Sexual assault is the use of force, coercion, or an imbalance of power to make a person engage in sexual activity without their consent while sexual harassment is an unwanted intrusion of a sexual nature in the personal space of an individual. Sexual assault is also termed as sexual abuse. It can include forced kissing, touching, and groping, as well. Rape is a kind of sexual assault, but it’s not the only form. It can happen with anyone, but in most of the cases, women are the victims.
Sexual harassment is defined under S. 354 A of the IPC as a man committing any of the following acts:
(i) physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures; or
(ii) a demand or request for sexual favours; or
(iii) showing pornography against the will of a woman; or
(iv) making sexually coloured remarks,
The term ‘outraging modesty’ has not been clearly defined by the law. Courts usually determine the same by taking in consideration the circumstances of the situation. The Supreme Court referred to ‘modesty’ as feminine decency and a virtue that women possess owing to their sex.
Facts of a Recently Decided Case
On May 13, 2017, a resident of phase 11, Mohali sexually assaulted his neighbour. He caught hold of her arm when she had stepped out to feed a cow and proceeded to tear off her clothes and thrash her when she resisted. He was booked on the same day on the compliant of the woman. A case under Section 354, 354-A, 354-B and 323 of the Indian Penal Code was registered at the Phase 11 station. Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises any act by a person that assaults or uses criminal force against a woman with the intention or knowledge that it will outrage her modesty. Such an act is punishable with either simple or rigorous imprisonment of up to 2 years, or a fine, or both. The accused has been convicted and awarded three years in jail along with a fine of Rs. 3,000 by the court of additional chief judicial magistrate, Mohit Bansal.
For more on how to file a complaint and get justice in case of sexual harassment/sexual abuse/sexual assault in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, you may consult best/top/expert lawyer/advocate to seek professional and effective legal advice.
Such cases are highly under-reported as women have been conditioned to ignore such instances and maintain their silence. This is highly wrong as women deserve justice for the wrongs that have been committed against them and the perpetrators need to be punished. There are many legal provisions under Indian law to help a victim fight against sexual harassment/assault.
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