But, sometimes a victim may be scared, terrorised or intimidated and may be afraid to come forth.

Do’s and Don’ts

It’s important to share and report abuse, bullying or ragging. Keeping quiet will only give credence to the crime and the harasser. The “How Do I" series tries to list down a few Do’s and don’ts to guide you to report an abuse, bullying or ragging.

Do’s

  • Document everything. Keep records of the abuse. This way you will have evidence if you do choose to talk to the administration or the police.
  • Find spaces where you feel safe where you don’t have to worry about running into your tormentor.
  • Built a support network and surround yourself with positive people who want to support you. You don’t have to deal with this by yourself and it is okay to ask for help.
  • Talk to a counsellor. Dealing with abuse, bullying or ragging can be very hard and it can be useful to talk to someone who can help you deal with the impact of what happened.
  • Report the incident(s) to the police. Contact help centres to learn about bringing an advocate with you and what to expect.

Dont’s

  • Don’t refer to abuse in any way that implies consent.
  • Don’t downplay the severity of this crime; the long-term effects of which can be devastating.
  • Don’t assume that you are alone; often it takes one person coming forward for others to share like experiences.
  • Don’t let people blame you. It is not your fault. The abuser is solely responsible for this crime.
  • Don’t hesitate to source experts in the field, such as advocates, lawyers and psychologists.
  • Don’t use ambiguous or minimizing language when reporting the crime. Clarity and transparency will allow people to help adequately.

Last words

Whether to report abuse, bullying or ragging can be a difficult choice. You may feel that what happened to you wasn’t that serious, worry that police won’t believe you or won’t do anything about it, or that, for a variety of reasons, you’ll face more harassment by engaging police than by just getting on with your life. Reporting can give you a sense of justice and empowerment. Further, it may prevent future crimes. It’s important to stand up to the harasser, so that you can move on and start your healing process.

Sources and citations