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Safety/Hassle for women in India

by Westy899 Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Hello there, this is my first ever post so here goes. Me and my girlfriend are thinking of travelling around India for 4 to 5 months. Just curious to know how bad it actually is for women, hassle wise. I've travelled a fair amount by myself but never with a female partner. I have just been put off a little from what i've read and seen in the news recently. Any first hand experiences and knowledge of where might be particularly bad would be great. Thank you

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23 Answers
  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Donna_in_India Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Hi - welcome to VT! Foreign women are frequently hassled (comments, stares, the odd grope or two) but rarely are violent crimes committed (especially what you've been reading/hearing). Please take a look at my warning tips - here's the link specifically for women travlers - "Women Travellers..." - India Warnings Or Dangers Tip by Donna_in_India. As long as you are prepared and follow common sense guidelines, you should be okay. Enjoy India!

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    I agree with Donna. Ladies are stared at a lot so you have to ignore it. Some get an odd grope but not that often. Women should dress conservatively and stay away from dark streets/alleys at night.

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  • Westy899's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Westy899 Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Thanks for getting back to my guys, surprised how quickly you have responded. Yes i have looked into it quite a bit. Hopefully travelling with a male might be more of a deterrent aswel. Just know how things can escalate quite quickly, found myself in some potentially threatening situations in Morocco and throughout Indonesia!

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Hi

    My last 3 visits to India have been alone.......and as Donna has said, a lot of staring is done. I have never experienced any physical or other fear at all.
    It IS important to observe the dress (especially your girlfriend) no bare thighs or midriffs.
    She should keep a scarf in her bag to cover up shoulders when entering temples or holy places.
    So........you will both be fine- observe usual safety precautions as you would in any busy city ot town.
    On my profile page there are many links for India which might help.

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Aside from leading a number of tours around India, I have also travelled there with my then wife, and I will admit that the stares and curiosiity was often overwhelming, to a point of almost causing a riot in Mumbai, because they thought she was a Bollywood star. (Look at my Home Page, you will see why.....).

    However, except for that one time in Mumbai in front of the Taj Mahal Hotel, where it was more wanting to just touch, - we never experienced any rude behavior, and certainly no one groped my wife. A lot of stares, but no rudeness. And smiles from us, were always met with more smiles from the people.

    Don't worry, both of you will be just fine........d:o)

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Donna_in_India Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Just to clarify I HAVE been groped on more than one occasion and all you have to do is google and you'll find plenty of others who have experienced the same. Doesn't matter what you wear, how old you are, etc., etc. it DOES happen. Crowded places seem to afford anonymity to the cowards that treat women in such a disrespectful manner.

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  • jonsintown's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by jonsintown Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Hi As you have had personal experience of seemingly being the center of attention in other countries you have traveled through, at least you know what to expect. True India might be even more of a culture shock to you than even in some parts of Indonesia but if it is of any consolation males too are stared at in India as is any other nationality who appears to look different. As there is nothing you can possibly do to ever change this fact, always dress sensibly when out and about and never acknowledge those stares as frowning or pulling a face will not give you any sympathy.

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Donna is right, and so is the above "jonsintown" about men being stared at as well. I had my share of that but mostly because I am very blond. Also regarding what Donna said, my wife was not groped while I was with her, but she had such events happen when she ventured on her own. Not a lot, but it did happen.

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  • walkietalkie2012's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by walkietalkie2012 Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    check if there is advisory warning from your government and heed the advice... personally I would stay away from India.. what we see on Tv and read above could be isolated cases of incidents, but there could be much more unreported incidences... we do not want to be a statistic of being at the wrong place at the wrong time... not only crimes but bus n road accidents are common too...

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    I am sorry Walkietalkie, - I know you mean well. Have you visitied India or is "what you see on TV' your source for staying way from India? First, government advisories are always to be taken with a grain of salt. They are often equally as political as they are necessary. They should be taken as guidelines only, along with other information

    Do not forget that India is a country with a billion people, and as a comparison, I have had more trouble in the U.S. than I have ever had in India, and I have been going there since the 70s.

    No offense meant, but giving such advise based on what you are basing it on is not what is expected from experienced travellers.

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  • walkietalkie2012's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by walkietalkie2012 Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    that was my 'personal' opinion- nothing more, nothing less.. i think what we are giving here are all opinions... btw,i don't analyse other ppl opinions, that is beyond me...

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by xymmot Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    It's unfortunate that such bad behavior has been in the news lately. Several sexually assaults of this type should be reported as such and be warn to tourist beware. Even with men escorts these rapes did occur in the countryside. That is not good new for female solo travelers, and puts the burden on the government to do a better job before I tour India .

    Cheers tommy x

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Again please know that I mean no offense, but this is an important destinction. WT, you did not just offer your opinion which you are certainly entitled to. What you did, was offer advise, - based on that opinion formed by what you saw on TV.

    That does not qualify one to give advise regarding an entire nation and its billion people, based on what one saw on TV.

    Again no offense meant, but watching a VW commercial, does not qualify me to comment on German engineering.........d:o)

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  • anilpradhanshillong's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by anilpradhanshillong Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    1. Anyone not brown WILL get stared at in India. Even if brown, if they have Mongoloid features, like people from my North-Eastern states, they are subjected to intense scrutiny.

    2. We Indian men are YET to accept women stirring out from their so-called 'traditional sphere', that is, the home. It may take another generation before we Indian men learn to accept women in the streets, in the workplace and other places, other than in the kitchen.

    3. We in India are a big bunch of hypocrites. So we act pious in the temple yet feel free to 'grope' around, act innocent and coy but have a population second to China, stare at, ogle, harrass a girl but act very holy if caught.

    4. Dress appropriately, don't draw undue attention, observe what Donna and Lynne and a host of 'foreign' ladies have written on the precautions to be taken and you should be alright.

    5. Welcome to the North-East. We treat our ladies like Queens!!!!

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Anil, always a pleasure........d:o)

    ....and WT, - please know, I meant no harm, but felt the distinction needed to be made. Perhaps we can agree to disagree......OK?.......d:o)

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    walkietalkie2012 wrote:
    check if there is advisory warning from your government and heed the advice... personally I would stay away from India.. what we see on Tv and read above could be isolated cases of incidents, but there could be much more unreported incidences... we do not want to be a statistic of being at the wrong place at the wrong time... not only crimes but bus n road accidents are common too...

     Unless you have been to India- don't give advice.

    Hearsay is not reality. I am not saying that bad stuff does not happen in India, but it does not, and never will, stop me ( a lone woman traveller)  from visiting the country. I have just had my 7th visit to the country, with not one moment of physical fear or anxiety experienced.

    The 'examples' that you give apply to many many countries- India happens to be the only one that is reported about. These bad incidents can happen anywhere on earth.

     

     

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  • walkietalkie2012's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by walkietalkie2012 Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    okie dokie... i will zip my mouth next time when veterans already chimed in with their holier than thou opinions... btw, I did not give any advice... my opinion is to heed your government advice if any... perhaps my singaporean english or singlish as we called here is not good enuf.. yes and we can all agree to agree Odinthor...

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  • walkietalkie2012's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by walkietalkie2012 Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    "...agree to agree.."

    oops typo... agree to disagree...

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    walkietalkie2012 wrote:
    okie dokie... i will zip my mouth next time when veterans already chimed in with their holier than thou opinions... btw, I did not give any advice... my opinion is to heed your government advice if any... perhaps my singaporean english or singlish as we called here is not good enuf.. yes and we can all agree to agree Odinthor...

     Holier than thou opinions?  No........just informed opinions.

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Sorry you feel that way. I apologize for any disparagement I may have caused. Your English is fine. Most of us speak it in a similar way. and we do typos as well.......d:o)

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Just put my two cents in! Governments are too over-cautious (particularly the US gov)with their advice and sometimes wrong. Obviously if there is a war or natural disaster it is common sense to avoid certain countries but having lived in Philippines for 20yrs+ there are many G warnings to avoid the country. while there is rhe occasional kidnapping and murder this can happen anywhere.
    I lived in London when the IRA were setting off explosions but did it affect me---not really, and did it stop tourists from visiting--prob a few¬

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  • Jramakrishna15's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by Jramakrishna15 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    I Agree with Iynnehamman always. Its depend on people to people and also choosen the location by tourist. We respects , we give share and we welcomes always as it is part of a world. Dont make scary to all people. However , it required to take precautions. For an example if you move mid night in Mumbai still safe but as a foriegner and move in some interior place then a chance to give un devoleped minds to do some thing.

    Take precaustions, Move as per locations and the choosen best timings. Its safe and enjoyble.

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  • Re: Safety/Hassle for women in India

    by nikita_singh Online Now Oct 11, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Yes, women safety has been an issue recently but India is not the only country which is fighting against such odds. India is a country with over a billion people. Just as a precaution, you must be prepared to mingle and interact with Indian culture and people. For safety measures, always keep your family and friends aware of your whereabouts. Recently, women have started mobile apps like SOS Sty safe and others for personal safety.

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